Those having a hard time finding growth in the U.S. economy are looking in the wrong places.
Forget about real estate, technology or manufacturing: The real American growth industry is debt. While gross domestic product has lingered in the 2 to 2.5 percent growth range for years, the level of debt as measured through credit market instruments has exploded.
As the nation entered the 1980s, there was comparatively little debt—just about $4.3 trillion. That was only about 1.5 times the size of gross GDP. Then a funny thing happened.
The gap began to widen during the decade, and then became basically parabolic through the '90s and into the early part of the 21st century.