Peak Oil and Debt

Greeks, on the one hand, want to maintain their standard of living and need debt to do so. Banks, on the other hand, want to grow their business and are motivated to loan more. When physical constraints to growth exist, like peak oil, this is a deadly mix. If you get in over your head on debt then both parties will experience a lot of pain.

The bigger picture is that most countries in the world are living well beyond their means, and equally important, their means are in decline due to peak oil. The main mechanism we use to live beyond our means is to grow debt faster than income. This works for a while but only delays, and then makes MUCH worse, the inevitable day of reckoning.

I think it is time we had an adult conversation and took action to acknowledge we are living well beyond our means and that our means are in decline.

We should shrink the public sector to a level we can afford without debt.  If you value public services then vote to keep them with higher taxes. Debt only works when growth is possible. We must stop using debt in a post peak oil world.

Debt is analogous to CO2. We could (or could have) collapsed the economy and held at less than 2 degrees, which would have been painful, but we chose not to and are now on a path to a much worse fate.

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