The world doesn't have a public-sector debt problem. Only the West does.

There is a troubling perspective rolling around some components of the conservative media landscape.  It posits that the economic difficulties in the West are shared by the rest of the world.  They are not.  Public-sector debt is a classic example of this.

The advanced economies are sitting at a gross government debt-to-GDP ratio of 105 percent.  The emerging market and developing economies, which now make up a much larger share (almost 60 percent) of the global economy than do the advanced economies, are at just 43 percent and holding.

The euro area's public debt is 94 percent of GDP, while the major advanced economies (G7) are at 118 percent.  Compare that to the so-called "other advanced economies" (i.e., the advanced economies excluding the G7 and euro area), who are at 40 percent, and the source of the debt problem in the advanced economies becomes clear.  Hint: it is the G7 and euro area.

Emerging and developing Asia and Europe are in fine debt shape, as is Latin America, the ASEAN-5 (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand), the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Thus, government debt problems lie solely in the West.

China's debt is stable at the emerging market average of 43 percent.  India is at 64 percent and declining.  The advanced economy of Japan is at nearly 250 percent and rising.

The United States has a gross debt at 105 percent of its GDP.  Russia is down at 19 percent, largely unchanged despite international sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

France is up at 97 percent.  Iran is at 12 percent and declining, whereas Saudi Arabia is below 2 percent.

The West simply won't be able to tackle systemic problems posing an existential threat unless it accepts reality.

The reality is that the world doesn't have a debt problem; the West does.  And because of globalization, the West is, unfortunately, no longer the dominant part of the economic world.  It's time for conservative thinking to catch up with this fact.