One person pointed out that if he really tried, he could have paid down that debt in about five years, by making different choices. But of course, that sort of thing gets shouted down every time. And of course, if he tried this when he was right out of college, it would have been far easier to pay off $15,000 than $25,000.
So I am not sure that debt culture will go away anytime soon. Scrimping and sacrificing are not in vogue anymore. Even during our "war on terror" we were not encouraged to buy war bonds, but rather to consume as before - if not more - as a patriotic duty. Until our government and our society changes its viewpoints on this matter, little will change.
But on a personal level, if you choose not to consume and choose not to go into debt, you will come out far ahead of the unwashed masses.