Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Future

Check out my other blog to see what's been going on in my life to hold me from writing, and to see what changes I plan on making to both my lifestyle and writing habits.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Burden of the National Debt

I am still very ignorant about economics -- I have only read Economics in One Lesson so far in my studies -- but I would still like to raise a moral question I have in regards to the debt of the United States.

It is without question that the United States is in a massive amount of debt and that the politicians will incur yet more. Unless the appropriate measures are taken, the US may experience total economic destruction. My question is: To how much of the debt does the United States have a *real* obligation to pay back, and from whom?

One thing that disturbs me in discussions about the debt is when people break it down to how much each individual citizen (born and yet to be born) will have to pay in order to pay back the debt in full. I know that in my personal situation, and in millions of others, I have not elected to take part in these financial "contracts" with other countries and whatnot. For the most part, if not entirely, the politicians have incurred debt with money that either wasn't theirs to begin with (taxes), money that has no value (fiat), or money that doesn't even exist. Unless I'm improperly taking this literally, I think it amounts to nothing in the moral context since these contracts were formed without the participants' permission.

As a parallel, take the imprisonment of the American Japanese during WWII. After they were released, if I recall correctly, they had to start over economically since their property had been distributed. In truth, while it would certainly be a mess to disentangle, the Japanese victims should have gotten their property back since having had it stolen from them does not mean that their right to it had been eliminated. While the new owners may have been innocent in receiving the property, their innocence does not mean they have a right to that property since it was distributed by an entity which had no right to distribute it in the first place.

To apply this to the national debt, is it not the case that the debt cannot be morally satisfied by taxing citizens? To force someone into a contract is a contradiction which invalidates its standing. I understand that the debt must be paid by somehow since it has been incurred, but I don't understand how it can be paid back by moral means.

All I know is that when the government interferes into the economy it leads to messes like these that are difficult to intellectually dissect.