You guys are lucky. If my debt had to be described with one word, it would be "crushing".
This little Axiom/HT "fling" I've had recently is the only luxury we've had for about ten years (the last time we took a vacation). We spend $15k - $25k most years on equipment upgrades, all of it cash. When we started the business 15 years ago, no bank would fund the capital for a photography studio, despite a good business plan and sales forecasts. Bankers look at photography (and now video production) as a business that many hobbyists like to "play around in", so they're not looked at too favorably by bankers. All of those initial expenditures to grow into video production as well as expand the photography end of the business were done with credit cards.
Although that initial wave of credit was paid off, the second, third, fourth, etc… were done the same way. Here I am, 15 years later and still paying off debt. I work 12~16 hours a day, seven days a week. I work on New Year's, my Birthday, and, (till this past year) work on Christmas day. As mentioned, we don't vacation and I haven't had time to watch a movie on my HT in four weeks. Joyce and I have been married 16 years, and still don't feel confident enough in our finances or schedules to have kids.
I'm not an economist. I can't speak as to how "National debt" has enabled the country to grow. I can say that I've built a reputation in my business and equity in a building in a growing, "professional" side of town. Believe it or not, I'm not complaining, as I'm working in the field I chose.
Politics aside, National/Global economy aside, I can tell you that from where I stand:
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::