Forty-eight percent of the country knows that we’re in serious financial trouble—I mean the kind that requires urgent change, and that includes at the leadership level. A bit over 50% thinks this is a bump, perhaps a big one, in the road that will iron itself out over time by following the same course.

Those of us that are most alarmed, or pessimistic, or however you want to view it, see the potential for the end to the world as we know it, not through an electromagnetic pulse from the sun, or a shift of the Earth’s magnetic fields, or a tsunami or earthquake or level 5 hurricanes or global warming or even world war, not discounting those possibilities. Most likely, it will be a man-made disaster of unprecedented proportions through fiscal impropriety over decades, the way paved for it by the slow, steady deterioration of values and common sense inherent in every human empire over the course of history.

Sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it?

Let’s look at after the end of the world as we know it. After all, the wildly successful run of the USA did occur post the fall of the Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires. New societies will arise from the ashes. The ones based on a strong work and moral ethic, equal opportunity (not outcome), merit-based reward, and frugality will prosper. The others will go through their shorter cycles and vanish. The biggest danger in the short term, as I see it, is the inability of an economically frail U.S. to counter the rising Islamist terrorist threat. But I prefer to look past the storm to the break in the clouds that follows.

What will keep us going through the difficult times is family and friends. There will be a reversal of the nuclear family as the institutions we’ve constructed to fill the void disappear, and this will be a good thing. Materialism will begin to take a back seat, since wealth will be much harder to come by. God willing, we’ll re-embrace the good things from an earlier time without the bad—racism and sexism.

So keep your loved ones close and cherish them. iPads come and go but the people close to us are our lifeline to happiness—and sanity. In the next five to ten years I think we’ll see some major societal shifts. A storm may rage, and some will fall from the ark and be lost, but those that weather it will find renewal is a good thing.


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