I remember “living like animals” when I was growing up. It was very bad. The hurt will remain with me all my life. Simple joys denied. Being different from everyone else.
A sense of isolation and punishment. The denial of basics led me to graduate from college and law school. I had enough finally. Then, I faced a catastrophic chronic illness. My now is pretty bad and my future may not be worth living. This country has vast richness. I see no excuse for for it. My parents worked as hard as the president of the United States. My life seems to be shaped by the lack of things that are taken for granted by most people.
There is disciplined frugal life. There is also much worse. I do agree that increased earnings do not translate to being debt-free. My law school classmates all complained about their debt. We were expected to have too much too soon.