Your Debt Isn’t Meant to Be Repaid — Here’s Why

Amanda Claypool
8 min readJun 1, 2023
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

When you think about debt what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Your ballooning credit card payment?

All the bills stacking up on your dining room table?

Crunching the numbers and realizing you’re never going to be able to catch up?

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Americans now collectively hold more than $17 trillion in debt.

T-R-I-L-L-I-O-N.

That number is so large it’s hard to grasp.

For perspective, if all 213.6 million working-age adults worked for $30 per hour to pay off the debt, each person would have to work for 2,662 hours.

That’s basically sacrificing more than a year of your life just to pay down the debt. Not to cover your living expenses or pay Uncle Sam his fair share in income taxes.

Just debt.

And that also assumes a wage that is far above the current minimum standard. In reality, it would take several years to pay it off given the current level of wages.

What this tells us is that debt isn’t intended to be repaid. It’s like a Gordian Knot of finance that’s designed to be impossible to overcome.

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Amanda Claypool

I’m a writer & strategy consultant musing about the future of the world as it’s unfolding. Stay ahead of the curve: https://amandaclaypool.ck.page/reading-list