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Here is my argument for the debt owned by resourceless consumers to resourceful producers (as currency, bonds, loans, or other means). Is it correct? If not, where am I going wrong?

  1. Economic value is produced by consumers fulfilling their needs and desires in exchange for promise to pay back the value in the form, and at the time desired by the producer (Since the debt is usually denominated in fiat currency, it implies that the promise to pay back is in the form, and at the time desired by the producer).

  2. The system is balanced if the consumers produce of equal value (the producers consume of equal value). Otherwise, it creates debt: the promise of paying back in the future.

  3. As long as everyone doesn’t produce the value they consume, there exist some producers who produce in excess of what they consume. In other words, if the producers produce more than they consume, they get others to consume their excess produce in exchange for promise of future pay back (currency in other words).

  4. No mechanism exists for this future pay back. Even a possible future abundance would not allow this pay back since the abundant goods and services would lose their value. In other words, the abundant goods and services would not be accepted by the cash-rich producers since they need the goods and services for re-selling (and only a neglible portion for their own consumption).

  5. Thus, the fundamental basis of all currency (and thus most of the wealth) is unrepayable debt: either owed by the Government or the net consumers to the net producers.

  6. This is unsustainable and its eventual collapse is inevitable.

[I believe this argument is self-sufficient. However, if the reader doesn't think so, they may refer this write-up for a more elaborate reasoning.]

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An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money, Paul A. Samuelson

https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/258100

This paper describes money as a perpetuity which must persist for infinite generations to support distribution of consumption goods to retirement households.

In terms of legal attributes the debt instruments are financial savings that earn interest and have superior claim on assets in bankruptcy compared to equity instruments which earn dividends and take the first loss in bankruptcy. Some debts will repay over time and others will not depending on the future path of events in the political-economy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Amazing article! You sir/madam, are a gem 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 $\endgroup$ – Ritesh Singh Jan 13 at 1:51

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