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Will You See the Collapse of America?

David, one of the long-time readers here at BFS, emailed me the following after reading a recent post, Internet Censorship through the Death of Net Neutrality:

I tell people all of the time… I think in our lifetime we will see the collapse of the U.S. It’s sad, but that’s the way we are headed.

Don’t believe me? Take a look in history at all of the great nations. Why did they collapse?? Hmmm…. It’s sounding awfully familiar.

Economy

My Opinion

I also think there will be a collapse of America, but I don’t think it’ll be in my lifetime.  There will be a point that people realize that nearly all of our rights have been stripped away.  That when economies collapse and strikes/uprisings start.  Then whoever’s left rebuilds by creating a somewhat new system.  It’s what societies do.  My best guess is that it will happen in the next 100 to 200 years.

I certainly hope it isn’t in my lifetime since I am a classic, spoiled consumer with minimal survival instincts.  I’m getting better with age, but I don’t think I would handle any sort of collapse well at all.  I’d probably survive but my inner-whiner would be working overtime.

What This Means for Us

Whether or not the whole government collapses, the current trend to let our rights be stifled little by little in the hopes of being kept safe will lead to problems.  As Benjamin Franklin said,

Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

Those words mean a lot to me now, because I am one of the people who didn’t feel violated when airport security went sub-dermal.  I didn’t mind metal detectors at the entrances of public locations.  I think that anyone wire-tapping my phone or reading my emails right now has way too much time on their hands and won’t find anything interesting.  I honestly think I am on camera nearly every time I leave my house.  And political correctness has gotten so bad that simply stating opinions like this will make people cringe.  I just haven’t cared.

Now I do.  I didn’t think it mattered, but being okay with losing my personal privacy is the same as giving them permission to keep going.  Sorry, permission denied.  We may all be watched and recorded, but that’s not acceptable.  We can’t accept losing our privacy, internet censorship, and the loss of our rights of free speech.

Being okay with these “small” losses of rights will push the line further and further back until we wake up to a world where we are all living with imaginary freedoms but spend our time following nothing but rules and restrictions 100% of the time.

When that situation is finally realized by the majority of a country’s citizens, that’s when collapse happens.  All governments rule because the citizens allow it.  If the citizens ever are pushed too far, then they overturn the government and the process begins again.  That’s how I’ve come to my 100-200 year hypothesis.

What This Means for Our Kids

But if I’m right, that means that my generation’s children or grandchildren will have to deal with it all.  That’s truly depressing since my generation is passing its spoiled mentality and then some onto our kids.  How will the uber-coddled deal with a gigantic collapse?  It’ll be a shock.

How many friends do you have that you would believe could deal with collapse of your government?  Are those friends older or younger than 35?  I’m sure there are lots of people in my age group that could handle it, but there are more that couldn’t cope.

If I ever have a kid, my general plan is to raise it similarly to how I was raised.  That’ll include a lot of time outside, pets, and lessons in responsibility early on.  I can’t promise not to pass on my consumerism too, but hopefully my kid(s) would learn to be self-sufficient.  That is becoming sort of rare.

In the end, David and I disagree on the timing, but not the results.  What do you think?  Will you or your offspring see the collapse of America?  Do you think it’s preventable or already in motion?  All opinions are welcome here as always, so don’t be a jerk to anybody’s comments.

7 thoughts on “Will You See the Collapse of America?”

  1. William @ Drop Dead Money

    Has any country completely collapsed? That depends on your definition. Britain once rule the waves, and now it doesn’t anymore. Some would call that collapse, others not. Will America collapse like the Babylonian empire? I don’t think so.

    Who will replace America? China? The growing corruption at their higher levels doesn’t bode well for long-term stability. India? Have you gone there yet?

    I immigrated to America, so my feet voted this is still the best available option. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Will it suffer another recession? Yes, and sooner than you think.

    But… where else you gonna go? 🙂

  2. Denise @ My House, My Rules!

    Do I think we will see the collapse of America completely in our lifetime? No… but I do think the America we knew 10 years ago will cease to exist in another 20 or so years unless things start changing for the better. Not to take this in a political direction (but I will – haha) we now have a president who seems to care nil for the checks and balances system this country has… a system designed to stop abuse of power. He brags that he will just work around Congress when he doesn’t get his way. Funny thing… Hitler worked in a similar way. So many people refuse to look at history, but the Nazi party in Germany didn’t used to be a party of dictators… it was a slow progression where the “leader” started making decisions “for the betterment of the people” and the people were dumb enough to buy it. Do I think Obama will completely eliminate out own democracy? Doubtful… but he has set a precedent and that is a slippery slope that could very easily and quickly lead to abuse of power by the right charismatic leader. And since the NSA is likely reading this… HI NSA!!! 🙂

  3. retired

    Every 10- 20 years either the world is going to end or there is going to be total financial collapse. Or the world will be so overpopulated food and/or water will no longer become available. Or super power will nuk eus out of existence. Or ….
    When a generation or two begin to retire and there’s a “correction” in the market that none of the existing generation ever had the pleasure to live through, all of the sudden people become Gloomy Gus’s.
    Cheer up. Do not agree with our country’s collapse, and it probably will not happen. Your generation should realize how virtual or “man-made” everything is by now. What keeps us going is either faith or greed. Either way, humans have it in spades.
    We all seem so busy surviving, we’ll probably keep accepting the stuff being served up as “true” and “right”. What is true for one person isn’t going to be true for everyone, including whether the sky is blue. Have faith in greed though. As long as the greedy think there is a buck to be made, USA will survive just fine. There is NO country in the world that is not better off for our existence, including China. Will we be the same; I hope not. Looking forward to seeing how the younger generations come into their own and switch things up. There’s loads of room for improvement and loads for corruption. I am sincerely trying to push for the improvements by reading and becoming knowledgeable about issues and how things are shaping up. There are several countries/corporations/individuals working on space travel, Terra-forming, asteroid mining, and the like. There are people working on the idea of a de-centralized power grid. Even an alternate internet set-up and alternate ways to communicate are getting attention. NSA, Google, Microsoft be warned! LOL. Whether we like it or not, the genie is out of the bottle. We know more and can do more in science than we are allowing ourselves to actually attain. Somehow religions, political dogma, and people themselves will have to make some decisions that we knew were coming way back in Darwin’s time. In two hundred years this curtailment of human scientific endeavor will probably cease. We all may become more than what we are now. Somehow we will have to find our way to accepting the fact that if we want, we as humans can do anything. We could even fly without the aid of a machine. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should or shouldn’t. It means we need to accept the responsibility to make decisions, without blaming a god or anyone else. We have the ability to overcome anything, but we will not survive as long as the dinosaurs if we don’t use those abilities. Climates change, Poles shift, earth’s tilt changes, solar flares come and go. We know this. Instead of worrying, why aren’t we (without any government involvement), changing to adapt to this dynamic universe we live in? We the people of the world, need to quit worrying over who’s is bigger and start planning for the eons ahead of us. Quit living in fear or just for the day, let’ get more proactive. If a country rises or falls, it’s not as important as what we want for our eternal future. Yes, we have that type of power. We could actually put together our knowledge, leave behind our fears. Why worry about when the sun will go nova? Why worry about when we will use up all the water in a region? Why not start some real long range goals; be around longer than dinosaurs, maybe even the earth. The universe is waiting. We can take out pets, our world with us. We could evovle ourselves for space travel, instead of worrying about how to go Warp 8.
    On a more practical note, we tend to be Gloomy Gus’s when we are around GG’s. Humor got me through one of the most pitiful Super Bowls. Humor can get us through any “collapse”, catastrophe, or any other thing life throws at us. Smile and the world smiles with you! So make sure to teach your children to value humor more than fear; the awesomeness of life over the bitterness of what could have been, and all will right itself in the end.

  4. Zendelle

    I am one of those who think the world as we know it will cease to exist sooner rather than later. At this point I think the likely tipping point will be climate change – there will just be more climate related disasters than money to cover them, and society (not government) will break down. There are many other plausible scenarios including a pandemic, nuclear war or accident (we haven’t felt the full effects from Fukushima yet).
    Last night I was reading about the possibility of a massive solar storm frying the electrical grids, leaving most of us without power for a year or more. Apparently these storms happen every 150 years or so, and the last one was 155 years ago, when there wasn’t much grid to fry. Obviously, most people in the northern half of the country, including me, would not survive long without a way to keep the furnace running.
    I just feel that we have stacked the deck against our current lifestyle in so many ways, that the odds are overwhelmingly against none of these things happening.
    I am not a “prepper,” because if the sh*t truly does hit the fan I don’t want to survive it. Quality of life is what’s important to me, and I don’t want to live if that means being hungry and cold and afraid all the time. But recently I have begun to think about emergency preparedness, and what we would need to do to survive a short term, rather than permanent disaster. One of my goals for this year is to make some progress on that front.

  5. David Hunter

    Great post, Crystal!!! 😀

    I’m lovin’ all of the comments. I’m glad to see everyone has their eyes open.

    A lot of people I talk to don’t think a collapse could happen. They don’t think we could have another civil war.

    Who’s to say states won’t start coming together to form their own country?

    Look at the mess Obama calls “Affordable” Care Act. What’s affordable about it? Everyone I know has had their insurances raised. I’ve even seen some friends and family apply on the healthcare website then not go through because they can’t afford what their rates would be. How’s $800 a month sound with a $10,000 deductible?

    Now, Obama wants to raise minimum wage to $10. It shouldn’t be called minimum wage. It’s an ENTRY level position. I can’t believe there are people in this country who believe raising minimum wage is actually a good thing.

    What happens when minimum wage is increased? Businesses layoff employees and raise their prices to cover the cost. We all lose.

    This is all a ticking time bomb. The question is, when’s it going to “blow?”

  6. Bella Belle

    Just found your site… great job!. Your article is right on and so timely. Is it too late? Of course not if we start flexing our muscle.

    People don’t realize how much power we the people have:

    Elected Officials: We can simply vote them out. IF we start voting them out at every election they will get the hint. It should not be how they feel or what they think. the represent the people and it should be how the people feel and what they think. Our forefathers gave us the right to replace them. Sadly not enough of us are exercising that right to vote.

    Creditors: Have you really read your credit card agreement? Your mortgage? Your car loan? We blindly sign these documents never taking the time to actually read them. We just simply shrug our shoulders and tell ourselves that we can not possibly understand them. And we let our wants get in the way of common sense. Home Depot lowered our credit line simply because they could – this set off a domino effect of Citi following because they happen to check my credit every month. Without missing any payments and being less than 30% of my balance when this started I went form a 720 score to a 580 score in 6 months never missing a payment. Just because they could doesn’t mean they should… I gave them the power. Happened in ’09 and we still have not recovered. Problem is now we simply don’t care and have shunned credit in any way, shape or form.

    We are not doing enough to Go Green because it is too expensive.

    We allow law enforcement to violate our rights every time they stop us at road blocks to check our insurance card – have you really just had to show them your insurance card? We live in America and there is suppose to be “probable cause” but for some reason the good of all makes it OK to violate my rights.

    And lets not even start on taxes. Bad roads, ill equipped police and fire departments, social programs that we just can not afford.

    Yes we will have a collapse of America. We have built a government we can not afford, we have decided health care has a bottomless wallet and we elected stupid people that care more about themselves oer and over again. Unless we change we will deserve what we get….

  7. Roger the Amateur Financier

    Hunh, interesting topic, and definitely one worth some thought. Here’s my two cents: I almost positive that when I die (let’s say in fifty years, just for a planning number), there will still be a nation called The United States of America. That said, I can say without a doubt that said future nation will look significantly different from the USA of today, in terms of everything from demographics to the technological levels (particularly that last one; trying looking back to the sixties and think how much our technology has come in such a relatively short period of time).

    Honestly, I don’t think we’re in danger of having nearly all our rights stripped away anytime soon. Don’t misunderstand, I know there are certainly people in positions of power who would more than love to gain even more power, and will take advantages of chances to get it. But there are means of retaking that power that do not need to go as far as full-on uprising, with voting being top on that list. I don’t think that we need to break out the pitchforks, as long as we are smart enough to vote for the right politicians.

    Speaking of which, I CAN foresee substantial changes in how our political environment looks several decades from now. Besides the obvious fact that there will be different issues we are dealing with five decades from now (things like net neutrality would be gibberish to someone back in the sixties), the parties themselves will be different. There is the possibility for Libertarians (or a similarly oriented party) taking advantage of the obvious and increasing frustration people have with these loss of freedom issues to build up a more substantial third party. (Or, they could even replace the Republicans or Democrats, whom we should remember, weren’t the first political parties we had in this country; given the ‘first past the post’ style elections we have, that might actually be easier…) The collapse of one of the political parties, that I could see happening in my lifetime.

    The simple fact that there are so many people discussing things like the loss of rights and freedom due to NSA spying and the net neutrality decision makes me confident that we can keep things going here in the USA. I can’t claim to be an expert, and certainly there are lots of things that I can’t foresee that could change how things work out (Canada could invade tomorrow, for example), but that’s where I stand.

    (A side note on net neutrality: While the loss of net neutrality and the ability of Internet providers to determine how quickly you can access any given website sounds like a recipe for complete corporate control of our information sources, I can think of few other things that would get younger, less politically motivated people involved in voting and running the country than being unable to access their favorite websites efficiently. Just a thought I’ve had, and one reason I think no web providers have done much to take advantage of this ruling.)

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