So much for spending ourselves out of the recession. Americans' new-found love of frugality is worsening the economic downturn. U.S. household debt is down for the first time since 1952 and consumer spending growth declined for the first time in nearly 20 years. It's what economists are calling "the paradox of thrift." The new mentality emphasis on saving instead of splurging may be good for self-interests, but it's compounding collective problems for retailers, automakers and communities.