I donate blood regularly, about 2 to 4 times a year. Someone in need gets my blood in a potentially life saving procedure and I get the satisfaction of helping out. Recently our local donation center has been calling more often asking for more frequent donations as there is a shortage of my blood type. The limit is once every 8 weeks, enough time for the body to replenish the blood supply.
Imagine if the need for blood increased so that voluntary donations weren't enough. All healthy people were required to give their blood. At first it was only once a year. Due to the abundance of blood, new cures are discovered requiring blood. The increase in demand results in the need for two mandatory blood "donations" a year. Then 3 a year. Then 4 a year. Soon, every healthy person has to give blood every 8 weeks to keep up with demand.
The experts realize that we can actually give blood every 7 weeks and still be healthy. Demand increases. So they change it to every 6 weeks, then 5 weeks, 4, 3, 2...
The whole system becomes unsustainable as more and more donors become too sick to donate.
Does this sound unrealistic?
Yesterday, the headlines read "CBO report forecasts unsustainable debt in long term"
What does that mean?
Debt is like taking someone's blood. You can't just keep doing it.
Our country used to sustain itself financially without an income tax (before the 16th Amendment in 1913). The income tax was small at first (just 1%), but it has continually increased. Then the revenues weren't enough for the demands of the nation, so we started going into debt. Like the example of the blood donations, the amount of money being pulled out of our economy to pay for our debt will exceed the sustainable levels required for a healthy recovery. In my opinion, this is the biggest threat that our country faces (more than climate change, immigration, terrorism, healthcare, etc.). Are we bleeding to death? We will if things don't change.
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