There is unrest in the streets, the people have had enough, our government is corrupt, our factories are closing, our jobs are shipped to china, price of food is going through the roof,,, how much more can we take?
I think if we continue on the current path, the number of people drawing social benefits, and the number of people out of work will drive this nation to a breaking point.
Local governments will not be able to raise enough tax dollars to support themselves, but the people will continue to demand schools, social programs,,,, until something has to break.
I think there are 2 factors working against the US, free trade and too many social benefit programs.
Free trade – as more and more factories are closed and shipped to china, there are 2 profound effects.
1 – the tax base is shifted to the people. Instead of a factory paying property and school taxes, that tax burden is shifted to the people.
2 – lower wages. As the factories are moved to china, people will have to either be retrained, or take a lower paying job.
The people go through a cycle of lower wages -> higher taxes -> lower wages -> higher taxes. Until finally the government can not meet its financial obligations. If you want an example, take a look at Texas and California. California would rather take care of its illegal immigrants, then to kick people off the system.
Social benefits – my personal opinion, the US government has fostered a sub-culture of people who think they are entitled to food, free health care and a place to live.
My wife and I have a friend works for as a teacher for a local school. When the teacher asked the students what they wanted to do with their life, one student raised his hand. The student said he wanted to be like his grandfather and his dad, and get his monthly check in the mail. In other words, this child was looking forward to living on welfare, just like his dad and grandfather have done.
What kind of society are we when we allow generations of people to receive social benefits?
Instead of sending people on welfare to college and getting them off the system, our government fosters a culture of people who suck the tit of the government for as long as they can.
The tipping point
The US will be facing a turning point in the near future because of the baby boomers retiring. The baby boomer generation worked their whole lives, paid into social security, and now deserve to reap the benefits from their labor.
Opposite of the baby boomers are the people who never worked a day in their life, and expect the same benefits as the people who paid into the system for decades.
We can not have it both ways. We can not have people working their entire lives, and people who never worked drawing the same government benefits.
When both groups (the workers and the non-workers) try to draw benefits, something will have to give. Either the government will have to revamp the US social benefits programs, or taxes will have to be raised, or the federal reserve will have to print more money.
More then likely, the federal reserve will fire up the printing press and print more money that is not backed with anything.
I look for election 2012 to be the year that serious issues are brought the the forefront of the debate. Hopefully this will be the year that the US faces the problems that have been ignored for decades. But like an infection, you can only ignore it for so long.
When I was in school, we were taught about the great depression, what I was not taught was that people rioted in the streets. Much like what we are seeing today, the same thing happened in the 1930s. People are angry, and have had enough.