Sharoma The future of the USA

The future of the USA

My prediction: within 50 years the USA as we know it will cease to exist. It will fragment into several sovereign states. Whether this will be a forced or voluntary separation, or whether there'll be a brief period of anarchy, is dependent on the last ever President and how he or she manages the various crises the country today faces but refuses to acknowledge.
The Roman Empire collapsed because it ran out of new colonies to plunder. The wealth of Rome was only maintained by the influx of wealth from abroad. The United States at present is not a wealthy country. It is in fact the poorest country on the planet, since it owes more money to foreign creditors than any other nation in world history. Every year the United States sells Treasury Bonds, mostly to China, and using this foreign credit it pays for its infrastructure costs, military expenditure, healthcare and education, amongst other things. Numerous scenarios exist that will lead to the collapse of the United States and the reduction or complete shutdown of central government.

Hyperinflation

There may come a time when foreign nations will either call in their debts or simply stop buying US Treasury Bonds. This would instantly cause a run on the US dollar as investors sell whatever reserves they may have. Since most Americans are dependent on imports to furnish their lavish lifestyles, they will no longer be able to afford even the most basic goods and services. Prices will skyrocket and the currency will be worthless. The days of cheap gasoline will end forever, and since most US trade and transport is moved by oil, the nation will face a complete shutdown. Individual states and even townships will guard their own reserves and black markets for every conceivable good will flourish. The police forces will no longer have a useable wage and will lose control as looters seek to acquire any material goods to barter for food and the necessities of life. The military, already overstretched beyond belief and mostly deployed abroad, will have to be called home to police the nation, reducing the country's power to act internationally forever.

Bankruptcy

Without the influx of foreign wealth the US would be unable to pay for its military, education, healthcare or infrastructure costs. Since a vast proportion of the budget will in future be tied up simply by furnishing interest on the existing debt and paying for the tens of millions of retirees from the labour force, there will simply be no way to pay for anything else. Expect many areas of government to close for good, including education and the military. Infrastructure will collapse.
There are 78 million so-called "baby boomers" slowly retiring from the workforce and hoping to draw excessive amounts on Medicare and Medicaid. Not only do such people constitute most of the governing class and voting class, they also hold most of the material and property wealth. They will either be forced to pay for their own healthcare (bear in mind, the average baby boomer will draw four times what they contributed as they continue to live decade after decade) or the rest of the population will be bled dry via excessive taxes which will also cripple economic growth and likely lead to stagflation. Already, more resources are consumed by American retirees than American new born babies. Most breakthroughs in the medical field are also related to further prolonging the lives of people no longer contributing.

Military withdrawal

The US, through a combination of pride and necessity, will hold onto its foreign outposts and massive military as long as it can, despite its obscene cost to the country and the world. Since the US military is already basically financed by foreign investors, the US will find itself increasingly unable to act independently. It would be ill-advised for the US to move in to occupy any major oilfields in the Middle East using its bases in Saudi Arabia as a spring board since the real power lies with the Chinese. Likewise, any invasion to occupy the Canadian tar sands would likely be met by force in the form of an international coalition of UN countries. The US will be forced to face defeat or withdraw with honour from all its overseas territories. Then it truly will be dependent on the outside world for all of its oil. Rather than become a giant satellite state, individual states are likely to voice claims for independence, especially if their own renewable energy policies proceed at different rates. For example, California will probably be the first state to cede from the Union.
The Chinese may be investing heavily all over the world, currying favour with all flavours of regimes and simply doling out cash to Africa but they do not have one single soldier outside their own borders. Reducing military spending to a nominal amount will help to balance the budget and increase the world's opinion of America.

Occupation

It is likely that the younger generation of Americans will be unwilling to pay 80% taxes to pay for the debts incurred by their parents and grandparents. The aging population of western nations will lead to crippling taxes on the young unless healthcare is dramatically reformed. If the US, in future governed not by people born after the second world war but at the beginning of the 21st century, decided to simply default on all its foreign debt and/or reset its currency as Germany chose to following their own battles with hyperinflation, the Chinese will probably move in to simply take any material wealth or the rest of the world will impose such trade sanctions to make trade impossible for the US. The US currently helps to keep the Cuban people in poverty by restricting trade in this manner, purely for political reasons. Either that or the US will become financially obligated to pay large percentages of its GDP year-on-year to foreign powers; something the up-and-coming generation, already facing deteriorating roads, schools, police and military, are unlikely to countenance. The collapse of society may even lead to offers of military aid from its allies; whether the US will allow foreign troops on its territory remains to be seen.

There is no way the present Union can survive. Separate areas of governance will emerge, led by individuals with a flair for enticing the poverty stricken and terrified populace. Once separate sovereign states are formed and recognised by the rest of the world, the existing debts held by the Federal Government will either be null and void, or will be the responsibility of a nation that no longer exists. Expect to see the Republic of California trading energy for food with an alliance of Midwest states.