Despite some recent apparent signs of improvement, in the past two years we've had very negative economic news from Europe, particularly from countries such as Spain, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Portugal. High unemployment, failed banks, fiscal insolvency, and a growing distrust of markets are just a few of the difficulties.
Fear of debt is woven deeply into our culture. We associate debt with profligate spending, waste, gambling and overall sinfulness. As we learned during the housing bubble, it's easy to get in over our heads. So naturally we assume that the same must be true for our country -- government debt must be bad. But is it?