07 April 2009

Our Greatest Legacy

"We are all culpable for this mess. Almost all of us have been acting irresponsibly and self-indulgently, in varying degrees, for a long time."

I like his analogy comparing drugs to debt. Many of us were indeed getting high on consumption. Now the withdrawal comes, and withdrawal, for those of you who have never experienced it, is very tough. One of the things that sucks the most about this mess is the huge negative externalities. For those who didn't choose to play, this calamity will extol its wrath on them just as equally as those who borrowed irresponsibly and percipitated the whole debacle. Is your employment situation as stable as it was a few years ago? In addition to the short term consequences that will be born by all, we will all also deal with much longer term consequences like the GARGANTUAN national debt. For teens and twenty-somethings our lives will never be what they once could have been. Most of us will remain in the lower or middle class, but instead of paying a 15% to 20% tax on our moderate incomes, we will likely be paying taxes somewhere in the 30% to 40% range in order to payoff this massive debt incurred to bail-out banks, financial institutions, auto companies, and home-owners. The array of opportunities once available to us are no longer possibilities. Our future budget constraints just shifted left, big time. We now have the honor of paying for the previous generations' excesses. A legacy of rapacious appetite for ever more.

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