Hello: What is the meaning of "I Owe, Therefore I Am" in the following title? -

"I Owe, Therefore I Am: The Impossibility of Imagining a Post-Debt US"

Does it refer to someone owing someone something? Thanks!


1 Answer 1


The famous phrase from the philosopher Descartes is "I think, therefore I am" which originally denoted that the minimum evidence for the existence of a self is that the self thinks. It has been changed many times as a pun to succinctly state the importance of various things. In this case, presumably, the author is making a case for either the importance of debt or the universality of debt.

  • youtu.be/Zy20Jo0VVbs?t=63
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 14, 2019 at 11:52
  • Thank you for the explanation! It's just such a girly odd expression - I don't think I'll ever be able to use it in the right context.
    – Maurice
    Sep 18, 2019 at 2:09

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