In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, a record 57 percent of Americans responded that they want more government in their lives, and that the government should be doing more to solve people’s problems.

That’s the highest percentage since they started asking this question in 1995.

In fact, 57 percent is nearly double what people responded in the mid-’90s.

Furthermore, the number of Americans who feel the opposite – i.e. responded that the government is doing too many things that should be left to private businesses and individuals – fell to a near-record-low 39 percent.

Bottom line: People want more government.

It’s hard to even know where to begin with this.

Debt is slavery ... or at least indentured servitude of the worst kind. That looming mortgage, the high-interest credit-card debt, the short-term car loan - these are the forces that keep people from breaking free and taking action.

Ironically, debt begets more debt. According to FinAid, the average U.S. student-loan debt for a four-year-private-university graduate is nearly $36,000, and $24,000 for a public university. Throw in that first car loan and maybe a mortgage, and suddenly you're staring at hundreds of thousands of dollars in demoralizing claims on your future income.

At this point, most people figure: Hey, I'm already in debt up to my nose; might as well get in up to my eyeballs and buy a new plasma screen on credit.