In my article covering the Obama State of the Union Address I pointed out how each working tax payer could easily be required to pay back about a quarter of a million dollars in addition to usual taxes in order to pay back the national debt. Hardly anyone ever asks the moral questions of how paying back the national debt will have a change of values on our country. In general when people find themselves hard pressed for money and in desperate situations often they may resort to ways of making money that previously they thought of as morally apprehensible, and I do not think that the case of paying back the national debt will prove itself to be any different.
When the United States begins to pay back the national debt it may either have to raise its skirt to other nations in ways that violate our national sovereignty like in the case of opening the doors of our courts to international law, or citizens may be faced with conforming to a unpleasant government as the people cry for food under the iron chains of legendary taxation with little government service given in exchange. The era of the quick fix may soon be at its end for good despite the fact that our entire economy has been driven by the quick fix artists, and this could mean that our nation will have to compete by producing much of the same things that are produced oversees with very low wage labor.
Global commerce and communication that is instantaneous had caused a fish in a big ocean with lots of freedom to be thrown into a small fish tank of piranhas that fight to survive at increasing costs. Going to war with a civilized nation that produces things that are globally traded would not only cost the usual wages of military, but it would also cost the loss of cheep products that such a nation produces that would otherwise cost more somewhere else. If the name of the game of peace is to produce products so cheep as to undercut the costs of everyone else and thus become the big fish that makes all other nations accountable to your own nation, then would the entire world one day usher in a new age of Chinese polities?
Most of us can all remember the early days of Wal-Mart when people shopped at the mall, shopped in large department stores, and shopped in main street city shops. China like Wal-Mart has ended the distribution of most goods from all other nations like Wal-Mart has ended the diversity of competition and thus become the only store that people usually ever shop at in most small and medium sized communities. After all who wants to pay a higher price for goods and services elsewhere, if Wal-Mart has the guaranteed lowest price. Wal-Mart is certainly a good store for having the lowest price, and I would not say anything bad about hard work and effort to be the best at whatever a person does (this holds true both for Wal-Mart and for China).
The problem is that unlike Wal-Mart, China and many other nations acquire the lowest price through using labor practices that most all of us would not want to find ourselves ever caught in. The problem with the national debt is that when the nations with the lowest price that we buy from that we find ourselves indebted to decide to collect on the bill, then our nation may find itself resorting to much of the same things that our creditors already resort to. For example if you buy a house on credit from a person that uses child labor, works eighty hours a week, and gets paid a dollar an hour, then if their is no law between you and him then if you cannot pay with your high wage labor and wealth, then your creditor will be knocking on your door expecting you to adopt the same labor practices as him. Our nation like the example of the home tenant is making excuses to borrow more and more money, and nations like China and other poor nations that sell us stuff are like the creditor that uses child labor and works eighty hours a week while getting paid a dollar an hour.
Does our nation role up its sleeves and work for a dollar an hour, work eighty hours a week, and employ every child in order to pay a mountain of bills that have accumulated since 1910 or earlier? What would our creditors think of us if we do not take such measures? On the other hand perhaps a better solution does exist.
President Obama in many of his public addresses has introduced the concept that our nation has to innovate and produce revolutionary new types of products that would be more efficient than any other devices in the world. The drive thus for producing products like in the case of wind power, solar power, electric cars, and space ships that dock onto lunar colonies has thus driven the hope of many for fixing the economy. I mention the space ships that dock onto lunar colonies because ever since Obama entered office people talk about putting a man on the moon as ‘old hat’ compared to the solutions that our nation is to rise to achieve in order to fix the economy and thus start to pay on the national debt.
Many would of course argue that since the United States Treasury Securities are mostly held within the United States that our debt is only a local problem. The problem with this view is that if our national debt in the end goes to pay for things that either come from China or pay people that buy things from China that cost a dollar for example that would otherwise cost ten dollars for us to produce, then nations like China that produce many tangible things that we could in the end not do without are the places that actually hold the debt over us. Overall, the politics involved in paying the national debt could end in the sort of politics that emerged like in the case of the fall of the democracy of Rome, the fall of the democracy of Athens, and the transition of Germany from a democracy of hundreds of political parties to a government run by the Nazi party.
Historically every time that lots of people in a powerful empire got into a huge mess that they could not find themselves out of what usually emerged is a leader like Hitler that unified the people and transformed the land into a powerhouse of productivity or else the empire would often fall apart. Today many safeguards exist through fundamental structure of our nation to protect it from such demise, but that is not to say that paying back the national debt will not have a powerful negative moral impact upon many people in one way or another. Overall, in order to get our nation out of the debt crises that it is in the values of the people will need to be changed for the good or for the bad, but the question as to what those new values will look like has not yet been entirely decided.