Richard was an excellent guest but I have to counter a few points on sovereign (govt) debt. First of all, Kyle believes that we owe the majority of our debt to China when in fact they have only 8% of our debt (Link
). We owe the vast majority to ourselves. Second, personal debt is not like sovereign debt for a number of reasons; 1) if collectors want to collect, they have to go through our military. An individual has no such protections. 2) We can print money temporarily. This can drive up the debt further, but it can also deflate the value of the US dollar, and since other countries hold our debt in the dollar it reduces our foreign liabilities. This is also a temporary measure, and temporary inflation is utterly harmless. 3) A debtor's CREDIBILITY is the most important factor when it comes to sovereign debt. The US isn't at risk to collapse at any moment, we're still the richest and most powerful country in the world, so lenders have faith in us. It's the difference between lending to Bill Gates and the average american. Greece is a great counterexample where they LIED about their debt for years so creditors lost faith and their economy collapsed.