Feeding America reports that the number of people that receivs food support during 2009 is now more than 37million of their population of the 310 million. The increase is nearly 50% in just 5 years time. (source: DN)
Few of those can afford a private medical health plan and less likely to make pension savings. Food and house (Morgages) are the two primary priorities (Maslow). There is a tipping point but I hope the 50% increase is not a early warning sign.
If a major natural disaster - like an earth quake in the Bay area - would strike, the Stockmarket would collaps. The hungry, and social security needy would increase dramatically. In contrast to many other countries, the social security sector rests heavily on Private organisations. Social security can be said to be, not a legal obligation/institution but a free choice*.
Americas debt in now mainly owned by China. They are worried about the state of USA, and are bound to ask USA to take necessary measures to stabalize their country. They are not yet ready to take up the butan as the World leader. They need all power/focus on their domestic events.
Paradigm shifts have happen previously in the history of man kind - often followed by great movement, instability and realignments. I can look at it from trade and ideas as rejuvenating. I can look at from values/ideology and legality, with fear. Especially since IT is a powerful tool in the hands of law enforcers. History has shown us that it takes very few people to control many.
* The free choice selection process is intresting. We get more choices and are required to take spend more time to select. Now if the selection process could be automated, it would free our time. For instance, when I select energy supplier it is now based on a number of simple criterias, and done automatically and instantanious (elskling.se). Same thing when it comes to selecting internet service supplier etc.