"His leading role as one of the tiny minority of economists to both foresee the crisis and warn of it was recognized by his peers when he received the Revere Award from the Real World Economics Review for being the economist who most cogently warned of the crisis, and whose work is most likely to prevent future crises."
That is exactly correct. I learned from my parents not to pay money for money unless it made money. My parents paid cash for their home, I bought a fixer upper and had it paid off in two years. I lived here for two years with a mortgage, and 36 years without a mortgage. Most people don't understand that. I paid $12,000 for my home and paid it off working at minimum wage and going to school full time. My neighbor spent $200,000 and it is under water now and their jobs are not secure.
I pay off my credit card every month, and I saved and paid cash for my new now 20-year old car. I expect it to last as long as I do.
Everyone needs to understand interest payments and the long range effect of interest rates. They need to know how to figure out amortization of a loan and what the final cost will be.
If a house payment, car payment, credit card payment uses up disposable money, then quality of life goes down. One may live in a grand home and have a fancy car and quality clothes, but what does it cost them if they have to pay interest payments?