Thursday, August 09, 2012

The rich are investing in our debt

Interesting article about how the rich are hoarding more of their money in recent years.

I'll add some of my own opinions here.

Hoarding money usually means a lot of cash goes to so called "safe haven" investments. These are investments like US Treasury Bonds. This contributes to an economic environment of low interest rates. Low interest rates combined with low taxes encourages "borrow and spend" rather than "tax and spend" public policy. Easy to borrow with low interest rates, but hard to tax in today's political climate.

Eventually, it seems likely that government debt will becomes unsustainable. Safe haven investments aren't necessarily that safe in the future.

Even the rich, according to this article, are not real comfortable with the precarious situation that all these tax cuts have created. Much of the tax cut mantra comes from political consultants, politicians and handlers, rather than the rich themselves.

When the rich hoard their money in things like US Treasuries, rather than invest it in private business opportunities, private sector jobs are not created. Money put into savings ends up funding government debt which is used by government to create jobs and spending.

Conservatives often call for cutting back government spending, but this just tends to eliminate the government jobs and put many folks, such as Medicare recipients, out in the cold. Maybe the rich should invest more of their money into job creating business ventures if they want private sector job creation, but they are too chicken for these risky investments. Also there are many environmental issues and restrictions related to business growth. Red tape and so forth. I don't mean to let the rich off too easy, but these are factors as well.

We need to find some new ways out of this precarious situation.

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