British economists are extremely bothered that public debt keeps being likened to credit cards

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This holiday season, a group of progressive British economists are asking for just one thing: When it comes to explaining the country’s spiraling public debt, a personal credit card is not the metaphor you’re looking for.

The use of such metaphors to explain public finances, including by the U.K.’s state broadcaster, is “inappropriate,” the economists said in an open letter, released by the Progressive Policy Think Tank.

That’s because it gives the oversimplified impression that a country’s debt load works in the same way as an individual’s, with hard limits on borrowing, the economists argued—and that limits the

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