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Do the math: Nine countries have debt-to-GDP ratios over 300 percent; this will end disastrously


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(NaturalNews) The world's great powers, over the past 100 years, have grown more liberal in their societies and socialist in their economies.

Of course, plenty of people will dispute that, but facts are, as they say, facts, and no matter how many times you shout down the truth teller, that won't change.

And in this case, the facts are in the numbers or, more specifically, in the percentages - as in, "debt-to-GDP" ratios (GDP being "gross domestic product," or the value/amount of all goods and services produced within a country on an annual basis).

At present, there are a huge number of countries - many with very large economies - whose debt-to-GDP ratios are so far out of balance that there is virtually no way they can ever be corrected, at least in one lifetime. And every one of them have very liberal or very progressive (i.e. "socialist") taxpayer-funded public entitlement and benefits programs.

Monster debts for most countries in the West

What's more, as their population ages, there are fewer and fewer citizens in the workforce of those countries to pay the taxes necessary to fund the government's programs.

What's more, in most if not all of the countries with absurd debt-to-GDP ratios, it is politically impossible to "reform" the government benefits programs, meaning they will remain on autopilot until the countries themselves simply run out of a) money; b) credit; or c) both.

Here is a list of countries with the highest ratios, as reported by Zero Hedge:

Japan - 400 percent
Ireland - 390 percent
Singapore - 382 percent
Portugal - 358 percent
Belgium - 327 percent
Netherlands - 325 percent
Greece - 317 percent
Spain - 313 percent
Denmark - 302 percent
Sweden - 290 percent

You can see the complete list here.

The United States, by the way, is No. 16 on the list, at 233 percent; Canada is at 221 percent.

Notably, China is on the list at No. 22 at 217 percent, but Russia is not on the list. This is important because a) China holds more than $1.3 trillion of U.S. debt; and b) it's never a good thing for an aggressive Russia to be in a better financial position than the U.S.

What's also noteworthy about the countries that made the list is that most of them are Western; so much debt will hamper their ability to bolster defenses at a time when Moscow is stepping up its game.

But overall, the amount of money it would take for these countries to bring their debt back under control doesn't exist - unless the countries continue to create it out of thin air, like they have been (think the Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing program, which has artificially inflated the nation's money supply by some $4 trillion).

Reformers 'shouted down'

Moreover, a number of countries high atop the debt-to-GDP ratio list have already exhibited signs of impending financial collapse:

Ireland: In January, the land of green held a debt auction, selling 4 billion euros' worth of seven-year bonds that will yield 0.867 percent to 160 investors, Bloomberg News reported. In all, the Irish government plans to sell 10-15 billion euros worth of bonds in all of 2015. That's good; but a collapse in property tax revenue at the outset of the Great Recession tanked the economy, requiring a European Central Bank bailout. While growth is returning, there is still that debt ratio to deal with, and there's some question as to whether Ireland can sustain its rebound.

Portugal: It, too, required an ECB bailout and teetered on collapse. EU finance officials say the bailout, along with economic reforms including the adoption of austerity measures, may save Portugal - for now. But the debt ratio is not falling fast enough.

Greece: The country was making some progress but then its citizens put the far-left Syriza party in power, and they came to power promising to end the austerity measures that were adopted as a condition of an ECB bailout. Days ago the EU agreed to extend the bailout term but there are indications that Greek leaders want to return to the bad old days of generous public pensions and paying out entitlements that the country - judging by its debt ratio - can just no longer afford.

In the U.S., the national debt - at more than $18 trillion - is nothing compared to the total debt when unfunded benefits programs are added; then it becomes something like an astounding $95.4 trillion.

And any talk in Washington, D.C., of reforming these entitlements gets shouted down.

Sources:

http://www.zerohedge.com

http://www.foxbusiness.com

http://www.zerohedge.com

http://www.bostonglobe.com

http://www.bloomberg.com

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