For quite a while, I have felt that if the US economy was so dependent on consumer debt, there was no way it's growth could be sustained. Sooner or later, unless wages across the entire population rose more than the growth in GDP, the proverbial "minimum monthly payment" on consumer debt would surpass their ability to make those payments. In an economy such as the US, where consumer spending is such a major component of GDP, growth in consumer spending needs to be backed by growth in consumer real wages, or sooner or later, the house collapses. And it has.
I ran across an interesting article today. Someone seems to agree with my reasoning. I sure wish I was wrong, for my reasoning carried me to conclude that America needs a significant reset of its economy, and that means that either we accept a significantly depressed economy, or wealth must be distributed differently.
Note that I am not suggesting a "redistribution of wealth". But, somehow, more wealth needs to land into the hands of the masses for them to be able to spend without the assistance of excessive debt. In sort, if the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, the consumer spending of the rich will not support the economy. "Trickle Down" is pure horse-hockey.
Temporarily, however, as a result of the economy going over the edge, the only way to "prime the pump" of the masses' ability to spend is a redistribution of wealth, and Obama's tax policy is the only available tool in the tool box that can do that.
But, to get the rich to understand that they are better off in the long run to be slightly less rich requires a major culture shift. So far, all too many of them operate under the delusion that their personal well being is all that is needed for a robust society and economy. As more and more of the other 95% see that their economic well being is what really drives the economy, times in the US could get very interesting.