New Thinking and Different Actions

Hypothetical 65 year old American Male:

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 285 pounds – 120 # overweight

Health: Marginal, with chronic pain and increasingly difficult daily existence

Ask our hypothetical male if he wants to lose 100 # of unnecessary fat, improve his physical health, live 10 years longer, increase stamina, reduce chronic pain, and drive a golf ball 50 yards longer off the tee.

Reason: He is addicted to his food choices, alcohol consumption, smoking, other activities, thinking and emotions which created ill health, chronic pain, and 120 pounds of excess weight. Different actions and choices are needed, but most people prefer not to modify their habits and behavior.

The Process: Change the quantity and type of food he eats, reduce alcohol consumption, add strength training and flexibility exercises, modify habits, quit smoking, and radically adjust his lifestyle. Most people will not make the effort.

The actions, thinking and emotions that created the problems will not fix those problems. Drastic change is needed or his health and quality of life will deteriorate.

Most people (nations, families, cultures, central bankers, governments etc.) will not change their lifestyle and habits. They will continue doing what created current physical pain and financial ill health.




Suppose the hypothetical American family has $200,000 in credit card and mortgage debt. Income is approximately $40,000 per year. Assume annual credit card and mortgage interest rates average 8%. The interest only on the debt is nearly half the annual income, before many taxes and living expenses. Reducing the principal balance with minimum payments consumes most remaining income – for a very long time, assuming this family could somehow survive without increasing their debt.

This is a problem.

The numbers do not work unless the family can (magically) increase their debt each year – use a new credit card until maxed out, and then do the same with another credit card. Unfortunately, the minimum payments will soon consume the entire annual income and crowd out the family’s ability to pay for necessary living expenses. The credit card issuing banks may think “deadbeat” and refuse to expand credit limits or issue new cards.

This is a problem.

Compare to The U.S. National Debt and Government Finances:


Multiply the debt and income for our hypothetical family by 100,000,000 to appreciate our national debt dilemma. Total official debt is $20 trillion. (Unfunded liabilities are much higher and are not considered in this simple example.) Annual income is about $4 trillion. But the rules are different at the national level:

  • Interest rates are held low. Instead of 8%, the government currently pays only 2 – 3% on the $20 trillion in debt. Eventually risk (currency plus default) might be appropriately priced and interest rates could rise.
  • Debt increases every year. In effect the national credit card has no credit limit and congress spends more every year. To quote a former Vice-President, “Deficits don’t matter.” (But they do!)
  • Expenses will increase rapidly due to the demographics of retiring baby-boomers, huge Medicare and health costs, and war, lots of expensive wars.

Since 1913 the national debt has doubled approximately every 8 – 9 years. Assume it doubles every 8 years from 2017.

Year         Debt

2017      $20 trillion

2025      $40 trillion

2033     $80 trillion

2041    $160 trillion

2049    $320 trillion

This is a problem! It will become a crisis!



If the national debt exceeds $300 trillion in the year 2050, what will a family of four spend for food in a week? Consumer Price Inflation will grow into an ugly monster!!!

Like the example of the hypothetical American male in ill health, the same thinking and actions will lead to ever-increasing unpayable debt, a weaker economy, excessive interest payments, and massive consumer price inflation, perhaps hyper-inflation. A solution requires NEW thinking and DIFFERENT actions.

New thinking and different financial actions should be initiated by our Congress and Administration. Have we seen any positive changes or new and helpful ideas in the last three decades regarding deficits, excessive government spending, and ever-increasing debt?

The consequences of western financial actions and thinking will be increasingly unpleasant for everyone but the financial and political elite. More of the same will be increasingly less viable for the rest of us.

New thinking and different actions are needed!


Read: The Burning Platform: Swindling Futurity

Gary Christenson

The Deviant Investor

6 thoughts on “New Thinking and Different Actions

  1. The process of debasament has been going on for centuries, in the case of the US Dollar since 1913. Despite the huge devaluations, only few people complain, most do not notice anything or think it is not a big deal. In addition, as a society, we have lived quite well within the past 100 years. The quality of life has never been better. Why should be worry about a national debt around $1 quadrillion if interest rates are around 0.3% on treasury paper ? In a $100 trillion economy with a national debt of $1 quadrillion and a prevailing interest rate of 0.3%, the interest on the national debt would be $3 trillion per year or 3% of the GDP. The game can continue of a very long time before it breasks down one day.

  2. There’s a large difference between private debt and public debt. Public (US ;Government for instance) debt is constantly being defaulted upon: the method being low interest rates and inflation. Any entity which dictates what is legal to use as currency, and prints, or otherwise increases the amount of currency, (money, debt) does not default in one event, but traditionally, defaults in small increments over a period of time. Of course, there are those relatively rare periods whereby governments default rather rapidly, with recent examples being Venezuela and Zimbabwe. So please don’t worry about the piddly $20T US debt, nor the unfunded liabilities. All of us will be crushed, but slowly, not rapidly!
    The private person cannot (without severe consequences) print their own currency. Like George Carlin said, (paraphrased) “It’s a club and you ain’t in it.”

  3. When the Roman Empire collapsed, were the survivors better off without the corruption of the controlling elites? When the American Empire collapses, will the survivors be better off without the corruption of the controlling elites? (Inquiring minds want to know.)

    • When the American colonists defeated the occupying British Empire in 1776, was America better off? When Americans remove the vermin from their midst, all of humanity will be better off.

  4. Dear Gary Christenson!
    I always read the excellent articles you write. But I think this one is the best. All people in the western countries should read it! And they MUST understand that their life cannot work out like before. When they – each of them! – will not change then we reach armageddon very soon. I always must think about the great Johnny Cash and his song: “The man comes around”…
    Wish you all the best for future and thank you for all advice!
    I’m living in Crimea, Russia. Thank God!

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