If you want to understand the entire set of US economic problems, this is the chart I would point you to.
The US residential housing market is tracking the Japanese experience, but shifted 15 years. Japan had their boom peak in 1989 — equities and real estate — and suffered for decades afterwards. The US saw a peak in 1999 (income, employment), 2000 (stock market), 2006 (housing) and 2007 (not tech stocks ). We are now a mere decade into the recovery from its credit crisis.
Where the US seems to have differed from Japan was in the willingness to blow a series of ever larger bubbles following the dot com and tech collapse.
This chart does not bode well for the US economy — real estate, employment, retail sales, and more — over the next years . . .
The World In Balance Sheet Recession: Causes, Cure, And Politics
Richard C. Koo
Nomura Research Institute, Tokyo
Real-World Economics Review, Issue # 58