This is a great catch by Matt Stoller writing at Naked Capitalism. I'll keep this short and send you to the original post.
The bottom line is that the percentage of people pursued by third-party debt collectors has doubled in 10 years. Stoller (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):
I went through the Federal Reserve’s Quarterly Release on Household Debt and Credit released today, and there were two notable trends.Here's the graph he mentioned; click to open in a new tab. When you do, note that the big jumps in the blue line — the line showing debtors — occurred during the early and mid Bush II years, well before the banking crisis.
One is that the amount of consumer debt is declining, but that delinquency rates are stabilizing above what they were before the crisis.
And the second is in this graph, which is that the number of people subject to third party collections has doubled since 2000, from a little less than 7% to a little over 14% of consumers. Ten years ago, one in fourteen American consumers were pursued by debt collectors. Today it’s one in seven.
People are simply getting poorer. Stoller calls this the "new social contract," fingers both Bush II and Obama for the change, and says it "suggests we live in a different country than we did just ten years ago." He's right; this is not your daddy's U.S. of A.
There's more at the link, including some information on the re-emergence of debtor's prisons, if you can believe. Be sure to click through on that one. It's not an overstatement.
As for you, Mr. Who Else You Gonna Vote For? — look to your legacy. Word.