It was recently predicted (based on the rate of USA spending) that on October 31st 2011 the USA debt to GDP would hit 100%. For those who get a headache with numbers this sort of points to America being bust. Combine that with the Eurozone saga plus other issues and you have a perfect storm.
Me: So, did America go bust on that day?
KB: No, some spooky stuff happened (i.e something like $100+ billion was "found") that means it will be about another 45 days. Each day the nightmare around the world then just gets a little worse. You might not feel it yet. Many people do.
Me: Why can you see through some of the pumpkins?
KB: The pumpkins are imaginary, the nightmare is real.
Me: The mouths on all your pumpkins look like currency symbols.
KB: Yes. You've got it now.
Me: Does it matter if the USA goes bust?
KB: I don't think they will go bust. They will find a way to make someone else pay for it.
Me: So, is the painting also about Europe?
KB: Yes, when someone bothers to do some adding up I think we will have the same problem. I suspect they've already had the calculator out and they're now busy trying to find a magic spell to make the result go away. They will find a way to make us pay for it. You, that is. And me. And our kids. And probably their kids too. Actually they've already been building up that aspect of modern life for a while.
Me: So if me (and the rest of the 99%) has to pay for it, I won't have the spare cash to go on holiday?
KB: That might well be the case. If things don't get too bad that is.
Me: Oh dear.
KB: Yes, now perhaps you can see what the nightmare is.
Me: Where does the MoneyMare picture sit politically?
KB: Neither left, right or on the fence. Yet again, I don't think there's a right answer to the problem unless someone can invent a time machine and go back to correct the over spending. The left might say spend more to "create" jobs but we'd add to our debt. The right might say spend less to pay off our debt while some say that would lead to less money to pay the debt due to less money for jobs. Either way, if you want to spend more, where will you get it? If you want to tax more, where will you get it? I think we have to do the best we can and most importantly, learn from this. Voices from the past and lessons from history anyone? Can anyone in any government actually add up numbers? We should put in place some constitutional reforms so that we have a mechanism to keep things sane and put the nightmare to rest once and for all. Until then the torment will continue.
Me: Will you be sad when proved wrong about the "nightmare" when it does not happen?
KB: Not at all, I really do hope that an all round happy solution is found. It will be nice to look back on my thinking now & the turbulent times we live in from the comfort of my pension that didn't get eaten by companies that were meant to grow it. Oh, too late on that last bit.
Me: How many pumpkins are there?
KB: Count them for yourself and see if this is correct, 295.
Me: What is the significance of that number?
KB: People are welcome to contact me with what they think that is a reference to.
Me: Where do you stand on the 99% Vs 1% thing?
KB: I have found myself frequently stunned at how money can legally be stolen from peasants like me. Example; I use to put money into a pension plan but when I get the statement, even in boom times, the returns are frequently near zero or worse as the fund dwindles away. Something is wrong. There is no trust. Trust needs to be restored so that we can move on.
Me: Should we put tax up?
KB: I think that, from a peasant level view, we (as peasants) are drowning in tax. I use to work in high tech' fields but for at least 10 years saw my real tax rise as my real income dived. Arrrrgh, you got me started again, stop it, not TAX too. The nightmare blooms.
Me: Should we put tax up?
KB: If "we" do, I think I'm already paying too much thanks, time to look elsewhere. A lot of people (99%) are pointing in one particular direction. I don't know how you sensibly make use of that focus but having it might be a starting point. If things pan out sensibly it might just take a little tweak rather that something dramatic. I think we also need to tie political hands when borrowing hits a given level (perhaps with more flexibility only in times of genuine perril).
Acrylic on board.