Times are tough. The U.S. dollar is losing ground as an acceptable currency for International trade. But then, so are most national currencies, with the single exception of the Chinese yuan, which is being touted in the U.N. as a replacement for the dollar as the reserve currency (the "reserve currency" is that currency which is used for International trade.).
Why is the dollar being devalued? Among the many reasons, two reasons immediately jump out at even the mentally insufficient in Washington D.C. (who choose to ignore it).
1. Our national debt is moving ever-upward on the express elevator.
2. Our government believes our economic salvation must take the form of:
a. borrowing more money from China (which will immediately be consumed by U.S. "foreign aid") - thereby deepening our own debt
b. printing more dollars - thereby reducing the buying power of the few dollars we may have because there is insufficient negotiable natural resource (gold, silver, diamonds, oil, etc) behind them.
As of today, our national debt tops 15 trillion dollars. That means that every man, woman and child in the USA "owes" over $48,000 to the government. From a per taxpayer standpoint, the amount skyrockets to more than $134,000 per taxpayer. The per taxpayer figure is the only realistic one, since the government gets its money solely from the taxpayers. With an average annual income of $26,364, each U.S. taxpayer would have to forfeit 100% of his/her wages for 5.08 years to eliminate their personal portion of the national debt... if the deficit were to freeze at todays level! Unfortunately, the government will continue to spend like they really have money, and in 5.08 years the national debt will - in all likelihood - have increased! This is a serious "doom-and-gloom" scenario for American workers, with no relief in sight for not just several, but many generations.
What can we expect in terms of practical effects from this doom-and-gloom scenario? As jobs become even more scarce and the unemployment rate continues its upward climb, times will become even more desperate. There is an axiom (of indeterminate age) that states, "Desperate times call for desperate measures", and it is generally accepted as a truism. As civilized as we might like to think of ourselves, human beings still have a survival instinct, and when it moves into the forefront we will then (to paraphrase an old Chinese saying) certainly "live (or die) in interesting times".
We can expect to witness the following behaviors - in no particular order:
Extreme pressure will be brought to bear upon the elected officials of the federal government to resolve our financial calamity. This pressure will experienced by respective governments world-wide, since the financial crisis is currently projected to be global in scale.
As unemployment grows, and food becomes scarce, outrageously expensive, or both, and people become unable to provide for their families, we can expect severe civil unrest, rioting, and a tremendous increase in criminal behaviors. Looting, assaults, burglaries, armed robberies and other forms of theft, will become so commonplace that law enforcement agencies will be overwhelmed. The "law of the land" will be "the survival of the fittest". Everyone - outside of the protected elite (government officials, corporate executives, the very wealthy, etc) - will become potential victims, and we will probably be further victimized by the imposition of martial law in an attempt to preserve whatever semblance of "peace" there may be.
The exchange system will probably shift to the barter system, since the dollar will have little or no value. Food (and any means by which to acquire food) will be the primary commodities. Farmers will be forced to guard their fields, and ranchers will have to protect their herds and flocks. Food distribution centers and detention centers may be established by FEMA with the use of U.S. Army "Internment/Resettlement Specialists" (31E). The 31Echo specialists "are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility. I/R Specialists provide rehabilitative, health, welfare, and security to U.S. military prisoners within a confinement or correctional facility; conduct inspections; prepare written reports; and coordinate activities of prisoners/internees and staff personnel." The I/R specialty also includes "Provide command and control, staff planning, administration/logistical services, and custody/control for the operation of an Enemy Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee (EPW/CI) camp" and "command and control, staff planning, administration/logistical services, and custody/control for the operation of detention facility or the operation of a displaced civilian (DC) resettlement facility". (the red was added by me for emphasis - for details see: http://www.goarmy.com/JobDetail.do?id=292 .
The potential for a very ugly future does exist. Whether or not it becomes a reality depends upon so many variables that I can't even begin to list them. Although doom-and-gloom is not my favorite subject, reality is. This is simply the sharing of my reality as I see the world condition today. Another part of my reality is that it is better to be aware of potential dangers than to be surprised by their unexpected occurrence.
I truly hope and pray that none of the preceding scenario ever happens... but I won't be taken by surprise if it does.