U.S. ECONOMIC ILLUSION
The admitted U.S. government debt as of September 2007 was $8.965 trillion, and rising.This number represents recognized debt, such asTreasury Bills, Savings Bonds, etc. Every year the amount is growing. But this huge number is just the tip of the iceberg.In 2004 the trustees of Social Security andMedicare projected the current costs of promised payments to be around $74 trillion. Every year,the promises continue to grow, as does the "onthe books" debt. Starting in 2008, the beginningsof the post WWII "baby boom" become eligiblefor their early Social Security payments. If/whenthese people, (who are among the highest tax paying workers) retire, federal tax incomeslumps, even as the promised payments balloon.The federal government does not have the assetsto make existing promised payments with“money” of real value, and politicians have no problem adding to the lies with further promisedof money and benefits.The government CANNOT provide guaranteedfinancial security. The government does notoperate any for-profit business; it operates only by taking money from those who actually create profits, or by appearing to create "money" byinflating the currency, essentially stealing fromanyone who holds the currency of the nation.Remember, unlike a barter currency denominatedin gold, grain, jugs of wine, or kilowatt hour of electricity, there is no inherent recognizabletrade-good value to the U.S. dollar. The dollar only has value for so long as people believe
ithas. Although the dollar is used in trade betweentwo willing parties, never forget that there is thethird party of the government constantlymanipulating the value of the dollar.The economy, ANY economy, goes thru naturalcycles of expansion and contraction, depending
The basis of confidence in the U.S. dollar is theglobal influence of a robust economy of theUnited States, and the influence of our international policies, including militaryinterventions. Without these, global confidencein the dollar would wane, and its value coulddisappear.on the demographics of the population, resourcechanges, technological development, etc.Even if there was unlimited and free fossil fuelto provide the energy to operate the economy,there is no apparent way that the U.S. couldactually pay this debt in real value. The onlyapparent "out" for the government is inflation.This creation of money out of thin air DESTROYS the value of existing money.There are nations that actually spend less thentax revenues. Of all the nations on the planet,the U.S. is THE WORST in deficit spending. Weannually go into debt more than every other nation on the face of the planet combined.Denying the situation, and actively making itworse, seems insane, unless you realize our politicians, and our news media, are fully awareof the situation, and the fact there is no sane wayout. Stop the overspending, and the economycrashes now. Announce the promises won't be paid, and there is political fallout, and theeconomy crashes now. Keep churning out the promises, and MAYBE your term
will endquietly, and someone else will have to accountfor the disaster.It's the same with the "peak oil"
situation.Those who run government and businessesappear determined to run full speed for as longas possible. They have been advised repeatedlyof the problems we face. The rational conclusionis they do not see any solution from the topdown.
SUSTAINABILITY AS A CONCEPT
A Sustainable Civilization is one where theneeds of the present can be met withoutcompromising the ability of future generations tomeet their own needs. It is one where there arefeedback loops, physical and mental, personal,family, and societal which keep in check population growth and resource use. It is onewhere resources, physical and energy are“banked” as a safety net, and to allowconcentrated large expenditures for improvement projects.
For an expanded review of economics, andaddressing it in your personal affairs, see theEstate and Financial Planning appendix.
SUSTAINABLE CIVILIZATION: From the Grass Roots Up Page 3 of 170Last printed 2/7/2009 13:41a2/p2