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Debt-to-GDP and Federal Tax Brackets
"The problems we have result from the free lunch syndrome of American finance, businesses and people. And from the legislative bodies that, over the years, have served up the free lunches in a systematic program to ensure reelection."
Thanks, John, well put.
I was reluctant to post the Debt-to-GDP presidential overlay chart because I didn't want the article to be interpreted as having a political agenda. I'm a first-wave boomer and have seen for myself the epic changes from the 1950s to the present.
I tried to hint at some of these with my reference to the transition from manufacturing to a service-based economy, the dawn of the Age of Information, and a gradual relaxation in both private and public concern about debt. But the preoccupation with consumption, which I didn't mention, was perhaps paramount:
* "I want it all, and I want it now!" (1989 Queen lyrics)
* He Who Dies With the Most Toys Wins! (T-shirts and bumper stickers)
With the cooperation of the federal government, American businesses and the finance industry in particular have exploited this preoccupation with consumption by enabling a culture of excess. I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll eventually achieve a more sustainable economic climate. Meanwhile, our debts continue to accumulate as our leaders prefer stimulus to personal responsibility. We probably have a long way to go.
Apr 5, 2010. 05:53 PM
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