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U.S. National Debt Clock

Up to the minute statistics you can use

As Yogi Berra said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it". That is exactly what we are going to do. It might be wise to just turn around and go back to where we came from but we can't - we burned all the bridges behind us.

We passed the point of no return when we amassed more debt than can be repaid (as individuals, localities, states, and nations). If it can't be repaid, it won't be repaid. Period. So which fork in the road we take is actually just deciding who will take the loss and how. Nobody wants it (the losses), so expect lots of conflict and turmoil with unpredictable outcome.

The Tea Party wants the lenders (banks and bond holders) to eat it. The government wants business owners (individuals and stockholders) to eat it. The FED wants the taxpayers to eat it. Europe wants the US to eat it. China refuses to even discuss eating it. India doesn't acknowledge it exists. Russia is going to steal whatever they can while eating cabbage instead of debt. OPEC thinks they can just raise the price of oil to cover whatever they have to eat. Unions are hell bent on destroying their own jobs and pension plans for some unfathomable reason, so they will eat till they puke it back up to be recycled. Japan eats it, likes it and thrives on it.

On any given day, one or more of these players will make the headlines and enjoy 15 minutes of fame. Pay attention and you will be a babbling, impotent idiot in a week. To stay sane and healthy, just accept that who has to take the loss is unpredictable but that the losses will be taken is certain.

Historically, who eats the debt hasn't been decided peacefully. The conflict has usually been delayed by reducing the purchasing power of money (inflation). The prospect of lots of money that won't buy anything is easier to sell than the idea of no money to buy anything. Of course, the net result is the same - namely declining standards of living and conflict.

Expect the most severe and immediate pain to decimate the lower economic classes where the only lower standard of living is desperation. They have been the most ardent supporters of progressive policy. When they realize they have been betrayed, "progressive" politicians and academic manipulators will feel the heat.

When that happens, "progressive" tends to turn sharply "repressive". At least that is the historic precedent. Whether it will be the case here and now is again unpredictable.

unpredictable - adj 1: impossible to foretell [ant: predictable] 2: unknown in advance; "an unpredictable (or indeterminable) future" 3: not occurring at expected times [syn: irregular]

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