The neoliberal policy approach in the decades leading up to the crisis basically amounted to enticing or pushing people into increasing levels of private debt. With private debt burdens mounting in relation to real GDP, we were told that consenting adults knew what they were doing. Then the crisis hit. Since then, as the private sector attempted to deleverage and get its unsustainable debt levels under control, we were told that the government's deficits, which increased as a matter of accounting, were unsustainable. The outcome, depending on which doomsayer you listened to, would supposedly be hyperinflation, escalating interest rates, sovereign default, a crippling debt burden on future generations, or some heady combination of any or all of these calamities. For governments that issue their own flexible exchange-rate nonconvertible currencies, these claims are nonsense. Even in the Eurozone the sovereign-debt crisis is a manufactured one that can be alleviated indefinitely by the ECB. So what explains the neoliberal preference for private debt and aversion to government deficits? The class-interested motivations seem crystal clear.
Private indebtedness, unlike government deficit expenditure, binds the majority of individuals more tightly to the wage labor relation. Workers with mortgages or other debt obligations will be more subservient in relation to their employers, and less likely to risk their present positions in negotiations over wages and conditions.heteconomist.com
Why Neoliberals Pretend Private Debt Doesn't Matter and Public "Debt" Does
It's called "debt-slavery," "debt-servitude," and "debt serfdom."
A major purpose of public debt under the current operational method of bond financing instead of direct issuance of currency is to create fiscal space for private sector deleveraging by offsetting increasing private saving desire that is not offset by net exports, thereby allowing the private sector to run the surplus it desires without contracting the economy and creating unemployment.