Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Debt Other Than the Federal Debt

From mine of the 4th:

Graph #1: Debt Other Than the Federal Debt

So it looks like 44 thousand billion is the new floor. We're going to pay interest forever on 44 thousand billion dollars -- and more, if the economy ever starts growing again.


Clonal said...

Even more astounding real per capita version of this graph

Clonal said...

The real per capita debt has gone up at least 15 times since 1950

The Arthurian said...

Your graph seems to show a distinct change in trend around 1982.
There is (by no coincidence) a kink in prices around 1982, and a slowdown thereafter.
Dividing by "lower" prices after 1982 pushes the resulting numbers up.
So, much of the post-1982 increase shown on your graph can be accounted for by the slowdown of inflation.

However, I am not comfortable with the implied solution that greater inflation would solve any problem. Debt itself remains the problem.

Separately, I remain unclear regarding the value of a "real" calculation which divides a stock by a price index. But looking at your graph another way, it is very clear that "non-Federal debt per capita" has increased far more than the price level.

Clonal said...


The implication of the curve is that it drives inequality. For the 90%, real wages stagnated. Their debt load increased. The interest on this increased debt load went to the top 1%

See this comment at Daily Kos - Actually Americans Made No Gains in Wealth

What this comment shows is that the net worth of the bottom 99% stagnated while the top 1% reaped all the benefits. In my way of thinking, The growth in debt is the path through which it happened.

Clonal said...

Another comment, adding to the point I made above. The interest on the Government debt also disproportionately goes to the top 1% - The requirement that Government deficits be financed by interest paying debt also adds to rentier income.