DEBT

Dear World

GROSS NATIONAL DEBT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS NOW SURPASSED $33 TRILLION.

ADD to that news –
$1 TRILLION was in just 3 months.

This debt is the Federal Government.

DEBT held by the public was over $26 TRILLION (1)

WHY are we becoming numb to these huge numbers?

“The Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the underlying deficit is going to roughly double from last fiscal year to this one. We hear promises of which programs our leaders are unwilling to touch and which taxes they are unwilling to raise. That kind of talk is not only pandering but it is also downright irresponsible when we have a mess like this on our hands.
Policymakers need to be straight with the American public and they need to come together on a plan to bring our debt under control.”
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (1)

GLOBAL DEBT AT UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS
The number of countries facing high levels of debt has increased sharply from 22 countries in 2011 to 59 countries in 2022. (2)

3.3 BILLION PEOPLE LIVE IN COUNTRIES THAT SPEND MORE ON INTEREST PAYMENTS THAN ON EDUCATION OR HEALTH1 (2)

$92 TRILLION – 2022
GLOBAL PUBLIC DEBT REACHED AN ALL TIME HIGH.

5-fold surge in public debt levels since 2000.

40% OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD ARE IN SERIOUS DEBT (3)

Many of the wealthiest nations owe more than they produce annually in GDP. (4)

In other words – we spend more than we need to and our ledger is off Track – out of balance.

Note – one thousand BILLION = one Trillion.

We have $92 trillion debt last year so where is this going?

THIS IS SERIOUS

Where do we start and how on earth have we got to this point?

How have we got ourselves in such a mess when we are supposedly an advanced world?

We call ourselves the most Intelligent1 species residing on this planet and yet there is absolutely nothing Intelligent2 about announcing the debt we are currently in as a world.

We like to Blame and we like to Demand whatever we desire but where has that got us if we have multi-trillions in public DEBT?

Our governments are in a mess and globally our Health2 systems are all facing bankruptcy – let’s not ignore this any longer.

If our world was a Business – it would have been shut down a long time ago.

It is well worth re-reading the message above from the U.S. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Here are the points:

  • Deficit going to double this fiscal year
  • Promises about taxes and programs
  • Pandering
  • Downright Irresponsible
  • Mess on our hands
  • Need to be straight with public
  • Come together on a Plan
  • Get DEBT under control

Just on the above bullet points, if we simply apply our common sense, we could as a nation, say to those that make decisions on our behalf:

Listen up ALL of you, in charge of the public purse – stop the pandering and irresponsibility when it comes to money that is not yours. We have a serious mess and making false promises is why we are where we are, so get straight and that means TRANSPARENCY. No more Hidden Agendas and time to make those in positions of authority accountable. Add to that we want to know under the banner of Transparency how these individuals are conducting their private business. 

We want to have a SIMPLE plan to get this DEBT cleared in full and then live like we did in the past because it worked – good old fashion common-sense way – only spend what is there to spend and start saving and not wasting.

And finally, Dear Policymakers – make sure your own house is in order as we the public will want to know what you are up to at all times. If that feels too imposing, step aside and allow those that live full transparency to take the lead.”

Next –

So how on earth are we going to deal with this at the micro level and how can we turn the tides, once and for all?

What if we are not victims here but all part of the mess we have created and allowed?

What if we as individuals can do something instead of pointing fingers and giving up or accepting everything we hear and see?

What if we ALL start to take the steps to live with RESPONSIBILITY in every area of our lives?

What if we get a proper check-up of how we are operating in every day life?

What if we start to look closely at our finances and get a Reality Check of how our ledger is going right now?

What if we check the detail and not just wing it or Ignore what comes in and out of our bank accounts?

What if we stop chasing our silly dreams and fantasy fuelled Lifestyle Choices and get Real and Honest for once?

What if we go through all our expenditure and see what is truly needed and where we could cut back on excess and Waste?

What if our addiction to plastic cards is killing us literally, as it affects our Health1 and we do know this but we could never admit it?

What if we did the basic 101 Maths and that means no more plastic card nonsense as we know we do not have the means/income to cover it at the end of the month when the bill is due?

What if we look at how we are living and if this contributing to our ill state of Health2 and well-being as this is also a cost that could be avoided and not burden our Health1 system further?

What if our excess food consumption needs to stop as it is not needed and we know that but can’t be bothered to make the Changes?

What if our subscribing to all those apps and other ‘gotta have’ is costing us un-necessary spending, but we like to have them Just Incase?

What if our pandering to the kids is stressing us as we know financially we are living way above what we can actually afford and in the long term, we are not being true role models for them?

What if pleasing everyone and making sure we never forget all those Birthday and Christmas gifts leaves us drained financially, but we don’t mind as we get plenty of recognition for it?

What if the next Solution to fix the problem, like our Sleep is not the answer but to get Real and Honest about our wayward lifestyle, which includes Late Nights and Screen Time?

What if we take a Stop and pause moment before we go on our next spend, spend, spend road and admit this is not really the way to go, as it has no purpose?

What if juggling our finances over decades tells us we have not changed or evolved as we seem to be just going around in circles, clearing debt and straight back into DEBT again?

What if our entitlement that tells us we can overspend because we earn big bucks and we only live once is not a true and responsible way to behave when it comes to $$$?

What if our dodgy money life is not serving us and we know in the long term it will only get worse but we hate the fact we have to face the Responsibility?

What if our cash way of dealing in notes only is because we convince ourselves it makes us secure but it’s coming from our insecurity?

What if taking risks and investing our money to get rich quick is seeking something that is false and dangerous?

What if being irresponsible with our money life and having DEBT is nothing we concern ourselves about as it seems to be the ‘norm’ so when we hear about our nations in trillions of debt, it is just numbers and means nothing to us?

What if we grew up with a Family in debt, so we want to make sure we do not have debt, but somehow we seem to follow in the same behaviours?

What if we over-work to catch up on clearing our debt, but we forget that we over-spend at the same time, so our plan is not working?

Are we the ones that have a loose living lifestyle which means we Gamble our money and buy stuff we never need or use?

Dear World

The following presentation is something to deeply consider and ponder on …

What if our work involves making decisions that involve costs and this money is coming from the public purse?

What if our private lives and that means how we conduct our money life and balance our own ledger has an affect on our work?

What if our irresponsible and that means ‘ill’ way of living reckless with money means we cannot switch and make sensible decisions when left with a budget to use at work?

In other words, we have no idea what it means to live within a budget, balance our books each month and be super responsible for everything we purchase.

What if we used money for what is needed and what has purpose and not be wasteful (Because We Can) and that level of Responsibility means we can apply this approach to our business budgets?

What if the answer to our global DEBT requires ALL OF US to make the necessary changes and have the word RESPONSIBILITY when it comes to our finances and every other area of our daily life?

 

References 

(1) (2023, September 18). National Debt Reaches $33 Trillion; Adds $1 Trillion to Debt in 3 Months. Committee for a Responsible Federal Government. Retrieved September 27, 2023 from
https://www.crfb.org/press-releases/national-debt-reaches-33-trillion-adds-1-trillion-debt-3-months

(2) (n.d). A World of Debt. UNCTAD. Retrieved September 27, 2023 from
https://unctad.org/publication/world-of-debt

(3) (2023, July 12). UN Warns of Soaring Public Debt: a Record $92 Trillion in 2022. UNCTAD. Retrieved September 27, 2023 from
https://unctad.org/news/un-warns-soaring-global-public-debt-record-92-trillion-2022

(4) (n.d). U.S. Debt Clock.org. Retrieved September 27, 2023 from
https://www.usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html

 

 

 

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Comments 5

  1. Today is National Savings Day in the USA – 12 October 2023

    Consumer credit card debt has surpassed $1 TRILLION in U.S.

    36% have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts.

    More reported having a cryptocurrency wallet than an professionally managed investment account.
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/only-1-in-10-americans-are-living-their-definition-of-financial-freedom-achieve-survey-finds-301906121.html

    Two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy cite medical issues as a key contributor to their financial downfall.

    What most people don’t realise is that their health insurance may not be enough to protect them.

    66.5% of all bankruptcies were tied to medical issues – either because of high costs for care or time out of work.

    530,000 families estimated, turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills, the research study found.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/this-is-the-real-reason-most-americans-file-for-bankruptcy.html

    45% unaffordable mortgages or foreclosure
    44.4% spending or living beyond one’s means
    28.4% providing help to friends or relatives
    25.4% student loans
    24.4% divorce or separation

    An article published in the American Journal of Public Health states “Despite gains in coverage and access to care from the Affordable Care Act, our findings suggest that it did not change the proportion of bankruptcies with medical causes.
    Most families do not have enough savings for a simple emergency let alone thousands of dollars in unexpected medical costs.”
    https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304901

    75% of all workers say they are living paycheck to paycheck.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/08/how-to-build-a-cash-cushion-when-your-income-is-cut-off.html

    Dear World

    Some of the above stats are not current and therefore not up to date.

    Since these studies were published we would be safe to say things have got worse, so these numbers will not be this year – 2023.

    Would it be true to say that the majority of us are not properly educated or raised in a way to save money like the good old fashion way and only buy what we can afford and if it is needed?

    We have fostered and subscribed to a ‘throwaway culture and online shopping epidemic’ and the consequences are starting to show. Regardless, we are a long way away because we build our lives away from reality, real life, everyday 101 basic livingness and replace it with all the stress, pressures and demands of how we think we should be and live in the world.

    Our wayward lifestyle choices are having serious consequences and there will be more to come if we as a world have global debt at an all time high of $92 trillion. This is merely a large number to most of us, but if a thousand billion is 1 trillion then it gives us further insight into how huge 1 trillion is and we are at 92 trillion.

    Next –

    If we are not into saving or never been shown why it is important and how to relate with money then is it any surprise that those that balance the ledger books for our countries may not be equipped, as they are not the best to be in those positions of power that hold and make decisions on behalf of the public purse?

    What happened to good old fashion savings and only buying what you can afford and never taking any form of credit?

    What chance does any government have if the people are mis-trusting as their taxes have not been invested wisely but instead used for risk taking like it was a personal life and not for a whole nation?

    Many of us see savings as a waste of time as interest rates suck and others may just want the quick high risk type of investments to get on the get rich quick bandwagon.

    What is evident is those that lead and hold the public monies have clearly not been saving and purchasing on behalf of the people what they can afford – nothing more and nothing less. But are they simply a reflection of the microcosm? In other words, they are a collective group force and we are individuals – both doing the same irresponsible spending – one is individual and the other on a much larger scale, but nevertheless same same.

    Let us add here that our local councils, local government departments also have a role to sharpen up their act, employ staff that actually want to work and will do a proper job so that services can be improved and not still living in a post pandemic excuse backlog way that serves no one. Allow the public to have a say in how monies need to be distributed and start by having the utmost transparency. Without this see through way of operating, we can be assured there will not be unified public trust and that means all of us saying yes as we all benefit from the decisions made.

    Throwing money at services to meet government targets is clearly not working because there has been a total blindness to why and how it got to this point, unless we dig deep and ask questions – for example the homeless or offenders that end up in prisons. How are we really dealing with them and are our policies and procedures working or are we throwing money to fix it and appear that it has worked, but not realised the cracks come through fast as we have not got to the root cause of why and how they end up there (on the streets or in prison)? This is just an example. There are plenty more we could add.

    AND finally – how do our countries plan to pay back the colossal debt that they are currently in or do we simply ignore it as they are just numbers in the background and don’t affect us here in real life, on our streets and in our neighbourhoods and communities?

    Turning the tides with this multi trillion debt that has manifested will require all of us to do our bit and bring about real and lasting change.

    • Stop our wayward ill behaviours and subscribing to the “Because we can” club.

    • Look at the ledger of what is coming in and what is going out by bringing focus and attention to the detail.

    • Get on top of all paperwork and do not ignore anything that requires our attention when it comes to spending.

    • Stop faking it, lying or doing what you simply cannot afford to in order to please, pander or be liked. Not worth it.

    • Get real when it comes to money and find a second job if that means those debts can be cleared faster.

    • Review absolutely all outgoings and categorise the expenditures. Where is it all going and where can some sensible adjustments be made.

    This is the type of education we need to bring into schools from day one so our kids are not under any illusion that money can just be printed and used without any regard for what it actually is.

    There needs to be a 101 teaching about how to balance the ledger and it starts with what is coming in must be more than what is going out and that way there is some left for SAVINGS. Not for the next pair of the latest trainers, smartphone, watch, holiday or whatever it is that we feel entitled to reward ourselves with “Because we can”.

    On that note – read our article on this website – “Because We Can”
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/because-we-can/

  2. The Commonwealth Fund – 26 October 2023

    https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/surveys/2023/oct/paying-for-it-costs-debt-americans-sicker-poorer-2023-affordability-survey

    Findings from the Commonwealth Fund 2023 Health Care Affordability Survey

    Half of working age adults said it was very or somewhat difficult to afford their health care costs.

    Large shares of working-age adults say they struggle to afford health care, including
    43% of those with employer coverage
    57% with marketplace or individual plans
    45% with Medicaid

    This survey was fielded for the first time in 2023, asking U.S. adults with health insurance and those without, about their ability to afford their health care – whether costs prevented them from getting care, whether provider bills left them with medical debt and how these problems affected their lives.

    The responses highlight, many Americans, regardless of where their insurance comes from, have inadequate coverage that has led to delayed or forgone care, significant medical debt and worsening health problems.

    Many insured adults said they or their family member had delayed or skipped needed health care or prescription drugs because they could not afford it in the past 12 months.
    29% of those with employer coverage
    37% covered by marketplace or individual-market plans
    39% Medicaid
    42% Medicare

    Cost-driven delays in getting care or in missed care made people sicker
    54% said with employer coverage they delayed or forego care because of costs and the health problem got worse because of it
    61% in marketplace or individual-market plans
    60% Medicaid
    63% Medicare

    Insurance coverage did not prevent people from incurring medical debt
    30% with employer coverage were paying off debt from medical or dental care
    33% in marketplace or individual-market plans

    MEDICAL DEBT is leading many people to delay or avoid getting care or filling prescriptions:
    34% of people with medical debt in employer plans
    39% in marketplace or individual-market plans
    31% Medicaid
    32% Medicare

    Adults who had insurance all year but still report difficulty paying health care expenses
    43% in employer plans
    57% enrolled in marketplace or individual-market plans
    45% Medicaid
    51% Medicare

    Among people enrolled in employer plans, those with low income especially struggled with health care costs:
    56% with income under 200% of the federal poverty level $60,000 for a family of 4 or $29,160 for an individual reported difficulty paying these costs.

  3. PBS News Hour – 2 January 2024

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/u-s-national-debt-hits-record-34-trillion-as-congress-gears-up-for-funding-fight

    U.S. NATIONAL DEBT HITS A RECORD $34 TRILLION

    The Federal government’s gross national debt has surpassed $34 trillion. This debt is several years sooner than pre-pandemic projections.

    The debt will continue to skyrocket as the Treasury expects to borrow nearly $1 trillion more by the end of March this year.

    This debt equates to $100,000 per person in the U.S.

    The debt grew faster than expected because of a multi-year pandemic starting in 2020 that shut down much of the United States economy. The government borrowed heavily to stabilize the economy and support a recovery. Then the rebound came with a surge of inflation that pushed up interest rates and made it more expensive for the government to service its debts.

    The gross debt includes money that the government owes itself.
    Most policymakers rely on the total debt held by the public in assessing the government’s finances.
    This figure of $26.9 trillion is equal in size to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

    The Congressional Budget Office estimated in its 30-year outlook that publicly held debt will be equal to a record 181% of American economic activity by 2053.

    The debts path in decades to come might put at risk national security and major programs, including Social Security and Medicare, which have become the most prominent drivers of forecasted government spending over the next few decades.

  4. Experian – 13 February 2024

    The cost of loving: Young people rack up average debt of £2,250 from dating and relationships.

    https://www.experianplc.com/newsroom/press-releases/2024/the-cost-of-loving–young-people-rack-up-average-debt-of-p2-250-

    New data from Experian has revealed the staggering impact of toxic social media narratives on young people’s finances when it comes to dating and relationships, with the average 18–35-year-old having £2,250 of debt.

    • 18 – 35-year-olds racking up thousands of pounds of debt from dating
    • 3 in 5 say social media has contributed to high expectations around how much they should spend on their partner
    • Average debt from dating and relationships is £250 higher for men than women

    59% of young people say social media influence has contributed to expectations to overspend on their partner or date
    63% believe social media has influenced people to date for money and materialistic reasons over love.

    36% men said they had browsed a potential date’s social media profile to check if they could afford their lifestyle (vs 28% of women0
    1 in 20 men have ended up over £10,000 in debt from funding dates and relationships.

    10.1 million of 18-30-year-olds are currently in arrears or default, meaning they have overdue debt or have failed to repay loans.
    Of the demographic in question, younger men use the greatest proportion of their available credit – with the average credit usage for 18-21-year-old men coming in at 33.4% vs. 25.7% for 26–30-year-old males.

    With the ever-divisive bill-splitting debate, 80% of men said they’d always foot the bill whereas 18% of women said they preferred to pay – although 27% explained this was because their partner earned more than them.
    30% of men have changed their mind about whether they should pay on a first date after seeing influential social media content.

    The Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian said: “Managing finances independently is one thing but bringing a partner into the mix opens up a whole other world of considerations. It’s been sobering to see just how many young people have ended up in financial difficulty due to their dating and relationship experiences, largely due to external pressures. Feeling comfortable enough to discuss financial topics should be a top priority in a relationship.”

    Although social media wasn’t a thing in my 18-30 years and having no influence on me in my 30-60 years, I can still relate to wanting to spend lots of money when dating or being in relationships.

    Often, I would be in the position of having no money with plenty of the month still left.

    That meant only one thing – credit cards.

    That would then get to a point eventually that the only way out was to get a bank loan.

    It was a continuous cycle of debt paying debt paying debt.

    I can only imagine how it feels for these young people to be bombarded with images from social media of things they cannot ever afford but they do so to ‘Keep up with the Jones’ at great cost – not only to their bank balance but to their health and well-being.

  5. Wales Online – 20 February 2024

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/cost-of-living/18million-afraid-look-bank-accounts-28667882

    18 million people in Britain are afraid to look at their bank balances, according to a new study.

    29% would make a purchase without checking if they have enough money in the bank.

    28% feel “stressed” or “worried” at the thought of opening their banking app.

    1 in 10 ignore their bank balance by burying their head in the sand.

    25% admit to only checking their bank balance once a week or less.

    29% blindly tap their debit cards despite not knowing if they have enough money to cover the cost.

    £98 on average is spent on an item without checking their balance first.

    Many consumers are taking action towards FOBB (Fear of Bank Balance).

    33% budgeting carefully every month.
    25% starting to pay more attention to their finances.
    26% looking for discounts and deals to make their money go further.

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