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Eco-Economy: Till Debt Us Do Part?


Till Debt Us Do Part?

By Alun Fosta

New Zealand Student Loan Debt

Student loans are $7 Billion and rising, as the debt clock ticks on like a time bomb. The University of Canterbury Students’ Association launched its ‘debt clock’ in May 2002. The clock started at around $5 Billion, has now passed $7 Billion, and is ticking along, apparently, at $40,000.00 per hour.

New Zealand Government Overseas Debt

Don Brash, while Governor of the Reserve Bank, said, in a speech to the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce, in January 2002: "It is also worth noting that the New Zealand Government now has no net foreign currency debt. The small amount of foreign currency Government Debt is fully matched by foreign currency assets held by the Treasury and the Reserve Bank."

But look at the figures below, obtained directly from the New Zealand Reserve Bank website at www.rbnz.govt,nz/statsitics/extfin/e1/data.html and form your own conclusions.

Date External Debt Foreign Currency Assets Difference
March 2001 $16.9 Billion $ 8.56 Billion -$8.34 Billion (1)
March 2004 $18.18 Billion $10.70 Billion -$7.48 Billion (2)

But wait, there’s more.

The Government’s Overseas Debt is but a small proportion of its overall debt, as can be seen from the second set of figures

Date External Debt (Net see (1) above Internal Debt Total Debt
March 2001 $8.34 Billion $27.25 Billion $35.59 Billion
March 2004 $7.48 Billion $35.50 Billion $42.98 Billion

The $42.98 Billion means that every man, woman and child in New Zealand (assuming 4 million) owes around $10,750.

But wait, there’s more.

The $10,750. represents only what each New Zealander owes on behalf of the Government. Let us now consider the local situation here in Northland. The Far North District Council’s debt, according to a press release issued November 25, 2003, is $34.30 Million (and set to rise).

The population of Northland, according to the 2001 census, is 57,900 Divide $34.30 Million by 57,900 and you come up with $592.40. So, in addition to the $10,750.we all owe to the rulers in Wellington, we owe an additional $592.40 to the rulers in Kaikohe.

But wait, there’s more.

New Zealand Corporate overseas debt amounts to $123.449 Billion which, when added to the Government’s Overseas Debt amounts to a staggering $ 141.63 Billion. The GDP of New Zealand is $137.1 Billion, which means that we owe more overseas than we produce in a year.

But wait, there’s more.

Personal debt in New Zealand now amounts to $190.07 Billion, which means that very New Zealander personally owes $47,517.00 -- in addition to the $11,342.40 owed by the two levels of government shown above. Personal debt in New Zealand has gone up by $18.272 Billion in the last 12 months, which means that every New Zealander has gone a further $4568 into debt.

Have you ever wondered why, no matter which government/parties are in control, no debt level has gone down?

Have you ever wondered why, since the present ‘debt money system’ is such a total disaster, no alternative is even suggested, never mind tried?

Have you ever wondered why, when/if the Government needs say $1,000,000.00, it prints up a $1,000,000.00 of Bonds, gives them to a bank which then literally creates $1,000,000.00 out of nothing, and lends it to the Government at whatever interest rate it can get? What is to stop the Government creating the $1,000,000.00 interest and debt free and spending it into the economy?

I recently asked this very question of National’s finance spokesman, Mr. John Key, and his answer was that there is nothing to stop the Government doing just that. The problem is, of course, that if that kind of monetary system were to be introduced, the moneylenders would cease to be the slave masters which they are now.

Some readers may remember the fairy story written by Hans Christian Anderson and called ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ there was even a song written about it. The ‘debt money system’ is the same principle, except the ‘con men’ are not tailors, but bankers who did a fine spin job on the politicians, and the vast majority of the population persuading them that the money system was the best thing since sliced bread, and that anyone who didn’t see it that way was stupid. It took an innocent child, who didn’t have to impress anyone, to see through the scam.

There has to be ‘debt’ all the time for the economy to ‘keep going’. When the economy is OK, businesses borrow more in order to produce and sell more, and the public goes and borrows more to buy more. The Government collects more taxes so it doesn’t have to borrow (as much) so personal and corporate debt increase, as has been proved over the last 12 months.

The economy starts to slow down, the public buy and borrow less, unemployment increases, the Government gets less tax, so it then goes and borrows more to pay the increased benefits and so it goes on.

As I was writing this, I came across a very interesting article on Scoop entitled ‘The Budget Hoax 2004’ written by Lowell Manning. It is very interesting and well worth a visit to:

**** ENDS ****

- Alun Fosta is a New Zealand Writer, a committed “Government OF the (few) Bankers, BY the (few) Bankers, FOR the few Bankers conspiracy theorist and avowed anti-establishmentarian. Comments can be sent to otherside532@yahoo. co. nz

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