In the twenty-first century debt has become overpowering as a cultural overhang. Young and middle-age are further in debt now than any other time in our development. The credit and lending institutions have gone through tremendous upheaval losing hundreds of millions and even billions of their own and other peoples money. The amount of loss is so monumental that the nation has come to use a whole new vocabulary to express the debt, trillions and billions are now commonplace. Thirty years ago a billion was hardly describable. Lee Iaccoca, former CEO of Chrysler, described a billion as follows: "It would take a person counting one, two, three a total of 32 years counting day-by-day to reach one billion." Now we cavalierly throw around our national debt as $15-16 trillion dollars in short term obligations.
RATIO - Total household debt in the US was $13.3 trillion as of
6/30/11, 88% of the size of our $15.0 trillion economy. The debt-to-
economy ratio was 62% in 1990 (source: Federal Reserve).
As a senior citizen I find the current state-of-play of going into debt, and sinking in over your head very dangerous and unhealthy. We read where there are millions and millions of people who will never be able to keep their homes, or recoup the losses they have sustained. It is truly a national tragedy! The nation's lending institutions led the way into this profligate spending through unadulterated greed. The government has made everything worse by wasting the tax paying citizens' money by giving it away to irresponsible lending institutions to continue the same lending lunacy over and over again. The nation's youth are going to be saddled with this enormous debt which appears to be almost insurmountable in size, and this very debt casts a long shadow over the future of the country. Collectively, we all need to begin to discourage people from going into debt; especially those who we have an opportunity to counsel with: family, friends, and business people to keep the problem in our psyche, front and center.
Many people would rather not look at the size of the problem, avoid the issue, but just think! Our DEBT equals 88% of our economy. We are very close to sinking into a giant abyss with no way to recover. The next eighteen months are going to be full of electioneering hoopla and we must not lose site of the fact that the time has come to "pay the piper," pay back our debt, stop spending above all. Make sure you tell the prospectve lawmakers and politicians where you stand on reducing our national debt, and our individual debt as well.