Ghost of Igloi wrote:
In contrast today people carry little about what they pay for an item, only the monthly payment. Debt on a personal level, not measured against their net worth, is higher than it has ever been.
I don't agree that people don't care much about what they pay for items. There are greater shopping tools available today and the evidence is that people are taking advantage of them.
Why wouldn't you measure debt against net worth? Homes, autos, etc. cost more today than they did in 1980, so borrowing for such a purchase necessarily means more fixed debt. But the number is meaningless unless measured against net worth. It's all relative.