If The Problem Is Us : Planet Money A listener remembers the last time Americans were told to shop.
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If The Problem Is Us

This morning on the radio, Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson reported on the inevitable pain for ordinary folks of saving the banks.

In the report, Columbia Business School professor points out that U.S. consumer debt rose sharply between 2000 and 2008 (see chart). In 2007, it came to equal gross domestic product — we owed as much as our entire economy was worth. The last time that happened? 1929. "The problem is us," Beim says.

Evelyn Way heard the report and wrote:

"It is a shame that we were told after 9-11 that it was out patriotic duty to shop and now we are being blamed for not living within our means."