The contents of this article prompts two clarifying comments from me. First, FDR expressed his warning about "fear" on the eve (1933) of his presidency when the ruling class of the rich, known as capitalists, were extremely fearful of the reaction of their workers to the developing Great Depression which started in 1929. They were fearful that the workers might follow the Soviet example and overthrow their rule. In spite of considerable opposition largely from fascist-oriented American capitalists, FDR prevailed and saved the system from either going to fascist capitalism, as had happened in Germany, Italy, Japan, or having their liberal capitalist system destroyed by workers.
Second, I'd like to clarify that people such as Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Blair/Brown, and Margaret Thatcher are not the creators of ruling class strategies, but the gofers (def. 1) of the ruling class directorship otherwise known as the "Deep State" that functions in secret behind a curtain of illusion that dresses up their government as representing "democracy". Rich and powerful capitalists of the Deep State that hide in secret "think tanks" like the Council on Foreign Relations are the real creators of policies such as the proliferation of debt.
With these clarifications in mind, I think that Malone does an excellent job of explaining how the debt strategy has worked in recent decades as a very effective method of social control for our ruling masters. (This debt strategy has also worked to control entire countries as John Perkins has so graphically explained.)
People [our capitalist masters]
knew[discovered] that in the good times Debt kept poor people quiet. Like any drug it could take away the fears and worries of being poor. For as long as their high lasted they would feel better, happier and politically calmer. Debt drugged the poor into happy passivity. Why should they listen to those who argued for the old, hard, political struggles, when the politics of debt was so seductive and easy? People [our capitalist masters] encouraged you to have debt. They fell over themselves to give you as much as you wanted. More in fact. Much more. More than you needed. More than you could every really pay back. But who cared? This was true for the poor but also for the entire system of banks and traders and funds that made the system work. [my editing]
The political lesson learned, was that when the bad times came, far from being useless or harmful, debt worked new wonders. In the bad times debt created fear.