The Doomsday Clock of Bankruptcy Revealed

Cover of the 1947 Bulletin of the Atomic Scien...

Cover of the 1947 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists issue that first featured the Doomsday Clock at seven minutes to midnight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Doomsday Clock is an imaginary clock invented by atomic scientists symbolizing the dangers for impending doom. It started out emphasizing the dangers of atomic warfare but evolved to include anything that can end mankind’s reign on Earth, including global warning. Like the original Doomsday Clock of history, there ought to be a doomsday clock for bankruptcy as well.

The Doomsday Clock of History Compared

The United States destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs in 1945. Four months later, a group of the Manhattan Project scientists created a magazine named The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This magazine was devoted to warning the world of the dangers of the weapons they had unleashed on the world’s society.

Two years after starting the magazine, the Bulletin’s Board of Directors came up with the idea of using a non-working clock to symbolize the threat of nuclear weapons. The clock represents the message that mankind has only a few minutes until midnight which represents the ultimate nuclear war. The scientist meet annually to move the minute hands back and forth to represent how close we are getting in world events to a nuclear war. Each minute ticked forward or backward represents world events occurring that may effect the time we have in causing the impending destruction with nuclear weapons.

This year, the scientists recently ticked the clock one minute closer to midnight to illustrate how we have contributed to global warming as a species, and how we are still dependent on certain sources of energy that we could fight over.

The Doomsday Clock of history can be compared to the doomsday clock of bankruptcy.

The Doomsday Clock of Bankruptcy Revealed

Like the Doomsday Clock of history, the doomsday clock of bankruptcy is a symbol of impending doom but for bankruptcy of the United States economic system.

I am sitting the imaginary doomsday clock to 14 minutes until midnight. Midnight on the doomsday clock of bankruptcy represents the time at which the United States can no longer take in enough income under the current taxing structure to make interest payments on our national debt. At that point, the United States will be doomed to financial ruin because it will have to default on its debts. Another way of putting it is that the United States will have officially entered into bankruptcy.

The current amount of interest being paid on our national debt is projected to be close to a half trillion dollars in 2013, or about 10% of our projected total income from all US sources. The past seven years our national debt has doubled. In the same time frame, our national income rose by about 7%. That means if the trend continues indefinitely concerning our national debt, in just 14 years, the United States would need to take the entire amount of income it takes in from its citizens to pay just the interest on the debts.

Each tick of the doomsday clock of bankruptcy equals one of those years it will take before America can no longer pay its debts under the current tax system. The United States doomsday clock of bankruptcy has been revealed, and it is now ticking.

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