Quote from Ritholtz
I lifted it straight from his blog, because he phrased it so well:
source is here: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/08/waiting-for-the-cavalry/
The US is suffering from a long list of serious — but not unsolvable — problems that require intelligent, mature and potentially painful decisions
Can the US resolve these issues?
1) An excess credit problem, left over from the 2000s Housing boom and credit bubble — being solved v e r y s l o w l y through deleveraging and passage of time;
2) Slowing economy and high unemployment (including increasing High School drop out rates creating a structural employment problem);
3) Crumbling infrastructure: Electric Grid, Bridges, Tunnels, Roads, Naval Ports, Airports;
4) Medical Costs that are double the rest of the industrialized world’s yet produces worse results.
5) Systemic deficits caused by unfunded tax cuts, unfunded entitlements, and a military bigger than the next 20 countries combined, (plus a lack of fiscal discipline);
6) A wholly dysfunctional electoral process, including corporate control of what was once a democratically elected legislative branch;
7) Increasing wealth and income inequality (Historically not a long term positive for social unrest and political legitimacy)
8) An overt hostility to empiricism and science (which helped create most of our wealth) and an embracing of “magical thinking”
9) An intellectually bankrupt political class married to outmoded, disproven, fantasy based economic ideas.
Note that the last of these is directly responsible for much of the prior 8 problems.
We need to distinguish between immediate concerns — market crashes, unemployment, re-election — with the longer term structural problems facing the US.
The next 10 years can either be the end of the empire or a new healthier phase. The US has managed to reinvent itself every few generations. Its time for another such moment of reflection and redirection…