The New Clothes of the Emperor’s Children

emperorAlthough the Emperor currently wears no clothes, his naked children are the ones who stand to suffer most. The New York Times reports:

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These interest payments directly substitute for money otherwise spent on real goods and services to benefit our society. Worse, they are future commitments that will harm young people and future generations. This is a complete betrayal of the American dream.

I am 32-years old. I have been told that if I work hard and follow the rules I should earn enough capital to pay for my current expenses (food, shelter, water, healthcare, transportation, etc.) and have enough money to fund my childrens’ college education as well as my retirement. Along the way I will pay taxes toward my social security benefits and other programs which should benefit me as my contributions vest.

This theory is a storyline for the real life version of Punk’d. With boomers about to overwhelm the system and the aforementioned debts requiring higher future taxes along with the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, energy, and college education, there is no rational way my generation can save enough to properly retire (assuming you are not in the top tier of wage earners).

Over the past few hundred years, many hard working people immigrated to the US so they could escape a socioeconomic trap. Today I am sad to say the same trap has now been set right here in the land of opportunity. And no matter how much BS politicians and think tanks spew, once young people see their shackles a certain group of smart ones will decide not to play the fool for past misdeeds and greed.

So, as I look in the mirror and see the Emperor’s children also have no clothes, I wonder how much time will pass before we witness a brain drain. I already hear low level murmurs from bright people who are exploring foreign jobs and living opportunities. Is this the first swell of a tsunami or simply vented anger?

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