Thomas Piketty’s forthcoming book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shows that on a net basis the U.S. does not have any public debt and perhaps never did.
Matthew Yglesias: “The conventional way for debt scaremongers to measure the national debt is to compare gross public debt to GDP. But the normal way you measure the debt load of a business or a household is to ask for a net figure.”
“It’s simply not the case that a large amount of gross debt is a sign of overextension. It’s typically a sign of prosperity and creditworthiness.”
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