We have just put in a link to the USA Debt Clock. Click on our Links, left, to get the list and then click on the debt clock. As of the time of writing this the US debt is at $13 trillion, but this does not begin to tell the whole story. It does not contain the unfunded liabilities, like pensions and potential health costs which some commentators say could put the figure up to $50 trillion.
A trillion here, a trillion there - you're soon talking big money...
The total debt per US family is $668,000, which means that if you divide the national debt by the number of families, that is the debt of household. It is unpayable, but that is what the US has borrowed so far, and the borrowing is continuing. Who is the US borrowing from? Anyone who will buy US debt in the form of treasuries, government bonds. These are bought mainly by institutions and foreign investment funds, some of whom are getting mighty nervous, mainly the Chinese.
Then there are the US states, most of which are spending money they do not have. No one knows what to do about this. We have to have teachers; we have to have policemen and firemen; they have all been promised pensions; people are out of work and cannot pay tax to support all this. We are heading for the buffers. It is just a matter of when, not if, the house of cards collapses. This is not just the US; it is around much of the world. The problems start when creditors get worried that they will not get their money back. This can happen to people, households, companies, states and countries. It is happening to Greece right now.
One country which is well run is Canada. Their banks didn't lend recklessly and their government didn't spend stupidly. Whereas in London and Wall Street the bankers ran amok and played like crazy men in casinos, losing large chunks of the banks' equity - in other words, the banks have lent money which they will never get back, particularly in residential and commercial property. Take a walk round your town and note the many empty office blocks and shopping malls. Also, of course, the internet has changed the world and we buy online, so we don't need so many shops and offices. We can work at home on our computers.
So can the individual do anything? Of course. We are not helpless and God’s wisdom is to be found in the Bible, particularly Proverbs. Don't get into debt. Don't buy on credit. Conserve your cash. Put some money aside. Do some saving. Make do with your old car. Use what you've got. Don't buy a new cell phone. Do you really need to make expensive cell phone calls? We don't. Think economically, like people did in WWTwo. Don't waste food. Make your clothes last. Get your shoes re-soled. Grow some vegetables.
And above all, trust in the Lord. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.’ Another good one is Proverbs 3:9-10, ‘Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.’ Lay up some treasure in Heaven. But, please! Don’t give a penny to the TV prosperity preachers! Be discerning! Google their names in with ‘Critics of so and so’. Check our Links feature to the left and find some of the ministries which are really worth supporting. For more on discernment, get our latest book, Cults and Isms: True Or False? which covers, among many other false faiths, the Word of Faith movement that is the fountainhead of the name it and claim it brigade. You can buy it from our web shop and it will help you argue against those who bandy the name of Christ around without understanding what our Lord taught.