HomeArticlesGovernmentWhen Government Borrowing is a Fundamental Violation of Human Rights

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When Government Borrowing is a Fundamental Violation of Human Rights — 4 Comments

  1. Your cartoon at the beginning says “…can be…” Shouldn’t that read, “is?”

    Didn’t Alexander Hamilton argue from the beginning, that having some government debt helped insure the monied class’s loyalty to the government that needed to pay them back. It does go both ways. I suppose that’s the reason that the proverb of “Neither a lender nor a borrower be.” exists.

    • You are right about “Is”, and I have changed it accordingly. As for Hamilton’s point, if you read the article all the way through, you will see that I have a section on voluntary lending through sale of bonds as legitimate. This is what Hamilton meant. The whole article was not about government borrowing per se, but government borrowing that incurs involuntary debt or servitude on third parties. In the case of government bonds, they should be repaid by user fees or “voluntary” taxes (like excise taxes), not involuntary taxes. Unfortunately, our government funding largely switched from “voluntary” to “involuntary,” taking away freedom, in 1913.

  2. Gordon is always eloquent and persuasive.Like me, he likes to provoke to make a point. Saying that all governments, including ours, are guilty of slavery is a useful metaphor, I suppose.
    But there is no question that governments (local as well as national) sometimes have to borrow and incur debt. The main difference between Gordon and myself is HOW MUCH. I am more “Keynesian;” I favor stimulus spending. Besides economic recessions, other crises can also warrant massive borrowing. Remember that our national debt was higher during World War Two than it is now.

    • Tom we may or may not disagree on the AMOUNT of debt, my main point was that INVOLUNTARY debt foisted onto a third party is a form of slavery and theft. Therefore if there is to be debt, it should not be based upon structural violence, but either upon the sale of bonds or voluntary fees and taxes like user fees and sales taxes. The current US system is largely a system of structural violence. Our income tax system is no model to hold up and export to the rest of the world.

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