Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Free at last!

Isn't it amazing how important milestones can go seemingly unnoticed?

On December 31, the UK finished paying back the money it borrowed from the USA to pay for our recovery after the Second World War. Amazingly, everything that the USA sent to us DURING the war was free - food, tanks, ships, aeroplanes, the lot! That was something that I had not realised, the term "Lend Lease" implying that we were paying for the stuff, at least to me!

After the war we needed to rebuild, well, just about everything and our good friends over the pond gave massive loans at very low rates so that we could do it.

Possibly a coinsidence, I noticed a report today that announced that living standards in the UK might be about to overtake those in the US for the first time since the 17th Century (ie when England owned America). Could it be that this is because we will have stopped paying off our loan and will be able to put the money to better use at home? Will the US really be missing our payments that much? I sincerely doubt it! But just in case, George, if you want a loan...

10 comments:

mindy said...

Basically America is going down the shitter - I'm not gonna sugar coat it. Maybe I should move to England...

mr zig said...

I had no idea the countries ACTUALLY paid off their debts! It always just seems like a big number they get to talk about - saying they have so much debt.... oh soooo much - but it's cook to know that it actually does get paid off!

Jahooni said...

Yes we.. cough cough "I" will miss it, just write out a check to jahooni and I will make your debt good.
:-)

Jen said...

Um. Right. I'm with Mr. Zig - I never really thought countries paid back their debts. You guys totally rock the cassbar, but I have a feeling that even though ya'll paid back your loan(s), somehow the good ole USofA won't have enough money to pull ourselves out of our debt(s).

I'm not very political on my blog (or others), but I noticed you asked Princess of the Universe what she thought of the US Presidential race. And though I'm not her - nor does she enforce my opinion, I'm adding my 2-cents. I don't like nobody.

I'm so screwed.

Kiki said...

How much weight does the UK put in our Prsedential system? Do the people care, does Parliament? Do we Americans care? Its so hard to know the right thing to do, you want to hope that #1. You do have a voice and a chance to make a mark for the right person for the job and #2. That once whomever gets in office does the right thing.

This ship needs some turning around. I am hopeful though, i want the best for this country and I would like us to be at peace, not rely so much on oil and everyone to have available health care. We could learn something from our Northern neighbours.(that spelling is just for you.)

ginoilsalumiere said...

Nice to meet you!

Rock Chef said...

Mindy - have you ever sugar coated anything? :-) I would not recommend emigration, though.

Zig - I was as shocked as you! Still, it did take nearly 60 years!

Jahooni - I will forward the message to Mr Brown :-)

Jen - The question to Princess was more rhetorical than anything, what with her now being a "thinking blogger" and all. I must say I would find it hard to choose...

Kiki - Whether the average Brit likes it or not, we do tend to bob along in America's wake. Events over there have a big effect over here. We sometimes appear to be the 51st State...

Oh dear, did I start something?

Reggie said...

France ignored their debt to the US.

Logziella said...

I'm coming in a little late on this one...but...I must echo the comments...I guess I didnt' realize either that 'some' countries actually paid those debts either. Wow...

Rock Chef said...

Reggie - As a Brit it is my duty to view the French as a bunch of cheese eating surrender monkeys, so I cannot be surprised by this!

Logzie - I am starting to wonder just how rare this sort of thing is. Maybe I will check out the World Bank website or something to see if I can find out.