So you might or might not be aware about the debt ceiling argument currently taking place in the US. I’ve already written about this, but President Biden for some reason didn’t listen to me (perhaps because he doesn’t read my blog – which is disappointing). Other, more famous people have written about it too,, but the President insists on pretending he has to make a deal with the Republicans. So, to catch everyone up, here’s how this all works.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. US Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 4 The debt ceiling is unconstitutional. We’ve let the Republicans play their games for long enough, in the interest of “stability of the economy” and a general fear of rocking the boat, but that time is over now.
Even early last week, before restaurants were closed, before we were banned from unnecessary gatherings, when many people still had to go into their office jobs, the bars were empty on my street. I walked into one, ordered a cocktail, asked the bartender why it was so slow. It was usually slow on Tuesdays, of course, but normally there was at least one other customer. But the pandemic had already scared everyone else away, and if it continued, the bar would surely have to close.
A common trope within left-leaning American circles is to claim that the US is the only “developed” or “industrial” or “major” or “first world” country to not have X, where X is usually something like “publicly funded health care” or “government-guaranteed paid family leave” or similar. Recently this came up with Bernie Sanders and his common refrain that the US was the only “major” country to not guarantee health care as a human right.