I don't mean to sound bleak, but I will on this one.

in #social4 months ago


Within the next decade, medicare and social security will be insolvent, and interest on the national debt will exceed military spending. Republicans and Democrats are unwilling to cut the military or reform entitlements enough to make them sustainable. Libertarians aren't going to gain power in the next decade. It doesn't matter who you vote for or if you vote at all.

Most of the fiscal realists who had been screaming this from the rooftops for decades have gone silent because they've simply given up... Not because good policy couldn't address it, but because politicians have incentive not to and that simply ain't gonna change.

We'll continue to fund this as long as we can with borrowing and inflation, putting it on the backs of our children and grandchildren as much as we can, even though intergenerational theft is even more immoral than direct excessive taxation, less stable, and takes away the incentive to change things while changing them can still do anything about it.

Honestly... the only ray of hope here is that technological progress advances productivity so much quicker than governmental ineptitude that the budget basics become less relevant (but not quickly enough that general super-intelligence AI poses an even greater threat).

Hey... Maybe I'm wrong. I'm surprised we were even able to kick the can this far down the road. The old joke says that the kind of people in my crowds have predicted like twenty-four of the last six recessions.

But, I mean... We're nearly 130% debt to GDP and growing, $32t in all (largest in real numbers of any nation in all of human history), running basically $2t deficits in peacetime (before 9-11, our entire federal government ran on less than $2t annually total), and had no choice but to raise interest rates some right when some of our current debt was being refinanced. Having stayed at zirp for so long and acting like that was forever, we didn't need to raise rates to Volker levels for them to start knocking down the first domino.

Fiscal realists used to push for a balanced budget amendment, and maybe if we had one a decade or two ago we wouldn't be where we're at now. But at this point such a limitation would so disrupt government basic services we've all come to expect that it wouldn't be feasible even if we could somehow get it past all the people in power who are opposed to any restraints on that power.

I don't know what to tell y'all. Go work your jobs, love your kids, and hope that AI saves us from fiscal reckoning rather than destroys us as a species, because there's not really much anyone can actually do about what I've been talking about at this point. We're locked in the path we're on, the brakes ain't functional, and we're basically already off the cliff.

Anyway... Enjoy your weekend, friends! The weather's great!

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