That's the view of commentator Karsten Riise in an article hosted on the Web site of highly respected military historian and strategic analyst Martin van Creveld.
A vicious circle threatens the US economy.
When and how it may start, we don’t know.
The biggest driver of the US Federal debt is the aging of the US population. Today 15% of Americans are aged 65+. This percentage will increase by two thirds, so that by 2060 about 24% of the US population will be 65+. Until now, the USA has benefited from a young population. The strain on medicare and social spending of an aging population, even with the still limited entitlements in the USA, will be enormous.
The CBO has calculated, that just to keep the Federal debt at its present level, the balance between tax revenues and federal expenditures must be improved by 1.7% of GDP—every year the next 30 years. In other words, tax revenue must increase and government expenditures must be curtailed.
The US economy is becoming less and less competitive. One reason for this is because the USA has some of the worst 3rd world-like public infrastructure in the western world. Roads, bridges and railways in the USA are a sham. High-speed trains are non-existent. Not only is China building far more kilometers of inter-state high-ways than the US, but it is also one of the world’s leading countries in the field of high-speed trains; in fact, China may become the main supplier of America’s first high-speed railway line.
Furthermore, American public schools, hampered as they are by violence and other problems. are not exactly the best in the world, The US level of education is going down, as pointed out by the economic guru Michael Porter, who also points out, that the level of bureaucracy and red-tape hindrances to business are enormous in the USA. The middle class is disappearing in the USA, with now barely 50% of the population perceiving themselves as middle class. Median incomes have barely improved or even gone down the past 40 years, significantly reducing the middle-section of the tax base, which is normally the most reliable. The American Dream is a nightmare for most Americans. The Laffer curve, stating that heavy tax burdens on the rich will incur less total tax revenues, still applies for the top section of the US tax base. Any attempts to heavily taxate (fiscate) the upper 10% (or 0.1% !) of the US tax base will lead to US dollar capital flight, and acute economic crisis.
There's more at the link, including a sobering military assessment.
When you add up all the indicators that Mr. Riise puts together, it's a gloomy picture indeed. It needn't be . . . but only if we shed the crippling burdens of entitlements, welfare, and social spending, and focus our economy and our resources on what's essential rather than what's politically correct.
I'm not sure whether either of the main candidates for the Presidency this year have wrapped their heads - or their policies - around that reality.