I think it would be worth it to find out! I would expect an initially rough period of adjustment and then a move to much more stable long-term prosperity. Just like Switzerland, really, but on a larger scale and with fewer mountains.
I believe we should begin preparations for an across the board decrease in consumption and the accommodation by all of a more modest life-style.
There would be a period of adjustment, during which time there would be a reduction in jobs due to a reduction in sales of all level of products and services.
After that, there would be a major repricing and probably even re-engineering in most areas of major assets such as houses, cars, major appliances, etc. Everything would get smaller and more cheaply made. (Which isn't necessarily a good thing - cheap means falls apart quicker. Good for people who run landfills - but bad for ecology.)
Without capital, new business starts would slow or stop, amounting to a real reduction in jobs and slowing of technology.
The fun things in life - restaurants, mass media including music, film, televison, video games, etc. would all take a huge hit.
People who currently own larger homes would never been able to sell them, resulting in lots and lots of foreclosures, probably enough to destroy the banks.
Eventually we would reach a new equalibrium, but it might take 20 to 30 years or more.
If that was the case then American would be even more screwed then we already are. No one would be able to afford anything except for maybe the ridiculous amount of taxes that we have to pay.
Lots of people do. It's the credit card debt that gets them into trouble. A home mortgage with a fixed rate, or a car loan are known costs. It is the credit cards that sink most of them, or that unforeseen medical bill. However, your point is very valid. Since the access to credit is more limited now, people are buying less on credit and are paying for it at the time of purchase now. With lower paying jobs, that will slow the pace of their spending.
It would probably destroy the economy of this ugly materialistic country, but people should live within their means. I do.
So this country is ugly? Which one do you prefer?