The challenges the next American government will face may make our present challenges look like a walk in the park. Presently the Congress is no help at all, and it appears that President Obama has only incomplete answers to the problems confronting the nation. Legislation passed in the House of Representatives has no chance of passage in the Senate. Also, any bill which passes the Senate cannot pass the House. The two dominant political parties have fundamentally opposite views — each actually has no clear idea what the other is proposing. They cannot, it seems, carry on a civil conversation with each other about any matter.
We must face mounting deficits yet the political parties have no idea how to turn those deficits around. We must also face an economy undergoing major structural changes leading to significant job losses due to automation and off-shoring. Robots do not buy cars and neither do they pay union dues. Businesses still make products but will be forced to sell those products for less as the numbers of those who can afford to pay diminish.
We face an infrastructural catasthrophe of the first order. Perhaps as many as 10 percent of our bridges will collapse by the end of the decade. Water may become a scarce commodity even while some areas will have too much while others will have none. Sewage systems must either be completely rebuilt or we will watch them fail one by one. The level of difficulty we experience will depend on how real “climate change” is.
We must eat less and save more. Many will have low paying jobs or not be able to work at all. Some may live in reorganized communities in which they will grow or raise much of our own food and contribute to the community by doing things for each other. These may be cashless societies. This may cause us to rebuild our social capital, which may be a good thing. The less we complain the happier we will be.
The country is presently rejecting business-as-usual (or politics-as-usual) and looking for real leadership but unhappily not finding it.