We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I think the tiger in the bushes is the national debt. Of course life is good now because all those good things we have are all bought on credit. We just can't keep putting everything we need on the national credit card. When the debt bubble finally bursts, it's not going to be pretty. Watch what happens in Illinois.
Please be more specific. What are you expecting? If the debt bubble were to burst, wouldn't that have to be caused by a downturn in production? Aren't we continually producing more? Isn't our economy growing?
The entire U.S. economy seems to be based upon debt, not production. Not only does the U.S. Government spend more that it takes in every single year, but the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security are so large that they can never be paid. It's the same on many State and Local levels - take Illinois and Chicago for example. And on the personal level, consumer debt is around $4 trillion now; I can't even comprehend a number that large. The average credit card debt of U.S. households is approximately $5,700. If you exclude households which pay their balances in full each month, the average credit card debt for people who carry a balance is $9,333. That's a lot, especially for the elderly.
I don't know how the debt bubble will end, but I do know that if something can't go on forever, it won't. In my own life I wonder what would happen if our Social Security checks stopped coming. The only bill that I would still pay wold be to the local electric company. Chase and Bank of America would just have to wait until I sold some stuff.
I can't answer your question on production. The statistics are just too confusing to me. I understand that more Americans are working now then ever before, so as long as they can service their debt. we'll be OK...I think. Whether the government can service its debt if interest rates return to normal is another matter.
I also worry about inflation. Yeah, I know the government says there isn't any, but they're lying. I see it every day in the things I need to buy. If the U.S. were forced to devalue the dollar, we'd all be screwed royally. We'd be in Zimbabwe territory then.