Whose Debt is it, Anyway?
By Arnold Kling
Don Boudreaux is puzzled as to why I should care about my country’s net savings position, as opposed to just my personal net savings position.
Suppose that government starts collecting trade data on blonde-haired people.
The government could then calculate the “blonde current-account” and the “blonde capital-account” – that is, reporting the value of blondes’ purchases of goods and services from brunettes, redheads, grey-heads, and other non-blondes…
You can see where he is going with this. Why do I care about the trade account of the average blonde? Why do I care about the trade account of the average American? I think that government, and its power to tax to pay off debts, has something to do with the issue. But I need to think more. The issue is important, because the crisis du jour is the falling dollar, the overhang of U.S. assets held in foreign central banks, etc.
For Discussion. If there were no government, and even currency were private, would there be any reason to take notice of national trade figures?