It seems to me plausible to imagine that Trump could default on the US national debt. He could quite likely stand up at a rally when things get bumpy for him and say, “we don’t actually owe China that money,” Everywhere he goes Trump finds things that people trust and he undermines them e.g the media, the political process, government departments and clean and competent government What’s left? The money,
Trump has made a career out of stiffing his suppliers and his workers and refusing to repay his loans. He’s already grumbling about the Federal Reserve. All he now needs now to say is, “The Chinese stole that money in bad trade deals and theft of hi-tech know-how.” Suddenly, you get a dollar that is under seige, even though people still trust the dollar. (why is a mystery) and there is no mechanism for stopping it. Actually, you used to have a mechanism – it was called the “government”. But Trump controls the government and has installed corrupt yes-men as department heads. Imagining that because Trump is rich and has lots of rich friends who don’t want a financial catastrophe is wrong thinking. Trump has huge dollar debts that shrink if the dollar goes into freefall. It is actually in his interest to undermine the dollar; his other assets are in land, buildings and hotels, which will survive probably adequately.
Just a suggestion about reneging on the national debt at a rally would be enough to get the supporters talking about the idea and thus make it respectable in right-wing circles. He won’t do it just now because he has a good economy, inherited from Obama, but given a dangerous boost by a massive tax cut. The bust will come and it could come in early 2020. The national debt is growing rapidly because tax income is way down. But bust there will be. The whole world will be affected and mountains of promissory notes and promises made by a basically dishonest president will be worth nothing. (an edited version based of an article in Prospect magazine by Jay Elwes, reporting on Michael Lewis’s book “The Fifth Risk”)
What has this to do with Epicureanism? It has to do witheace of mind and a life of pleasure (or, rather, a. pleasant life. I qualify this so that critics stop claiming that Epiurus advocated endless booze and sex – a total travesty.)