Bankruptcy for America's largest city is virtually certain: attention now turns to the mop up operations. But while everyone has focused his attention on the financial worms which have devoured the Big Apple, a far more menacing problem has gone relatively unnoticed: The whole nation is living beyond its means. The truth is the American economy sits on a mountainous pile or debt. Public and private debt now totals more than $2.8 trillion, about $13,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. The total figures are so large as to be incomprehensible. But what is comprehensible and important is that the amount of money that consumers, banks, and corporations have on hand with which to meet their short-term, month-by-month debts is shrinking.
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