The American credit crisis was a direct result of widening income inequality, says Daniel Indiviglio at The Atlantic. Achieving the American Dream came to mean drowning in debt. "The richer you are, the less personal credit you'll need, and the cheaper it will be. The poorer you are, the more expensive your credit, but the more credit you'll feel like you need," says Indiviglio. "So in order to attain the quality of life that popular culture dictates you should enjoy, Americans with low to moderate incomes go into debt. And they're paying relatively high interest rates, which further eats into their relatively lower income, reducing their wealth potential."