We often forget that the economy of the United States does not exist in a vacuum. The disaster unfolding is really a crisis of the moral values of our society. A morality that says the solution to everything is to shop. If you feel low, shop......the tough "go shopping"........the solution to terrorism?? SHOP!!!! Morons bursting into stores to "buy stuff." The debt crisis is a moral crisis.
Just as the collapse of the economy has been caused by a collapse in the virtue and morals of the society, that collapse will boomerang back onto the society itself. Social order in this country, for at least 30 years, has been preserved by a nation awash in easy money. That day is dead. Now the wounds and divisions that threatened social order in the late 60s and into the late 70s, culminating in the "Summer of Sam" in NYC, will begin to bleed again. They were cauterized by cheap credit and debt construction.
The artificial "Morning in America", the American Renaissance that so many Conservatives claim credit for (less crime, low taxes, more GDP growth) is about to be proven a fraudulent facade by the reality that something for nothing eventually collapses down to nothing.