Why the world needs more U.S. government debt … Are government-imposed restrictions holding back the U.S. economy? In a way, yes: The federal government is causing great harm by failing to issue enough debt. The U.S. generates more income than any other country, and will keep doing so for many years to come. The federal government can generate a lot of revenue by taxing this income — a power that puts it in a unique position to issue the kind of extremely safe bonds that are in great demand among the world’s investors. How is the U.S. government wielding its power? Not well. -Bloomberg
Hard on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s latest decision to leave rates alone, we discover this Bloomberg opinion article explaining why the US government ought to issue more debt.
Of course, this echoes Alexander Hamilton’s statement that “a national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.”
However, it certainly runs counter to free-market economics. The Austrian model is one that emphasizes the individual’s “human action” – his or her ability to live without the manifold supports of modern government.
This is one reason Austrian economics is not popular with the public bureaucracy, the Western monetary and industrial elite – and their representatives in academia.
Bloomberg is run by Michael Bloomberg who probably qualifies as a double elite threat: He is a businessman but given his eponymous news network, he is a kind of associate Federal Reserve member. Bloomberg, the network, produces a steady stream of pro-central bank propaganda.
Calling for the issuance of more debt as this editorial does is not quite the same as endorsing the modern program of central banking. But it might as well be.
Central banks buy a good deal of public debt – and it’s not usually corporate debt either. In fact, the modern state is inextricably wedded to monopoly central banking.
And the US is indeed in the fortunate position of being able to print loads of debt because the dollar is yet in demand.
The yield on a 20-year inflation-protected Treasury bond, at just over 0.5 percent, is nearly two full percentage points lower than it was 10 years ago.
This means that the price is near record highs, suggesting that the U.S. government’s supply of such safe investments is falling far short of demand. In other words, we’re starving the world of desperately needed financial safety.
The debt the US government issues should be used to “invest in infrastructure,” and to cut taxes or both, according to the editorial.
That’s an interesting statement given that modern central banking actually allows us to do away with taxes. Modern central banks could certainly fund government operations directly.
Instead, political forces have imposed artificial constraints on debt — constraints that punish savers, choke off economic growth and could sow the seeds of the next financial crisis.
The author of this editorial is Narayana Kocherlakota, who predictably enough served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 2009 through 2015.
For people with such backgrounds, every public budget looks like a nail and every debt-based issuance seems a hammer.
How exactly, Kocherlakota arrives at the idea that the US is a place of ultimate investment safety is a mystery to us.
Total US indebtedness probably approaches $200 trillion – yes trillion with a “T.” Unrestrained issuance of credit has virtually bankrupted US citizens.
Wall Street’s involvement with derivatives is surely in excess of $500 trillion and perhaps a $1,000 trillion.
It just came out the other day that close to 50 percent of the general public don’t even have enough savings to fund a $400 trip to the emergency room.
There are upwards of a million who reportedly live on $2 a day, which mimics the worst poverty of third-world countries.
Economies wound round monetary elites inevitably discover that those elites grow wealthy, in aggregate, at the expense of everyone else.
The idea that a public debt, administered by a few on behalf of the many, is a blessing of any sort is yet another faux paradigm. Giving any single group control of value and volume of money is a terrible mistake.
Unfortunately, from earliest times in the US, the country has had proponents of monetary elitism. It is a mistake to think they will ever be vanquished, regardless of the growing debasement and misery that monopoly central banking predictably inflict.
Conclusion: The way to counter the pernicious effects of this cursed system is to minimize your contact with its most egregious effects. Stay out of debt, place a portion of your savings in money metals and try to make a living in a trade not directly exposed to the financial sector. Good luck.