Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The rise of the rest

If you're like me, you'll go out on 4th of July with sparklers, sing a few patriotic songs, eat some bbq and feel proud to be American. Like I tell all my friends overseas, I love my country, just not what it's become.
Looking back on what brought us to today, looking forward to $6 trillion debt over the next ten years, debt is the key word.
Since the 1980s, Americans have spent money that they didn't have, bringing us to the current statistic that the average household now has an astounding 13 credit cards with an average debt of $120,000. Going up the step ladder, we see that politicians urged them to carry out the American dream, as they themselves borrowed using imaginary money gained from future taxes and lottery earnings. At the top, the federal government makes the average shopaholic look like a miser. Considering that today, the National Debt Clock in New York has run out of room, the only thing the feds are doing to combat that is to install an expanded clock, like fixing traffic issues by expanding a highway. Sorry, won't cut it.
Now, here's where the interesting parts come in. Who were we borrowing money from? If we, from top to bottom, left to right were a nation of moochers and debtors, who put up the cash?
Well, here's the title of my post: the rise of the rest.
China currently owns $2 trillion worth of foreign currency reserves, most of it being U.S. dollars. China has an IOU slip from us, holding more than 10% of our outstanding debt. China spends $40 billion a year on sending money abroad. Like a little kid getting allowance, we grab the cash, run outside and spend it on whatever toys we can find first. But we have to grow up. Eight other nations are climbing up the rungs as we sit here, arrogantly clutching the "city upon a hill" ideal while we spend money to support our American dream.
That has to change. Like I press in all my posts, the easiest place to start a chain reaction of change is by doing it yourself. I don't mean to take blame off the state or federal governments, because after all, they owe way more than $120,000. However, they're looking to repay their debt with our money. They're covering their tracks with our footprints and we have to be the ones to stand up and say no.
The world doesn't look at us like the big brother, superpower anymore. We're losing touch with reality and it starts very much with economic faults. Stop spending and make sure Washington does too. Bailouts, wars, frivolous spending has got to stop. It's time to worry about the people, you know, like the constitution says: OF the people, FOR the people and BY the people.

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