I agree with your analysis 100%. I totally agree that debt can be employed to make even more money, and that in many cases, it makes perfect sense to do so. My beef is with people who claim they're "debt-free" when in reality, they're carrying an enormous pile of debt.
If I buy a house with a mortgage, and max out my line of credit to buy gold (bubble? What bubble? It's going to keep going up, you know), and max out my credit cards to start up a business that I expect to be turning a huge profit in 3-5 years, then that's a lot of debt. I could say, "I have a lot of debt, but it's all invested in appreciating assets."
What I could not
say is, "I'm debt free, except for a mortgage, line of credit, and some maxxed-out credit cards." Well, I mean, I suppose you could
say that, but I think it's stupid, which was my point in the first place.