QuasarMarauder7 saidI'm starting to believe it, every nation has to go down in history at some time and ours is probably right around the corner, our economy is no good, we have issues in the Islamic world, and congress does nothing but fight. Any hope for America or are we doomed?
Far far from it. I think the US may be in for a rough ride until it figures out Obamacare and makes the appropriate amendments - but there are some great underlying future positive black swans:
1. The US remains the most innovative nation by far. Innovative in the sense that it's able to apply inventions that actually make life better vs just inventing things that no one uses.
2. Energy costs are going to fall - and likely dramatically over the next 10 years. There has been ongoing exploration offshore and the world has only scratched the surface with shale gas and shale oil. This is in spite of what the US government has allowed (almost all these gains have happened on private lands versus in the past you had a lot if not most on public lands).
To give you a sense of it, oil prices are trading at about $100 a barrel. Gas is about 3 bucks per thousand cubic feet. The equivalent amount of gas to a barrel of oil is 7:1. Historically they've traded in tandem at that range - that is until shale gas. Imagine if you could fill up your tank for 1/5th of the price... This is basically the equivalent to a massive but sustainable amount of stimulus (which is what technology is - and it's sustainable to boot!). The reason why there hasn't been a rapid convergence is because of regulation - and the high cost of converting cars to run on LNG as a result - but it's happening (it's starting with much larger transports).
I also happen to believe that gas is just the bridge to something even cheaper - like sustainable solar or some type of cheap nuclear/fusion. We are also consuming less energy in the west as our products get more efficient. Expect innovations in even traditional ICE engines - which are only something like under 20% efficient at the moment.
This has geopolitical implications even in the shorter run. Guess what happens when prices continue to fall... and American "issues in the Islamic world" - and bear in mind they don;t have to fall far!
3. There are a few large industries about to be completely restructured by technology: healthcare and education - this could unleash a massive amount of innovation in and of itself.
This isn't to say the US won't have challenges - it definitely will especially in the short term. I suspect that Obamacare's implementation will be disastrous - and there are already many indications that it won't do anything other than add to the cost of healthcare delivery. This is something the US has to get under control - to give you one example - the US spends more per capita in PUBLIC healthcare than Canada does - and only a fraction of the people in the US even qualify for it. Consider that there are a lot of liberals here who believe the US governemnt should take over ALL of healthcare despite its incompetence in the areas it already manages. This is not sustainable.