In 100 years, what will be the problem of the day be? Terrorism? Global warming?To tell you the truth, I think one thing will trump them all: the national debt. It almost been a decade since we, as a country, have started to accumulate a increasing amount of debt that tops over 19 trillion dollars and will probably exceed 20 in the coming months. This may not be a problem now, but in 20 or 30 years, this may be a major one.
It worries me deeply that not too many people in the mainstream are truly worried about the debt. ISIS may be a threat to our national security, immigrants may pour over are border seeking free hand outs, but these things do not even compare to the weight of our national debt. Especially due to the many programs like social security that have trillions in future payments to workers still working.
These payments or unfunded obligations total over 70 trillion and would make the actual debt of the country be around 90 trillion. This is a very similar situation that occurred over 2 millennia ago in the Roman empire. Stricken by debt and needing to pay it’s soldiers, many emperors decided to mint more coins, or in the modern case, print more money, which intern raised inflation to new heights.
Rome may have been destroyed by man, but debt brought it to its knee’s. The empire stretched thin from it’s borders in the wild north to the deserts of Africa. Not to mention the never ending bread and circus that depleted it’s coffers, and all of this is withholding the salaries of the great armies that are spread across the entirety of the empire. This parallels greatly with what the American government faces today. We face a great challenge of how to deal with the debt. Should we go down the road of Rome and see certain economic failure? Or we could go the way of trying to control the debt and become fiscally responsible when it seems that government has chosen not to be.
Reform must be the answer to these problems, though it may be especially tough due to that fact that social security was a promise to those who pay into in it. It would be a very horrible thing to break that promise to so many hard working people, but reform must come and must come quickly or my children and their's will live in a world of great instability and strife just like those that lived in Rome during it’s fall.