The crushing tyranny of student debt in North America is crippling. It is leaving young people with little hope for a future, that includes purchasing a home, or the likelihood of having a stable relationship, that might mean having a family, which statistically will be more difficult, considering the high rate of divorce due to to financial conflict.
Citizens are now referred to as consumers, as are students. Citizens are constantly bombarded with the idea that credit is a good thing. Credit equals debt, and debt is a bad thing. It's hard to see where this crisis will end.
When my grandparents were alive, you paid with cash, never credit. If you didn't have the cash, you didn't buy it. And if something was on sale, and you didn't have the cash it wasn't a bargain.
Times have changed, and so have our ideas about debt, not for the better.