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Elimination Of Inter-generational Debt

A Constitutional Ammendment
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

The 28th Amendment:

No generation may pass debt generated during their time on Earth to the next generation. By necessity a line between generations will need to be drawn arbitrarily, in this case at the 100 year mark.

At the turn of each century, all debts will be wiped out. All financial institutions who were making money off this debt will also be dissolved.

Let it be noted, that the authors of this amendment didn't bother to see how many constitutional amendments there are, we think it's something like this but don't really care so the number might need to be changed.

doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

Drop the Debt: Jubilee 2000 https://en.wikipedi.../wiki/Drop_the_Debt
A laudable notion, but why does it have to be limited to centennial occasions? The original "jubilee" from Leviticus 25:8-13 suggests a 50 year debt cancellation cycle - which is a good idea, albeit one with a heritage measured in actual thousands of years. [zen_tom, Apr 18 2019]

Jubilee laws https://thetorah.co...-ideal-legislation/
Debt cancelled and land/slave ownership restored on a 50 year cycle [EnochLives, Apr 19 2019]

LOL, god damn this is good. https://www.youtube...watch?v=uycsfu4574w
Please note the the laughtrack with the obvious loop. [doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2019]

Sub-prime explaination https://www.youtube...watch?v=q8hjUei-Nwo
Warning: a lot of swearing, as there should be. [wjt, Apr 21 2019]

Elderly working more than in the past. https://www.bloombe...rk-now-than-in-1985
Get to work grandpa! [doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2019]

The US National Debt according to Wiki https://en.wikipedi...f_the_United_States
[theircompetitor, Apr 22 2019]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:NOTWIKI in reply to the above link [notexactly, Apr 22 2019]

article on america deficit and bond markets https://www.bloombe...problem-for-markets
[theircompetitor, Apr 28 2019]


       Good reason to run up a substantial dept on the 31st Dec 2099.
xenzag, Apr 18 2019

       So, would this include things like national debt? For the US, that was something like 6 trillion dollars at the last turn of the century. It will be something like 50 trillion dollars at the next. The UK currently owes something like 2 trillion dollars, and presumably much more by 2099.   

       If I were owed money by the US (which I'm not, alas), I think I'd be a bit peeved if they said "Hey, we've decided to draw a line under our debts." If we were talking about England, I'd much prefer it if we said "We will settle all our debts at the end of each century, regardless of how much it hurts, rather than welching on them."   

       Problem is, knowing that national debt will be wiped will have an impact for decades beforehand. The same would be true of personal debt.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2019

       Modern economies run on credit. This would crash them   

       On a personal level, debt is already forgiven on death, and corporate, bankruptcy   

       What you want to accomplish is already accomplished by credit ratings. In the USs case, the risk is low enough lending to us continues. Should that change, you won't have to wait 100 years
theircompetitor, Apr 18 2019

       //On a personal level, debt is already forgiven on death, and corporate, bankruptcy//   

       Which is a good thing.   

       Let me put it this way. If you're born and 18 years later you're told that you're essentially a slave, that is, your labor goes to pay the debts for goods and services bought by people on credit before you were even born, (but that the paperwork is all in order) do you have any say on where the fruits of your labor go or do you just sigh and work as you're told for your credit holding masters?   

       I'm asking, that's all. If the paperwork is all in order, and the sanctity of the creditor / borrow relationship is of paramount importance, I guess I just resign to work for my masters for the rest of my life as directed?   

       I don't think that's right.   

       Another question: sometimes industries that sell addictive products that are detrimental to those who use them encourage addictions to these products. Is there some correlation between entities that hold debts and a company who for instance, sells highly addictive opioids in numbers far in excess of what would be a safe for the population they're supplying?   

       Debt is a product is it not? Are we allowed to critically review the downside of this product?
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

       This is a great idea, but it's kind of 19 years too late. Maybe we could collectively aim to sort this out in time for 2099, but I don't think many of us are likely to last that long!   

       Intergenerational debt leads to slavery and impoverishment - and indeed many shorter debts do too. At least between individuals, no debt should last more than 20 years - and certainly death should be an end of it. Between non-human entities and companies? I think longer debts could be fair, as long as those entities are free to allow individuals to move into and out of their jurisdiction - besides freedom of movement, there's also currency printing which can be performed by any country with their own currency policy - so that's one additional way out on a country level (it can get nasty, but at least it resets the playing field in relatively short order)
zen_tom, Apr 18 2019

       [dr] the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Usury is prohibited within many religions. Glad that people and countries still borrow money, else we'd still be living in mud huts.   

       Debt is forgiven all the time. People take pennies on the dollar. Debt gets converted to stock. Countries default on their bonds, all this stuff already happens.   

       Now -- the scenario you paint, which I can only guess arises out of the current US deficit -- but perhaps I'm guessing wrong? -- what exactly is it?   

       Your parents die you don't pick up their debt. So what is this 100 year interval you speak of, and to what kind of debt is it applied?   

       Who would lend a country or corporate entity money if all it had to do to avoid paying it is wait it out?   

       I may be missing something here, but I don't think so.   

       So if the scenario is the current Congress, shame, shame shame, borrows a lot of money, more in fact that it can ever pay back, so the "next generation" is screwed -- if that is the scenario it is COMPLETELY misguided.   

       First -- who do you think owns this debt? Most people would say "the Chinese" -- but actually it is Americans through bonds they bought, and American corporations and banks through bonds they bought, and, in fact, the United States Federal Reserve, through bonds they bought.   

       So when it is "wiped", under the theory that you have helped those generations that "owe it", you actually took real income out of the people that were earning it.   

       The only other area this can be relevant to is various colonial debt. There again, the issue is NOT the forgiveness -- after all, they can default, and it's not like anyone can really do much about it.   

       the issue is after defaulting, they'd like to borrow again -- and no one wants to lend to them, precisely because they default.
theircompetitor, Apr 18 2019

       We already accomplish this by inflating the currency. The only problem is that the process creates more new debt than old debt it erases.
Cuit_au_Four, Apr 18 2019

       What [their] said. If America owes people money (even if most of those people are Americans), then it owes them. You can't just say "I don't think so."   

       Moreovermore, countries that default on debts very quickly lose their international credit score and trustworthiness. They also lose the trust of their own people; how will you like it, [doc], when your mortgage is called in or your pension is cut by 90% because your government has decided not to honour its debts?   

       It's fair enough that an individual's debts are often wiped when they die; loans and mortgages have inbuilt contingencies for that. But to say that an entire nation (one of the richest in the whole fucking world, at that) can simply decide for itself unilaterally that it's going to welch on its national debts is just a disgusting idea.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2019

       I understand how these work and I understand that there are booby traps and tripwire activated explosive devices attached to these chains that will blow up if you try to break them.   

       That being said, they are chains. The disasters that would occur by breaking them doesn't impart to them any virtue. Additionally I understand that lending can be an important part of commerce if used properly, just like water is useful unless you have your head forcibly held in a bucket of the stuff for 3 to 5 minutes.   

       The fact that a tiger will rip your arm off if you try to shoo him out of a dinner party doesn't mean it's a good and virtuous thing, just that it's a dangerous thing that probably shouldn't have been let into the dining room in the first place.   

       But OK, this one is here. "Nice tiger. Gooood tiger."   

       Can we at least use this guy as a lesson to stop letting tigers into our dinner parties?
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

       I have no idea what you're trying to say there, [doc].   

       But this idea stinks. Aside from what it would do your own country and your own people, it would cause a meltdown (via several routes) in the global economy. This time there would be wars, civil and international. The world is still recovering from the last financial collapse, and this is not a good time for an American (I believe) to be saying "Hey, let's do that again, only bigger!". It's a bit like a German saying "Ja, Poland looks awfully nice."   

       How about a compromise? Individuals get their debts erased when they die, and the same rule can go for nations.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2019

       I'll simplify.   

       A crippling national debt is a bad thing.   

       Bad things can sometimes be addressed and improved.   

       What's your solution?
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

       Pay what you owe as fast as you can afford to do so. Spend less until your debt is under control. Live wisely and within your means.   

       Or does that sound insane?   

       I'm not saying the UK is much better than the US in this regard. But if the US defaulted on its debts, the last US-led financial collapse would look like loose change.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2019

       Well, I agree with that.   

       As far as not making sense, here's my translation of my trying to do interesting writey stuff.   

       The tiger at the dinner party represented debt. It's beautiful yet deadly, like massive debt. Once we have it, we must be nice to it as I alluded to in the chapter "Nice tiger... gooood tiger."   

       The author here used allegory, (at least he thinks he did, he's not exactly sure what allegory is) in this case a big stripey cat to represent financial mismanagement and explody things to represent the downside of writing off debt without a proper plan. We're drawn to the conclusion that you shouldn't try to understand the tiger, just give it what it wants and don't squeeze its naughty bits.   

       What do you think of my writing?   

       [ ] Great job! Super special! [ ] Sucks ass.
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

       Well, with respect I think you should start with similes and then edge through analogy and into metaphor before you try allegory.   

       It's not that you have to be nice to this tiger you've accidentally let in. It's more the case that you've adopted a pet tiger knowing full well that it has teeth and claws and no manners. And now you've gone off the whole teeth-and- claws thing. But you're still addicted to tigers because they're sooooo cute and stripey and are still inviting more of them in, and just proposing to shoot the ones that bite. Sooner or later nobody will be prepared to send you any more tigers.   

       Now, I hope you can see from that why metaphors are so seldom useful.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2019

       Lol. Stripey. That word needs to be used more.   

       See? We’ve made progress today. Adjourned. Who brought pie?
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

       Personal debt has the threat of collateral loss or worse broken legs. What threats do Nations have? Maybe assets need to be seized. How about the new Chinese Statue of Liberty embassy? Maybe lose a leg. Chinese Florida?
wjt, Apr 18 2019

       I think a better use of the tiger analogy would be that everybody wants the cute tiger cub when it's a playful fluffy little feller, then gets all picky when it grows up and eats grandma.
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2019

       Especially since grandmas usually control purse strings.
wjt, Apr 19 2019

       Baked in the Jewish Jubilee laws, see link.
EnochLives, Apr 19 2019

       So there's 50 years to beat/intimidate the people that owe loans they could never afford and should have never been given.
wjt, Apr 19 2019

       I never understood the idea of debt jubilees. At the moment I don't buy a couple of extra bottles of champagne every day on a credit card, simpley because I know that I would struggle to pay back the debt. If I even suspected there might at some point be a jubilee, I would get a couple of crates, and an extra Rolls-Royce custom modified with a refrigerated compartment to bring them home in.   

       Actually I think national debt is a bit different, because the country spends the debt in currency that it has itself created. And if the debt is issued as bonds which are purchased by private investors, then the debt functions as currency, and so more of it increases the amount of money and wealth and spending power in the economy. So the very idea of paying down the debt doesn't make sense, because that in itself would take money out of the economy and cause a financial crisis.   

       Summary: Idea is stupid, comments are stupid, populations are stupid, governments are stupid, everyone and everything is stupid. [+]
pocmloc, Apr 19 2019

       [dr] I'll simplify:   

       1. No one is obligated to loan money to anyone else. The less likely an entity is to pay back debt, the less likely it is to get loans, and the higher an interest it would have to pay. Therefore, any rules that force forgiveness of debt force interest rates up and potentially prevent loans altogether. 2. You own this debt. Not China. You do. You both owe it and own it.   

       This is not a defense of arbitrary size deficits, and the US is in a relatively unique position given the dollar's world currency status. But just as a public company is worth a multiple of revenues, and sometimes worth a whole lot even without revenues, in the same way a country does not necessarily have to live on a balanced budget, especially when it's economy grows reliably.   

       What you want is economic growth. Then you can sustain deficits
theircompetitor, Apr 19 2019

       What [their] said again. Also whatever [their] says next because he seems to know what he's talking about.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 19 2019

       Nobody is arguing that debt in itself is good or bad, just like drugs aren't good or bad, it depends on how you use them.   

       But there should be a distinction drawn. There should be a hard line between one person's incurred debt and and another person's obligations to pay that debt.   

       As far as the war, famine, breakdown of society that might result from freeing people from a debt they haven't had a say in, can't you say that about freeing any people from bondage? Nobody's arguing that slaves don't make good sense financially, I'm saying that the moral imperative against it trumps that by orders of magnitude.   

       And yes, anybody who uses the word "imperative" is an idiot trying to sound smart, I know, but I could't think of another word. Suggestions will be accepted. It's not as bad as "paradigm" or "proactive" but it's up there.   

       I'm not criticizing debt. I'm criticizing THIS debt and the people who incurred it. So let's look critically at the deal we got from the guys who ran up this debt to make society better. What did we get for it? Do we work fewer hours? Do we retire earlier? Can we have a one income family where one parent stays home and raises the kids in a family owned home? Not where I live. We've got iPhones and the internet but that came from private companies. Medical advances, same thing. Private industry.   

       OK, we've civilized the Middle East with decades of war and to be sure, they really do appreciate us for it so I'll give them that.
doctorremulac3, Apr 19 2019

       part of your societal obligation as a citizen is this debt, like it or not. It's no more or less fair than the fact that higher brackets pay higher taxes though they drive on the same roads, etc -- it's just part of being a citizen and abiding by the rule of law.   

       Obviously attempts to pass a balanced budget amendment keep happening, and will keep failing -- it is too restrictive.   

       In real inflation adjusted terms, this is not the highest deficit we've ever had.   

       A much bigger issue are unfunded liabilities. But even that, who knows -- if people live forever they certainly won't be collecting social security for (forever-65) years. So budget and budgetary needs are likely to change rapidly.
theircompetitor, Apr 19 2019

       I haven't really looked into this but I'd like to know why the debt doubled under the last presidency. Is that his fault? Is it the other party's fault? Is it my fault? Max, did you do this?   

       Anybody know what happened here?
doctorremulac3, Apr 19 2019

       //Actually I think national debt is a bit different, because the country spends the debt in currency that it has itself created. And if the debt is issued as bonds which are purchased by private investors, then the debt functions as currency, and so more of it increases the amount of money and wealth and spending power in the economy. So the very idea of paying down the debt doesn't make sense, because that in itself would take money out of the economy and cause a financial crisis. //   

       This I do not understand.
You're saying that if Canada decided to work to pay off it's national debt that it would collapse financially?

       what happened there was the near collapse of the financial system in 2008, a stimulus bill good for 1T on its own, followed by the Federal Reserve lending money to itself, and an expansion of the safety net, for example a huge jump in people going on earlier retirement and disability (because there was no work). All of this while GDP grew at 2% as opposed to 3% or 4% which is what we had in Reagan and Clinton years.   

       But it's not that hard. The budget for each and every year is available as an excel spreadsheet.   

       Also, doubling sounds shocking but it's not really -- for example, if you get 7% on your money, it would double in less than a decade, right? So if spending grows at twice the rate or higher than economic growth -- then of course it would increase.   

       The interest rate on the new debt, however, is much lower than the interest on the old debt. An important argument that has been going on in the Federal Reserve is whether to refinance some of the debt to longer term, so as to lock in the lower rates.   

       but evidence appears to be that rates don't want to go up -- which is a way of the market saying that for now it doesn't care about the deficit.
theircompetitor, Apr 19 2019

       //Max, did you do this?// I hate to admit it, but it's possible. I did some consultancy over there recently, and sucked money out of Washington like a ten-inch siphon. I also had a couple of very, very nice lunches.   

       But more generally, [doc], I think it's pretty clear that neither you nor I actually understand what the national debt is. I do at least understand that it's a fiscal tool, and an economic lubricant. I also understand that it's largely an internal debt.   

       If I've got my sums right, the US owes every US citizen about $65,000 (slightly less, if you assume that some of the debt is international). So, while it's really jolly decent of you, [doc], to waive that debt, doing it wholesale will just kill the US stone dead. I'm sure that the pyramid of finance built on the national debt is far taller, and will crash down far harder, than the pyramid that you guys built on sub- prime mortgages. And just remember what happened when somebody decided they weren't worth anything.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 19 2019

       My finger is tired from scrolling and I still don't understand about the tiger. Better luck next idea. :-)
blissmiss, Apr 19 2019

       It's quite straightforward, [bliss]. The US has borrowed money in order to print more money so that it can pay back the people it borrowed the money from, except that it didn't and spent all the more-money on tigers. As a result, overdemand for tigers has driven up their price, and also the price of tigerfood. So, the US has had to issue bonds based on virtual tigers, charging at below parity, to recoup some of its losses whilst also supporting the whole tiger sector (which now represents 16% of all jobs in the US). These bonds have a face value plus a debt-interest value, and the latter has been sold to (guess who?) the American public. Meanwhile, the supply of new tigers has dried up, meaning that the entire tiger-based economy is walking on thin ice and potentially vulnerable to global warming. If it all falls through, there will be knock-on effects on the polar bear and ice-fishing industries, and who knows what'll happen after that.   

       I've simplified a little, but you get the picture.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 19 2019

       Wow. Can't you just substitute a few lions, or bears? Tell em they're mutated tigers? Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!!
blissmiss, Apr 19 2019

       No no no. The bear market is a completely different thing. You'd risk devaluing the tiger sector, which would then devalue the striped animal sector in general. The newer markets (like ocelots) would take up some of the slack, but you're still looking at non-renewable debt remarketing with debenture penalties that could only be reinvested in equity- led options. Do try to keep up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 19 2019

       Felidaeconomics is a fairly new field and it can get a bit confusing but the core principles are pretty simple: tigers represent loan portfolios in deferred market segments prorated to insure non-defaulted derivatives from lump sum mortage backed sectors to leverage standardized share witholding subordinate rated securities.   

       Forgive my oversimplification, just wanted to get you up to speed Blissy.
doctorremulac3, Apr 19 2019

       Uh, that's what I said.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 19 2019

       //US owes every US citizen about $65,000// That's some good healthcare right there. Pity there would have to be virtual ocelots to fund it.
wjt, Apr 19 2019

       Not working. Simplifying has made it worse. I'm a dummy, a dunce, a no-duh. Nevermind. I'm walking to Madagascar, or so it seems.
blissmiss, Apr 20 2019

       Not true Blissy, sometimes the smartest thing a person can say is "I don't know" and the dumbest is "I know everything".   

       Once upon a time a self proclaimed know-it-all was asked why the sun came up in the morning. Being expected to have all the answers they said "Well, it's clearly being pulled across the heavens by a magical chariot." At a different time in history, somebody else was asked the same question and said "I don't know." Although they didn't have the answer, the question sparked their curiosity. They researched, gathered the available information, examined it, prosessed it into a plausible hypothetical explanation and came upon the truth that we now all share today.   

       That sentence: "I don't know." is the seed of all human knowledge. The sentence "I know everything." is the seed of all human ignorance.   


       (A guy who actually DOES know everything.)   

       (Except for the stuff they taught in High School because he never went.)   

       (And some of that mathey shit which is for dorks.)
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2019

       Anecdote: Bertrand Russell was at a party and got lumbered with a man who talked on and on and on and on. At one point, Bertrand got a word in, and said "D'you know, between the two of us, I think we must know everything." "Oh?", said the other man, "why's that?" "Well", said Bertrand, "you seem to know everything except for the fact that you're a bore, and I know that."
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 20 2019

       Did the guy who was just trying to carry on a conversation (that was not up to Bert's standards) punch him in the face? Please tell me he punched him in the face.   

       Anyway, I think Monty Python addressed this beautifully. (link)   

       All fun aside, I've noticed is that the people who really do know the most are always questioning themselves. The Dunning Kruger effect or something. I think Douglas Adams explored this concept with the introduction of a god figure (maybe it was God) who was very un-sure of himself. That being said, experts in any given field should be confident in their knowledge. I don't want a brain surgeon saying "I'm pretty sure this is the frontal lobe, but I could be wrong." but a good brain surgeon will probably predict outcomes by saying stuff like "Looking at a 90% probability this operation will work." Another example of that enlightened "I don't know." thing.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2019

       I think the study of smart people getting things wrong because they've achieved social status that doesn't allow them to say "How the hell should I know?" thus leading to bad decisions on their part should be explored. Being a bit of a history dork I seem to come across a lot of horrible events in human history where the intellectual elite leads people into horrible disasters, and it's my dumbass opinion that it's a hallowed tradition that's still going strong.   

       To many to name but I'll just say, never trust a drunk, bearded German with a typwriter.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2019

       The very same Bertrand Russell said "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 20 2019

       Good name for a pub all the same: Cocksure & Doubt.
xenzag, Apr 20 2019

       Not sure that's a problem, it might be a good thing.   

       Within reason though. If I start from the premise that nothing is sure, I might be a brain in a jar in a lab someplace where they said "Run the Halfbakery program on it, see what it does." but my best guess is that's not the case, so unlikely is that scenario that I won't put any effort into accomodating that scenario. On other subjects, like complicated tiger to debt ratios, I'd be wise to check, double check and triple check my conclusions.   

       Extreme example but it's all best guess. The beauty of science is that when new information presents itself the conclusion is simply changed.   

       I guess dogma is the opposite of that.   

       //Cocksure & Doubt.// Or a 70s vocal / dance music group.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2019

       "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."   

       Except to when it comes to global warming, of course. On this I'm told the reverse is true.
theircompetitor, Apr 20 2019

       In my mind [blissmiss], The intricate details, I haven't researched but money comes down to assigning value, from rare art to businesses. One guy will value a business at 1,000,000, another will value it at 2,000,000. The true rock bottom value is probably what it is worth if it all goes pair shaped and goes into receivership. Now money people are clever and think up very clever ways to make that value difference into real in the hand money, usually involving bits of paper or cute tigers. Governments can do the same thing but the cleverer try not to have receivers and stretch further away from real value. Sometimes OK (if the economy rises to support it) and sometimes with people hurting implications.   

       Being undoubtedly cocksure or am I wrong?
wjt, Apr 21 2019

       Wow, I think I got it now. Thank you, [wjt] for the clarity. I also just got done meditating and I'm not as dumb after that.In fact, I can have a lot of insight during that happy little snippet of time after a good session of nothingness.   

       My Mother, bless her heart, had this horrific lamp in her living room, that was nothing short of butt-ass ugly. She loved it and paid a whole of moola for it. She thought that all of us kids would fight over it, at the time of her passing.Well, she was wrong.   

       Everyone hated it but no one wanted to toss it. (Bad Juju and all). I have no idea what happened to it, being the youngest I was usually left clueless when it came to such sensitive issues. So I get the concept of "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Or one person's lamp is seen as art but in reality it's really an ugly piece of shit.   

       (On a side note, I was thinking I had read Bertrand Russell before, but looking at titles, am mistaken. But I just read a synopsis of his life, personal and professional, and I think he sounds like someone who truly lived life. Boom. Really lived his life. I may scrounge around for a good biography.)
blissmiss, Apr 21 2019

       He did indeed. Few people know that Bertrand Russell:   

       (1) Pioneered what would go on to become HALO parachute techniques during his time in the RAF
(2) Kept and bred pigeons, and developed the Wapham Ringneck
(3) Had contracted, and been cured of, all currently available STDs by the age of 40
(4) Published three detective novels, under a pseudonym
(5) Was a highly accomplished saxophonist.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2019

       [Blissmiss] Interesting, You can't think of any reason your mother loved the lamp so much, a deeper family story or do you think it was purely an emotional resonant essence?   

       Money can't really capture real individuality, it seems a Borg-ish entity.
wjt, Apr 21 2019


       My Mother's speciality was odd, weird, crappy home decor. Most of it cheap, a few items she would actually save for and then binge on buying. The lamp was one of said pieces. She lived a very delusional and paranoid life, and always thought us kiddos would try and kill each other for her nik- naks. Poor women. None of us wanted anything from her after death, but prayed she finally found some peace of mind. Thank you for asking.   

       [MaxwellB]. I shall add those little tidbits to my list of fascinations about this man. Not all of them are pretty, but all of them seem pretty exceptional in scope, at the very least.
blissmiss, Apr 21 2019

       Russell is also known for his teapot which may or may not exist.
tatterdemalion, Apr 22 2019

       Pretty sure the economy is based on mislabeling horsemeat, or tulips. Debt swap is the recognition that everyone is mislabeling but nobody knows exactly how much.
bigsleep, Apr 22 2019

       Reading about old Burt Russell and wondering what he would say about this idea. Guy was pretty fluid in his thinking, that is, open to looking at stuff from various perspectives and changing his mind without embarrassment.   

       My take on this idea is, the first step to eliminating inter-generational debt is to accept that it's a bad thing that never should have happened and work forward from there.   

       A payoff plan might be a good start.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2019

       It's not the payoff plan, it's always the generate real income plan.
wjt, Apr 22 2019

       Well, generate real income to pay off the debt no?
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2019

       The thing you are groping towards, [dr3], is called a "sinking fund".
pertinax, Apr 22 2019

       Maynard Keynes, who in some circles is better known than Bertrand Russell, famously said that in the long run, we'll all be dead (as part of justification for stimulus spending)   

       [dr], deficits only matter to the living. And if deficits prevent the living from armed revolution and pitchforks on the street, they're worth it. If they ultimately cause the pitchforks (as in Greece some years back), they're not worth it.   

       I urge you to review the linked article -- since 2010 we've been at negative interest rates -- meaning the money we've borrowed had lost more value than the interest rate. It's just not really an issue.   

       It would become an issue if no one wanted our debt or if the economy stopped growing. 40% is held by outsiders -- but even those outsiders are mostly banks -- and though we owe them they owe us. Such a scenario -- where no one would want the debt -- is unlikely so long as the US is the superpower or one of the superpowers. 75 to 100 years after Britain's ceding of the world currency to the dollar, people still want Sterling debt.   

       Unfunded liabilities are a much bigger issue -- but as said earlier -- who even knows what factor medicine plays in costs in 50 years, we can't see past the event horizon.   

       And of course if the current slate of Dem candidates gets even a fraction of their Atlas Shrugged program into actual policy, we'd be in a whole different kind of story.   

       None of this means you should borrow for the sake of borrowing. And in an ideal situation, growth would be such that you would be able to reduce the debt.   

       But if, for instance, you increased taxes significantly, or cut spending significantly enough to make a difference -- you would actually squeeze the economy to a degree that would be counter productive.   

       We are not at levels that are scary. We ARE if you count unfunded liabilities, which makes things like Medicare for All even scarier -- but again, that's a different story.
theircompetitor, Apr 22 2019

       //I urge you to review the linked article//   

       Will do, but reading about this Bertrand Russell fellow is tops on my reading list now though. Interesting guy.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2019

       If you have a finite amount of time for reading, you should read what Bertrand Russell wrote, rather than what others have written about Bertrand Russell
calum, Apr 22 2019

       Nice 3rd order regression there [Calum], writing about what other people have written about Bertrand Russell.
pocmloc, Apr 22 2019

       I'm getting "Why Men Fight".   

       I'm a big anti-WW1 activist so his take on why we got into that disaster should be interesting.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2019

       // I'm a big anti-WW1 activist// Go for it [doc] - pray gods we're not too late to stop it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 22 2019

       Might have missed the chance on that one but maybe by understanding its root causes, and I don't mean an Archduke getting whacked, we can prevent WW5. WW3 was the war to make everybody happy with Communism, WW4 was the war to make everybody in the middle east happy, not sure what WW5 will be. Somebody needing to be made happy about something or else I expect.   

       Speaking of happiness, got his book The Conquest Of Happiness.   

       Already found out he was an anti nuke activist that at one time proposed a nuclear strike on Russia and welcoming the Nazis in for tea to avoid WW2. He also changed his mind on both ideas so he's smart enough to not fall in love with his views should circumstances change apparently. Very Dunning Crugery story his.   

       I'll give 'em a read but I'm not going through all 60 or so books the guy wrote. I'll have to mix in a few generalizations about the guy written by others.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2019

       My misunderstanding with the monetary system is inflation. A lolly worth 5 cents becomes one that is 10 cents and with inflation the price just keeps going. Wages rise to try and compete but to me this is making the economy weaker not stronger. A stronger economy would be the the lolly's price getting less and less relative to wages that may or may not fairly decrease. Wanting more pay is not necessarily sane if prices are just going to adjust up. Although, percentage increases are good for the high end.
wjt, Apr 25 2019

       that's not exactly how inflation works. wages don't "try to rise" any more than lolly prices "try to rise". In the absence of productivity increases, increased demand drives prices for everything including labor itself, and it's more of a continuous self-adjusting cycle than individual waves.   

       The reason reserve banks RAISE rates to combat inflation is that's the only tool they have -- slowing down demand breaks the cycle.   

       One of the conundrum of modern times (going back to a phrase Greenspan was found of) is that productivity increases nominally slowed down (per human) but first outsourcing to cheaper labor markets, and now increasingly automation, are far outpacing that slow down, and that is why inflation has been very low in the US and why wage increases have been difficult to sustain.   

       As to your second point, which is what is the point of wage increases if all they do is drive the cost of goods up, that is why the minimum wage is a form of the broken window fallacy. If the cost of living in a given area is significantly higher than the cost of labor, a minimum wage cannot ultimately fix that imbalance, and everything that cities do to theoretically fix this -- from fixing rents to fixing labor costs -- is actually exacerbating it, which is why it's quite typical that the richest cities in the world (i.e. NY, SF) have very high concentrations of poor people.
theircompetitor, Apr 25 2019

       I'm not sure the world has ever seen homeless camps down the street from luxury hotels like this before, but American cities are becoming third world shitholes.   

       I'd like to see our politicians spend a little more time on problems like this and a little less time on figuring out if they can throw Trump in prison for paying some porn star's blackmail demands.   

       Maybe split their time in half between the two issues? Or even 10% of their efforts towards dealing with problems like this, or the opioid crisis that's killing tens of thousands of Americans and destroying countless lives.   

       5% maybe?
doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2019

       // I'm not sure the world has ever seen homeless camps down the street from luxury hotels like this before, but American cities are becoming third world shitholes. //   

       The homeless issue is largely a combo of the drug issue and the laws adopted in the 60s to toughen mental hospital commitment requirements -- the latter largely as a reaction to the Soviet Union's policies of incarcerating opponents as being mentally ill.   

       No one is homeless because the rent is too damn high.   

       All laws have unintended consequences -- not as strong as "all men must die" but somewhat of an irrefutable maxim.
theircompetitor, Apr 25 2019

       I remember that, politicians grandstanding about how evil these institutions were like they're friggin' internment camps. They closed them all down and "liberated" the poor souls.   

       I guarantee they were very proud of that achievement.   

       God politicians suck.
doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2019

       Rent too high , lollies inflating, it all comes down to the pumped up self esteem. My price on the work deserves more profit, look at everyone else's inflation. Heaven forbid the lollies should sell out, just wack on some inflation.
wjt, Apr 26 2019


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