weight of sovereign debt and social welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare and now Obamacare which have far greater liabilities than the ability to fund them. And to boot, they still think they can afford these insane foreign adventures. But even more fundamentally, we are at the end of the industrial age for want of sufficient energy to fuel it, so economic contraction will be the future instead of the economic expansion of the last 400 years.
First will be financial collapse, worsening the economic collapse already in progress, followed by social and political collapse. When political systems collapse the first things to go are the social welfare programs and maintenance of infrastructure. The last to go are the benefits for politicians and their special interest friends. Look at Detroit for an example; the city government can't maintain infrastructure, can't provide basic city services and has defaulted on pensions for city employees.
The periphery is where the federal government will withdraw first. Then they will abandon smaller cities and finally will withdraw into the capitol, eventually taking to bunkers. Obviously big cities and the capitol will be the worst places to be. If we are lucky this will all happen very quickly and those in power will flee into the night. But more likely they will attempt to stay till the end, taking a significant portion of the population down with them. Look at how Hitler ended.
The period of nation threatening violence similar to the American Revolution (1775), Civil War (1861), and WWII (1941) is due to arrive about 2020-2025 but it could happen any time now as the crisis period we entered in 2007 becomes more intense. This is a cyclical pattern identified and explained in "The Fourth Turning". This period of violence might last 5 years if the past is an indicator, but could be longer since it will not be battles in the sense of international wars, but more asymmetrical warfare that has worked well against the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is not something to look forward to, but to be prepared to face as it is beyond our control. It will be the culmination of forces in motion which can not be stopped by simply willing them away, and certainly not through the delusional behavior of voting.
"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.
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