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Given the title of this post, I obviously have some concerns about the future. Mostly, this is because the future is where all of our recent wealth has been plundered from.
If you borrow money to plant an apple tree, you are enriching the future with apples. If you borrow money to buy a huge SUV that depreciates by 10% the minute you drive it off the lot, you are just robbing wealth from the future. I see a lot of huge SUVs and other expensive cars on the road that were most certainly bought with borrowed money.
If money borrowed is money owed, that wealth is going to be extracted from future paychecks. Just like the huge government debts now being run up—that wealth is going to have to be extracted from future generations. The only alternatives to paying back this money are default or hyper-inflation.
The vikings never plundered as much in their conquests as our society has plundered from the future. I've looked at the ruins of small settlements on the Scottish coast that never recovered from their encounters with the vikings. I can only imagine the kind of damage our borrowings have done to future generations.
However, eventually credit runs out. This means that when someone gets bored of their SUV after three years, they won't have the financial resources to buy a new. Despite the surge in new sub-prime auto loans (according to the Wall Street Journal), the age of cars on the American roads is getting higher and higher.
Our economy can't run on borrowed money forever. When the music finally stops, the age of cars on the road will only continue to soar. Which will probably be good news for people selling spare parts to those cars, for instance bearings.
Bearings that can be found right here at bearings.parts. We will probably be willing to trade them for food. And remember, a good solid bearing can also be a nice improvised tool for warding off zombies.