If the unthinkable happens, if the “never has happened before” actually happens and the U.S. defaults on its debt, 640,000 jobs would vanish. That’s just one of the really bad things that centrist think tank The Third Way suggests will take place if our nation hits the legal limits of its debt.
Of course, defaulting on our nation’s debt would be a black swan event. Because the default would be a first, because it involves so many interlocking parts, and because the federal government touches so many of us economically in so many direct and indirect ways, the domino effect is extremely difficult to predict. And while we are stuck on the tracks and can see the train a-comin’ in August, it remains a strangely random event because it is so hard to predict what it is that Washington will do. It’s like trying to forecast the weather. Meteorologists frequently get it wrong because there is such a freakish amount of variables. They get it wrong even with the help of monster computers that do in hours what it would have taken a whole lifetime for a weatherman to calculate. Only, this isn’t a twister or a hurricane that, though devastating, is over in a few hours or days. This wouldn’t be over for a very long time.
So, as someone who advocates for career optimization, as someone who advocates for bringing great talent together with great companies, I am keenly aware the tearing apart that would occur would be tragic.
Please, let’s not go there.