I am not an economist, but I am seeing trends that foretell the fall of the U.S. from the high pinnacle that we have been in for most of the 20th century, and it is our own fault.
The erosion of the middle class has been going on for a while. The middle class are the ones that have been losing jobs due to corporate cutbacks, downsizing, and the farming out of jobs to the world markets.
People can no longer afford to make house payments because they no longer have jobs. They lose their homes, and the ability to purchase items that the companies make.
Education costs have skyrocketed, and having a college degree is nowere near a guarantee that you can get a job. A lot of people are delivering pizzas and working at fast food chains starting out their adult lives with a $30,000-plus debt load.
Corporations are shipping jobs overseas. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped for some time, but now service jobs are becoming more overseas oriented. It has become cheaper for companies to have customer service lines run out of India than keep them domestic. And engineering and technical jobs have become the next export. Corporations feel that they have to export those jobs to stay competitive.
We have a globalization of our economy. And it's being spread too thin.
And then there's greed. Look at Enron. Look at how many people suffered because a handful of corpocrats wanted to line their own pockets.
Social Security is gone. Unless you have an independent retirement plan, you can never retire, because you won't be able to live. And if your retirement plan was based on investments, you may be in deep shit because a lot of those investments have gone down the tubes.
We're going to have a lot of people that have a very poor standard of living. A lot more than we do now.