Don't get in your own way of a debt-free life.
Debt doesn't have to be a dealbreaker.
While the current amount of debt Americans are facing is staggering, the economy continues to grow at a fairly steady pace.
Between the New Deal and the 1970s, Wall Street was tightly controlled. Taxes on the wealthy were high, worker wages were rising, and debt levels on consumers, companies and government were low. After finance wriggled free from these regulations private and public debt exploded, wages stalled, taxes on the rich fell and inequality soared.
Recent research about student loans and mortgages raises the question of whether having too much debt can make you sick. Survey results are particularly troubling because they suggest that it is the debt itself -- not the burden of repayment.
The welfare state has been dismantled, leaving a much greater number of Americans without a safety net. And the further the public sector retreats from the provision of social services, the more the finance industry steps in to "help us" get what we need to get by.
You want to know how the working poor really live? My husband works an average of 50 hours per week just so we can barely make it paycheck to paycheck. We are the in-betweeners. Not making enough to live "comfortably" -- but not "poor" enough to get any assistance either.