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Date: 2022-05-27 Page is: DBtxt003.php L0900-PE-US-Household-Wealth-Debt
HOUSEHOLD WEALTH
CONSUMER DEBT IS GROWING MASSIVELY
The vast majority of Americans lack any wealth at all
This graphic shows the state of household finance is significantly worse now (in May 2019) than it was in the runup to the financial crisis of 2008.
This graphic shows the catastrophic damage done to household balance sheets since the 1970s. In the 1970s the world economy was stressed by the OPEC oil shock of 1973 which made the US especially uncompetitive because of its previous reliance on very cheap energy.
Reagan era policies became very popular with the GOP and those with financial assets. His administration set the stage for much tougher constraints on collective bargaining and worker rights. Financial deregulation enabled the creation of much more consumer credit which made it possible for consumer demand to remain strong even while wages were weak and household finances were weakening.\. Reagan era banking deregulation unleashed the greed of bankers which resulted in the Savings and Loan Crisis in the late 1990s.

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