An honest economic question

I’ll admit I’m not an economist, or even close to one. So please forgive the naivety of the following question:

I understand the downgrade of America’s credit rating could have a negative effect on Americans’ ability to borrow money, but isn’t spending a lot of money we don’t have part what got us here in the first place? Could an America emerge from this where credit is harder to come by but we still do just fine?

Maybe the televisions are smaller and the luxury yachts less numerous, but maybe our blood pressure level as a nation is somewhere in the survivable range. Debt can bring a some positives if handled correctly (like taking on debt to expand a business, thereby generating more income), but we haven’t really proven to be good at handling it.

I realize it’s a deep issue with lots of facets that most people don’t understand and it can’t be boiled down to such simple levels. I’m just saying maybe there is an America in the future where everything isn’t about material goods and is more about living a better life without crippling debt. Over the last few years we’ve been tremendously blessed in the getting-rid-of-debt department. Our life today is a far cry from what it was even a year ago when we owed a lot of money. Life didn’t get any better until we turned off the debt nozzle and decided we didn’t need any more of it. It wasn’t easy and there were some definite growing pains over the years as we’ve come to this point. Is the same thing possible for an entire country?

Related: Rob Delaney bought some U.S. stocks.

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