The future has begun

At lat, a mainstream news organisatin that gets US debt levels right. AFP reports:

US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government’s debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country’s spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit — a slightly tighter definition — was $14.53 trillion as of the end of Tuesday, rising from the previous official cap of $14.29 trillion a day earlier.

Add to that Ambrose’s less than cheery outlook:

The West’s horrible fiscal choice

The US, Britain, and Europe are together embarking on a sudden and severe tightening of fiscal policy, in unison, before economic recovery has reached safe take-off speed. The experiment was last tried in the 1930s.

Yet somewhat contrary to A E-P’s consistently presented argument (which has continued for many months), he overlooks the unattractive reality of no less persistent bad governance. Neo-Keynesian deficit spending has, unremarkably, failed. And as Albert Einstein once remarked:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The outlook is, frankly, dreadful. (Forget China.) To date I have been surprised by the relative passivity of the southern European publics at the straits into which governments aided by a ludicrous media have led them. The analysis offered, at least in part in Kenneth Minogue’s  The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life, is discouraging. Debt and much else has proven to be a truly faustian bargain.  How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly–and the Stark Choices Ahead, by Dambisa Moyo barely scrapes the surface. The essential argument is right but the means chosen to prove it are most unsatisfactory. Add to these a widespread culture of death and the great scam of climate change (apd). Messy.

It’s over twenty years since National Interest published Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” (see here).

A true global culture has emerged, centering around technologically driven economic growth and the capitalist social relations necessary to produce and sustain it.

Oops. Still, look on the bright side, lots of work for future historians!




One Response

  1. This academic study of Spain’s woes may be of interest to you.



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