America Goes Full Imbecile

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Authored by EconomicPrism's MN Gordon, annotated by Acting-Man's Pater Tenebrarum,

Credit has a wicked way...

...of magnifying a person’s defects.  Even the most cautious man, with unlimited credit, can make mistakes that in retrospect seem absurd.  But an average man, with unlimited credit, is preeminently disposed to going full imbecile.

Let us not forget about this important skill…  [PT]

Several weeks ago we came across a woeful tale of Mike Meru.  Somehow, this special fellow, while of apparent sound mine and worthy intent, racked up over $1 million dollars in student loan debt – all to become an orthodontist.

Surely, with several good text books, and a disciplined self-study program, Meru could have learned everything there was to possibly know about adjusting malpositioned teeth for roughly $200 bucks.  Instead, with the full backing of Uncle Sam’s loan program, he went full imbecile.

Yet Meru isn’t alone.  According to the Department of Education, there are 101 people in the U.S. who are a million dollars or more in federal student loan debt.  What’s more, there are 2.5 million people who owe at least $100,000.  What could they have possibly learned that could be so doggone valuable?

Did they discover how to turn nickels into dimes?  Did they solve the geometry of a four-sided triangle?  Did they learn the secrets of the universe?  Did they get an insider’s peek at something more than what happens under the sun?

Delusions of Grandeur

Only at rare moments are people capable of understanding the full implications of the catastrophes of their making.  These rare moments, often just before dawn, are the precise instants when they gain full clarity to the hopeless fact that they have gone full imbecile.  That every decision they have ever made has led them to this exact place – where they find themselves to be completely and utterly screwed.

Nations, like the people who compose them, have also demonstrated that they are unqualified to responsibly function in a world of unlimited credit. Here in The United States of Debt, federal debt has exceeded $21 trillion, corporate debt has topped $6 trillion [ed note: this is only the amount of non-financial corporate debt issued  in the form of bonds – the actual total is around $20 trillion (PT)], and total household debt has reached a record high of over $13 trillion. In other words, the country, as a whole, has gone full imbecile.

Behold the world’s greatest Ponzi scheme in all its splendor – US federal, corporate and household debt (see also our editor note above regarding the size of outstanding corporate debt). [PT]

These debt figures represent the early lightning of the oncoming storm.  These same debt figures are currently ignored by practically everyone.  The nation’s leaders, in particular, are ignoring them. After an 80 year run of near uninterrupted prosperity, who wants to think the unthinkable?

People would rather...

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