34 cents a day

I recalled that the nation’s forefathers flirted with the idea of repudiating the revolutionary war debt. That reminding is care of the recent spectacle of our president flirting with the a similar idea.

The US debt is 7.7 Trillion, which I gather we borrowed from the rest of the planet. The world population is 6.37 Billion which comes to about $1,200 per person. Alternately, the run rate is about 2.15 Billion a day, or 34 cents a day per person. Half the planet’s population makes less than 2$ a day. Seems grim.

From the point of view of the debtor, there are around 100 Million households (pdf) in the US; 77 thousand dollars per household.

I seem to remember the French got deeply into debt at one point, but the nobility disinterested in raising their own taxes declined to address the problem. The impasse gave rise to some innnovations: the guillotine and driving on the right.

It would be interesting to read a history of the last few centuries couched just in terms of national debt, war financing, and the fortunes made and lost in it’s wake. Lots of money to be made if you have political power to play with a nation’s credit.

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