By the looks of it, the economy is only going to get worse (part of the reason why I'm taking up a survivalist platform and buying gold/silver and learning primitive/hunter-gatherer skills). When do you think it will collapse for good?
I don't believe for a second there will be the usual complete and sudden meltdown. After all not even the Roman Empire ended up like that: in the West it was a two centuries long slide into oblivion, in the East the Empire simply changed to survive.
And a long slide into oblivion is what we are experiencing. Life quality is slowly starting to deteriorate: most people today simply cannot expect to live as well as their parents lived. While unemployment is usually all the rage in the media, the big problem right now is underemployment, meaning people with a job but earning a salary that's barely enough to keep them above the poverty line, especially in times of rapidly accelerating inflation. In Europe this category of people is mostly made up by the sons and daughters of the middle class. Yes, the middle class is vanishing, slowly and without too much fanfare. This in turn is leading to these people being more and more depandant on government spending for healthcare, retirement benefits, housing etc in a period when government budgets are stretched beyond the breaking point. Coupled with the West's addiction to government dole this is potentially explosive stuff.
There's also the issue of government spending outcompeting the private sector for capital: I know the term competition is not correct when it involves pointing a gun and taking the money but bear with me. The more money that gets diverted from the private sector to the unproductive public sector, the less capital society at large has available to increase productivity and innovate.
This is leading to a point where tax revenues and deficit spending combined simply won't be enough. Greece is a very good example of this. The alternatives will be two: either inflate the currency or slash benefits, all the while maintaining high levels of taxation. This means social unrest (as both people really in need of handouts and addicts will see themselves cut off the dole), less capital available to the private sector (because of the combination of high taxation, low interest rates and inflation) and progressive loss of competitivity. As the real economy declines, tax revenues will also decline, leading to more budgetary problems. As balancing budgets becomes impossible, the slide accelerates because government agencies and people with entitlements won't "let go": they won't accept tax cuts and budget cuts. They have the political firepower to ensure this. This means, you guessed it, higher taxes, higher deficits and higher inflation. Slowly but steadily more and more people will be driven dangerously close to the poverty line, putting additional strain on welfare, all the while capital gets scarcer and scarcer and productivity drops.
A classic case of parasite slowly killing the host.
I'm not one to buy into the idea that there will be a massive meltdown because I believe it has already occurred. I believe we're focused on monopoly money, and that the more we pay attention to these economics games, the further we stray from realizing the truth. The truth is that we are already slaves.
We are frequently caught up in political discussions, and these are nothing but distractions. We are merely watching a movie and getting involved in the plot instead of wondering why we're watching the movie to begin with or, more importantly, determining who is running the projector.
I believe in the value of money, but it's all relative to our construct. Money is only as valuable as the person believes it is when he is accepting it and giving you something for it. But this whole, "The world might end!" mentality is nothing but a construct of whomever really is running things, imo. It's something we will likely never know.
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?" -Patrick Henry
The US will collapse, but again freedom, it will not be like mad max. it will be like the soviet system.
What do you mean i don't care how your day was?!
One of the great things about capitalism is that the ever increasing volume of wealth means that even after large declines in productivity we are still likely to live better than before. In other words, if we were to suffer a depression the size of the Great Depression, we'd still be much better off than people living during the Great Depression.