You have a next-door neighbor. His name is Sam. He seems like a decent guy and seems to do all right for himself. And, for the purposes of this allegory, you happen to know a lot about Sam’s financial situation.
First off, he makes a good living. He pulls down $200,000 a year. Impressive! So he is able to sell whatever goods and services he has available and is willing to provide for that sum each year. Well done, Sam. It’s a good income.
Oh, he’s also $250,000 in debt. But big deal, right? After all, plenty of people have debt. Mortgages, for one thing. Debt is part of life. he’s on time with his payments. So lay off. His “debt to annual production” is 125%.
Oh, but wait just a tick.Sam also has expenses of $230,000 a year. He’s got this really cool Model X, with its payments. And there’s private school for his two kids. I mean, look, it adds up. So in the miniature “economy” of Sam’s life, he loses $30,000 a year. No problem. That just gets tacked on to what he owes. He’s got an infinite credit line, so it’s seriously no problem.
So what do you think of Sam? Personally, I think he’s a bum. He’s living way beyond his means. And, infinite credit line notwithstanding, it’s all going to catch up with him. Because he’s never going to pay that debt. Not even make a dent in it. Simply stated, he’s financially irresponsible, a fiscal parasite, and frankly kind of a loser.
And that’s us. That’s the United States. They can perfume the pig all they want, but Sam is the U.S. of A. We are in the midst of history, people. Important history. We, and our collective actions, will be studied in the years and decades to come. They will seek to understand the madness. Yet, while we’re within it, it all seems normal as apple pie.