It is the whole, not the part that matters…government debt dynamics

I keep reading blog posts and newspaper articles that state that, you know, debt in the post war years was higher than it is now and therefore high levels of government debt are not a problem.  

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But if we add back state and local and intra-governmental debt: not so!

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This argument also ignores a great many other differences!.  Consumer debt for one:

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Nominal GDP growth for another: in order for the US today to be on the same planet as the 1950s, nominal GDP growth needs to expand at a pretty astounding pace.

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Financial sector debt:

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And corporate (non financial sector debt)

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Personal consumption expenditure as a % of GDP for another:

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And of course employment growth:

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And household disposable income: just about to go on a tear in the late 1950s!

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et cetera….

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