Must read article on America’s 21st century collapse!

I just came across this very well thought through article on everything that could go wrong for the US in the 21st century should we continue down the current path.

It covers all aspects of the problem: consumer debt, government debt, tax policy, education policy, immigration policy, political dysfunction, etc.

It should be required reading for all politicians, policy makers and voters!

Read it at:

  • Even though I had to look up 3 of the words he used, this guys comment summed up my feelings on the piece “A too-long polemic that ignores the stark reality – We’ve switched From producing more wealth than we consume — to consuming more wealth than we produce. From equitably distributing growing wealth to inequitably redistributing growing poverty. From rewarding thrift and industry, to rewarding debt, profligacy and usury (old sense).”

    I can’t help thinking that if we take that “where did it all go wrong look”, the answer isn’t going to be any different than with the decline of any society that ever existed. We can just make it happen faster today.
    What made any nation “great” was being tough and driven, from the bottom all the way up. What made them collapse was a sense of entitlement, greed and lack of a defining cause.

    Can one nation ever evolve internally as if it were a complete eco system, retaining those qualities that made it great? Wealthy families have been asking and mostly failing to teach their children and grandchildren how to do that for ever.

    Isn’t it inevitable that America will eventually collapse. Just like it’s inevitable that most children of the super wealthy can’t replicate the values that made their parents successful, because they didn’t grow up under those conditions?

    America is already playing the part of the inspiring parent to China.
    Just like the super successful often inspire other people’s children, whilst being unable to inspire their own.

    My question to you Fabrice, would be, at what point would America not make sense as a place where you can thrive anymore? And where are the countries tempting you right now? South America, China?

    • Paul: If China was already a level playing field where foreigners had a real shot, I would already be living in Shanghai. As the decks are stacked in favor of locals, I am staying here for now. In the meantime I am investing more and more in Brazil, Russia, Turkey and India…

  • And I think that tipping point (when another country is a viable and attractive alternative) will be as much a factor in America’s collapse as anything dramatic America does internally. Its strongest asset has always been its brand, hope and opportunity, and the people that attracts, and the effect it has on them.

    The world’s most creative talent, the real (dare I say it) 1%, can and will as you’ve just confirmed, hop on a plane and live wherever their value is best appreciated. And they can all decide to do it in a very short space of time.

  • It used to be that only capital was mobile, but the top part of the labor market is also becoming mobile and is more mobile than it’s ever been. That said these things don’t change very rapidly. Most people have families, friends, cultural attachments and language barriers that tie them down.

    I am still hoping that enough other people make the move that we get our policies right and that it will make sense for me to stay here because I love New York and living in this country.

  • “That said these things don’t change very rapidly.”
    Do I sense a hidden “I hope” in there somewhere? 🙂

    I guess we’d have to define rapid.

    Rapid is a lot faster when you’re younger, seems to slow down as we age 🙂

  • Hi Fabrice,

    if you feel like, have a look at these charts:

    They are very alarming!!

    In other words, middle class have always been the backbone of any developed western country and if it weakens more and more over the years because of the increasing inequality, anger and protests are a mere by-product which may involve a serious collapse of the current social and economic system!!

    Elizabeth Warren had wisely foreseen this matter:

    Obviously, Obama fired her:

    If you have received strong financial aids from financial industry for your political campaigns, it becomes Mission Impossible to develop a serious reform in the financial sector!!

    He can talk the talk but he can’t walk the walk!!

    In conclusion, dear Fabrice, astute investors and entrepreneurs like you will prosper in any condition and so most professionals but unfotunately the average Joe will be poor and poor!!

    This is also the consequence of the so called “Hourglass Economy” or better still of the so called “Knowledge Society” when there is a total lack of interest and capabilities by the establishment ( above all political )to solve the implied problems!!


    Fab, greetings from Italy.

    PS there was a song which said: “People’s got the power”

    Nowadays, there is another song….!!!

    • Fab:

      Our governments have done a very bad job at creating equality of opportunity which starts with great access to a fantastic education system onwards. However, bashing successful entrepreneurs who are the engine of productivity growth which is the engine of GDP per capita growth and is the only hope of growing ourselves out of this is counter productive. Likewise, I think bankers are overpaid but without credit creation you don’t have economic growth…

  • I agree with Fabrice on “equality of opportunity…in education” but the scariest chart to me on that business insider page is the “equality of income” as if that is a desirable goal. That the most creative, industrious and productive in the country should make the same as least productive.

    But then it’s human nature to “want” what others have, regardless of whether you earned it.

    If you don’t like how much a CEO gets paid, great, guess what, you’re lucky enough to be in a country where you can go start your own company, and start offering value to the world, today.

    Going back to the education point, with internet access (when I was a kid, it was just library access) those who have the drive to use it, have more knowledge and resources at their finger tips, than all the scientists, philosophers, kings and queens of 200 years ago. They don’t even need a good school. Just an attitude of self reliance and not entitlement.

  • Hi Fabrice,

    1)as far as “However, bashing successful entrepreneurs who are the engine of productivity growth which is the engine of GDP per capita growth and is the only hope of growing ourselves out of this is counter productive.”

    In the previous post, I haven’t written anything that may imply that it’s good thing bashing successful entrepreneurs!!

    2)as far as: “Likewise, I think bankers are overpaid but without credit creation you don’t have economic growth…”

    If bankers put other people’s money ( financial leverage in banking business is scandalously very high!! )in risky businesses, in a normal world they don’t deserve any bailout from any public authority!!

    Otherwise, it’s just fucking common people around!!!!

    And the reality unfortunately confirms that the banking system is pretty rotten!!

    a)TALEB: Moral Hazard For Banks Has Never Been Greater



    All the best!


    PS you are keen on economy, if you feel like, have a look at this interesting link:

    Vox has the following Consortium Members:

    The Italian site LaVoce (, which provided inspiration for the idea and help from the start; the French site Telos (; the Dutch site Me Judice ( and the Spanish site Nada es Gratis (….

  • 1) Correction to the last post:

    not: “…and above all actually does”


    “..and above all what middle management actually does”

    2) Integration to the next last post:

    not only:

    “Otherwise, it’s just fucking common people around!!!!”

    but to complete the concept:

    “Otherwise, it’s just fucking common people around, successful entrepreneurs of vital sectors for economy and small entrepreneurs who put all their hearts and money in their activities”

    All the best!


  • In other words, a sort of full plutocracy:

    But in spite of everything, there is still hope in western countries because there are also fresh and innovative entrepreneurs like Fabrice Grinda and many others!

    Make up a strong,powerful and positive association to reform all the things!!

    Get in touch with people like Mr.Richard Branson to create something so innovative and useful!!

    You would make it!!

    All the best!


  • The article you refer to sounds read like more leftist pandering to the masses. They don’t want to hear that our problems are of our own creation. They want to hear it is the 1%’s fault.

    Author starts off with incorrect straw man saying this collapse is different than the rest. I highly doubt that. I suspect it is EXACTLY like the rest. Right down to the greedy politicians doing all the exact sequence of doomed to fail “recovery” / “stimulus” programs that do not have a prayer of working.

  • @Freemon Sandle Would

    I have simply reported some articles which show some real facts!!

    The most meaningful and important is the first link posted in my first post!!

    Anyway, I agree with you 100% that your problems are of your creation!!

    The same goes for any western country!!

    ( obviously Italy included !! )

    And there is a simple common root:

    “Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is poverty. Ignorance is devastation. Ignorance is tragedy. Ignornace is illness. It all stems from ignorance.”

    by Jim Rohn

    For example, in USA, Wall Street has caused lots of financial disasters because people invest their own money in mutual funds, hedge funds and so on and this depends on the fact that people don’t like studying 2/4 books to understand the business model of financial industry and how and why a financial investment can work!!

    And the worst thing is that in USA, there are tons of books about financial education for any taste and level!!

    Obviously, American finacial elite doesn’t care a fig because through this kind of ignorance, they can make tons and tons of money!!!!

    American parties don’t say anything because both of them are also financed by teh same financial industry!

    Tha classical vicious circle!!

    Anyway, you American will make it because historically you have been piooners of new frontiers, hence you’ll make up something to create a much better society!!

    Just do it!!

    All the best!

    Fab, greetings from Italy.

  • V interesting read Fabrice. This is part spot on…

    “For the cycle of innovation and expansion to continue, a steady supply of smart and highly skilled workers become the single critical input. The United States had two options for obtaining this resource: 1) grow our own (invest in education); or 2) import from elsewhere (encourage immigration). America did neither.”

  • @Jim

    You are right 100%!!

    I pointed out this kind of issue in my first post ( n. 6 ).

    Anyway, it’s a commom matter of almost any western country ( except small northern European countries like Holland, Danimark, Sweden and so on) because as I said this is also the consequence of the so called “Hourglass Economy” or better still of the so called “Knowledge Society”!!

    However,we must also say that the internet has opened up new frontiers for different kinds of businesses and so we can make up something useful!!

    Here is an interesting article about this point of view:

    There is an old Latin saying which goes: “In medium est virtus”.

    Translated into English: “Virtue is in the middle”.

    For analogy, we can say: “The truth is in the middle”.

    All the very best with your new venture!