"The [Wall Street] crisis came partly because so many households decided that it would be jolly fun to budget the way government does, hitching outlays to appetites. Beneath Americans' perfunctory disapproval of government deficits lurks an inconvenient truth: They enjoy deficits, by which they are charged less than a dollar for a dollar's worth of government.
Conservatives participate in this, even though deficits fuel government's growth by obscuring its cost. The people can emulate the government because credit has been democratized. Democratization of everything is supposedly an unquestionable good, but a blizzard of credit cards (1.5 billion of them, nine per cardholder), subsidized loans and cheap money has separated the pleasure of purchasing from the pain of paying.
Furthermore, the entitlement mentality fostered by the welfare state includes a felt entitlement to a standard of living untethered from savings. Populism flatters the people, contrasting their virtue with the alleged vices of some minority...Today, the villain is 'Wall Street greed,' which is contrasted with the supposed sobriety of 'Main Street.' When people on Main Street misbehave by, say, buying houses for more than they can afford to pay, they blame the wily knaves who made them do it."
Someday I will articulate my ideas will such slippery skill. Speaks to the heart doesn't it? Somewhat like listening to general conference and being called to repentance? America's accepted a standard of living that was founded on false and dangerous principles. The Nation might be taught the hard way now.