Originally posted by eldard
More like the American public borrowed their way into oblivion for the last 70 years.
70 years? Really? You think the entire post-WWII economy was a sham based on excessive borrowing?
In the mid-90s, our trade deficit with China was ~10 million dollars. TEN MEEEEEEELION DOLLARS. In other words, next to nothing compared to now, and
people were already sounding the alarm bell (Ross Perot).
If your grandparents lived in the same house their whole adult life they bought it for like ~$10K-$20K and sold if for ~10x or 20x that. If you had to
move semi-frequently because of job changes, you most likely still came out great until the most recent bust which has no end in sight.
SUVs...because of demand, they were actually the smart choice. High demand kept their resale value very high. You could buy one and pay it off or
partially pay it down, then sell it for an awesome price and/or trade it in. You'd win even when you included gas etc in your calculations because of
the high resale value, and it was like that up until the mid 2000s, when people started to notice gas prices were not going to get back down to
pre-Katrina, pre-9/11 levels any time soon. So for like a decade and a half, they were widely derided as a dumb, excessively luxurious choice but they
were actually the most affordable choice because of their superior resale value.
As far as government debt goes, the US decided to run permanent deficits around LBJ. Coincidentally, just when the post WWII super boom was basically
ending, LBJ starts a bunch of programs projecting it out into the future indefinitely.
It's also a huge problem for the US economy that right around this time, a worker's real money share of the economy gradually begins to shrink
rather than to continue growing as it had been during the post WWII era. That is a huge problem for the consumer economy.
In the past it was normal to borrow your way through rough patches if you had to. That was a significant part of why you ran a tight ship during the
good times, after all. People in the US are getting caught by a 'structural change' that TPTB are trying to pull off by design. Similarly, the whole
'stimulus' package was basically just money that was only supposed to keep the US doing the same stuff it has been doing until the trouble spot
passes and things go back to normal. That is how it was sold to the people. But TPTB knew it was no ordinary trouble spot.
The whole thing was a trap. If you listened to outcasts, outsiders, and any other sort of black sheep, you might have realized it was coming. If you
trusted the so-called good guys, the respected people in both the mass media and your community, you walked right into it.