Debt And Its Effects On America

1040 Words5 Pages
With the United States only now beginning to recover from the throes of the Great Recession, the good American worker (armed with nightmarish memories of mass unemployment and bankruptcy) generally views large amounts of debt in a negative light, with television pundits regularly criticizing the federal government for the $18 trillion of national debt. Entire generations of Americans have been conditioned to view debtors as moochers and failures, unwilling to work hard in order to earn their own money. This negative opinion of debt is further compounded with the historic negative effects of debt: complete loss of assets, homelessness, and bankruptcy. However, contrary to public opinion, the national debt—and, in fact, all debts—will act…show more content…
While many Americans today have a very weak will to work hard or improve themselves, a strong motivating force—such as debt—would surely encourage the nation as a whole to become more productive. On the one hand, Americans today are lazier than ever: only a small percentage works more than twenty hours a day. On the other hand, the debt-driven American will push himself or herself to pay off his debts, in order to prevent his home from being repossessed, becoming determined to work daily twenty-five hour shifts. The debtor also will develop a new sense of priority in order to further fuel his motivation for hard, debt-paying work. Just as the physically unfit will cut sweets, carbohydrates, and food altogether from his or her diet, the debtor will cut such things as medical insurance, electricity, indoor plumbing, and even a home in order to be able to spend more time working to meet minimum monthly payments . After all, like the “more than 600,000 homes [that] entered some stage of foreclosure” (Foreclosures), debtors without homes are able to spend more time working, don’t have to pay the bills, and don’t have to pay property taxes, encouraging them to work even harder to pay off their debts. How productive this power of debt can be is illustrated when “a [five-year-old girl’s mother trafficked the child to pay off a drug debt” (Netter). If a woman can be so motivated by debt that she would sell her own
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