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Issue: October 14, 2011

Paying Down Debt? Uh-oh.

What if U.S. consumers, business, and the federal government deleveraged at the same time? Expect slower growth and, for many hard-pressed Americans, a lower standard of living, at least for a while.

By Harris Collingwood

What if U.S. consumers, business, and the federal government deleveraged at the same time? Expect slower growth and, for many hard-pressed Americans, a lower standard of living, at least for a while.

By Harris Collingwood
THE NEXT ECONOMY: FROM THE EDITORS

From the Editors

Everyone knows that debt is a sin. The Bible says so (Matthew 6:12: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”). Debtors used to go to prison; now they lose their credit and their...

THE NEXT ECONOMY: COVER STORY

What Alexander Hamilton Saw as a Strength Has Become a Symbol of National Decline

INDIANOLA, IOWA—The rain varied only between pelting and torrential as Dick Pipho trudged through a muddy field at a tea party rally here on Labor Day weekend.

THE NEXT ECONOMY: COVER STORY

How the Surge in Consumer Lending Has Squeezed Small Businesses Dry

NEW YORK—In 1991, Rob Kaufelt bought a little cheese shop in Greenwich Village. Like many other businesses on Cornelia Street at the time, Murray’s Cheese had sold lovingly crafted foods for...

The Big Picture

Debt has exploded in every sector of the economy since 1980

THE NEXT ECONOMY: ESSAY

So, Do Deficits Matter?

History teaches that public debt can lift a nation to prosperity or bring an empire to its knees. It depends on what the borrowed money is spent on.

The Next Economy: Survival Guide

A How-Not-To on Debt

The first rule for living life in the black is: Don’t spend more than you earn. Easier said than done.

The Next Economy: Q&A

A Cure: Inflation

For the U.S. economy to recover, now that it’s dogged by debt, Kenneth Rogoff has a novel solution: Print money.

The Next Economy: In Perspective

In China’s Debt

The Chinese hold U.S. debt not to hurt an enemy but to help their own poor.