New Rules: Balance of Trade vs. Balance of Payments and National Debt

For certain there is one professional field of study and practice that produces more statistics, charts and prophesies than all others combined . . . that field is economics.  To be clear, this short comment does not intend to address the multiple variations in opinions of economists.

Here is a to-the-point presentation of what economists are saying . . . and recognizes the outcomes. Read the articles and sources linked-to herein for additional information.

Comparing by using pictures:

U.S. Balance of Trade vs. China Balance of Trade

“Since 1995, China has been recording consistent trade surpluses which from 2004 to 2009 has increased 10 times.” In 2014, the biggest trade surpluses were recorded with Hong Kong, the United States, Netherlands, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

China recorded trade deficits with Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and Germany. China's trade surplus at new record high in February, while imports into China declined by 20.5 percent year-on-year In January 2015.

Balance of Trade

The difference between the value of exports and the value of imports.

When the value of exports exceeds that of imports, a country is said to have a trade surplus.

When the value of imports exceeds that of exports, a country is said to have a trade deficit.

Balance of Trade

There is disagreement on the impact of the balance of trade in an economy. Economists believe that some deficit is good, however too much for a lengthy period of time lowers the GDP of a country, and over time can lead to unemployment. Lengthy unemployment leads to loss of skills and the inability to produce products and services domestically.

Other economists believe that the balance of trade has little impact, because the more international trade occurs, the more likely it is that foreign countries will invest the surplus of funds earned in the deficit countries securities. . . creating a balance of payments.

Balance of Payments:

The record of money payments between one country and other countries. Balance of payments is more inclusive than balance of trade because balance of payments comprises foreign investment, loans, and other cash flows as well as payments for goods and services.

A country's balance of payments has a significant effect on its currency value in relation to other currencies. It is of particular interest to individuals who own foreign investments or who own domestic investments in companies dependent upon exports.

Balance of Payments

National Debt:

The total value of all outstanding Treasury bills, notes, and bonds that the federal government owes investors is referred to as the national debt.

The government holds some of this debt itself, in accounts such as the Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and Highway, Airport and Airway Trust Funds. The rest is held by individual and institutional investors, both domestic and international, or by overseas governments.

There is a debt ceiling imposed by Congress, but it is typically raised when outstanding debt approaches that level.

Interest on the national debt is a major item in the federal budget, but the national debt is not the same as the federal budget deficit. The deficit is the amount by which federal spending exceeds federal income in a fiscal year.

National Debt

US Debt Clock:

Explore debt by state, world countries and the time machine. Issues to review are the total US National Debt vs. US Federal Tax Revenue.

Check the population data and compare, with special attention to:

US Work Force 2015 vs. 2000

Not in Labor Force 2015 vs. 2000

US Debt Clock

New Rules: U.S. Economy and International Trade:

The updated chart and posting summarize the long-term faced by the US Economy. Many mistakes have been made . . . can they be corrected?

Disintermediation of the supply chain and offshoring manufacturing has resulted in the loss of tax revenue and fees.


No matter how a loaf of bread is sliced, eventually the end of the loaf is reached. For the US economy, the end of the loaf appears to have been reached long ago.

Somehow, decisions by congress and the administration during the 1996-2000 period, set in place the status of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for China. Congress believed it would benefit the US economy. However, the benefit is not in sight!

Increased purchase of imports may translate to other governments purchasing U.S. Securities and investments via loans and other debt instruments. In an unusual way, this provides funds for government to pay social transfer costs of unemployment caused by the imbalance of trade.

However, it has also lead to increased unemployment, food stamps, medical welfare, loss of personal pride, loss of the ability to learn skills, decreased home valuations, negative investment interest, increased immigration competing for fewer jobs, and increasing demonstrations in the streets.

Presently, those are the facts, not prophesies.

New Rules: Get Back to America First!

Posted in New Rules.