...Now, if you can produce facts to back up your statement that when the entire population of the nation known as the USA spends beyond their means, in general and over a prolonged period of time, I will give you credit...
Happy to oblige, Bryan!
Let's see what kind of evidence you would accept. How about anecdotal, just for a warm-up:“Americans seem to have the feeling that it is wimpish to save,”
said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s in New York. From the article "U.S. savings rate hits lowest level since 1933"
Ok, I get it, you do not like anecdotal evidence. So lets try an international comparison, where Americans historically have the lowest savings rates among peer countries, as per OECD (see the attachment International
below, source here
I see now how sitting in Germany might have given you a distorted perspective on savings though ;-)
Actually, given that different reports use different sources and methodology, it is interesting to note that a respectable U.S. source indicates a negative savings rate
in 2005 and 2006 (meaning households spent more than they earned). See the attachment Negative
below (as per this article
Do I hear you saying: "Wait a sec, you can not consider two years to be 'prolonged period of time'"? Fair enough. So lets look at another indicator, again from a respectable U.S. source (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, as per this article
- see the attachment Debt
below):"U.S. household leverage, as measured by the ratio of debt to disposable income, reached an all-time high of 130% in 2007."
Meaning American household debt was 30% higher than income. In other words, American households owe more than they earn. The trend started in the 21st century and lasts to this day. i.e. 10-12 years. That is
a "prolonged period of time" in my view. Most reasonable people would agree that you should not owe/spend more than you earn (i.e., live beyond your means), as any difference would ultimately have to come from the family heirloom (i.e., savings).
Yes, America lives on credit (and runs on Dunkin').
Do you need more proof?