In a way, this was a brave piece to write. And it terrified me.
If people who make good money every year are in such a financial pickle that they couldn't come up with $400 on the spot if some kind of emergency happened, where are we going?
That's not a typo. We're talking about people making, you know, $70-100K a year or more and who cannot come up with four hundred dollars without having to borrow or sell something.
Four HUNDRED dollars.
We are talking about a society where people's net worth (their assets minus their liabilities) has decreased significantly between 2003 and 2013. Despite having jobs and everything.
(Note: This article is about America. I don't know how close Canadian numbers are to the American ones. I hope they're not at all close, but I shudder.)
You know what that means? That means people are spending way more than they ought to and financing consumption with debt. That means people mortgage their house (sometimes more than once) to pay for living expenses and keep themselves in the lifestyle they think they deserve.
You want to know why governments are in such financial trouble that we're piling on incomprehensibly large public debt for our children and grandchildren to deal with? Because the people who vote in elections are in financial trouble themselves. Why, if borrowing to pay for consumption is fine at home, wouldn't we allow government to borrow so we can have generous entitlement programs?
Go read the piece. It's long, but it's worth it, even though it's terrifying.