We are a consumer driven society.
There was a time when the middle class family model went something like; one adult generated income while the other focused on the family. Divorce was rare.
The evolving science of advertising persuaded us we had needs that were beyond our incomes. The cost of living increased too. Both adults would have to work to meet the demands. Child care became an industry.
Our population increased, two income households consumed more and our economy grew. We seemed to have infinite resources and everyone was working. The cost of living kept going up. Our economy would keep growing as long as our population did. We have a growth based economy.
The cost of living began to exceed two incomes and people began to borrow. Lending institutions became powerful lobbyists and usury rules were dispensed with. Interest rates are so high everyone struggles just to meet payments.
Everyone had to borrow against their mortgages. Credit card debt would go back up.
Lending institutions found ways to circumvent regulations by passing borrowers debt to different institutions down the food chain. Without the threat of bad debt lenders took ridiculous chances on borrowers that had no business borrowing.
I remember four months in a row I had to make my house payments out to a different bank.
I hear the argument that people need to practice restraint. I’m not sure our society really allows it under the current model.
When people save their money they’re accused of strangling the economy.
Our economy used to be driven by manufacturing. Those days are gone forever. Money is our only industry now and we might as well get used to corporate servitude.