Today there are literally dozens of major threats to the U.S. economy. Each one of these threats alone could cause a major economic implosion. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the derivatives bubble, the housing crisis, the exploding U.S. national debt and the burgeoning European debt crisis all threaten to push the struggling U.S. economy over the edge. But which one is America's biggest economic problem? Below, 16 of America's greatest economic threats are listed in no particular order. The goal of this article is to hear what all of you readers believe is the worst crisis the U.S. economy is facing. If you would like to vote, please choose one of the 16 economic problems listed below (or nominate one of your own) and leave a comment explaining your choice....
#1) The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill - The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is already the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Is it also about to become the worst economic disaster in U.S. history?
#2) The Derivatives Bubble - The total value of all derivatives worldwide is estimated to be well over a quadrillion dollars. In fact, the danger from derivatives is so great that Warren Buffet has called them "financial weapons of mass destruction". Will the derivatives bubble end up being the major cause of the next depression?
#3) The Housing Crash - Last month, sales of new homes in the United States dropped to the lowest level ever recorded. Also, the number of U.S. home foreclosures set a record for the second consecutive month in May. Very few Americans are buying houses right now. The subprime mortgage crisis brought the U.S. financial system to the brink of ruin in 2007 and 2008. Is it about to happen again?
#4) The Federal Reserve - Instead of printing and issuing their own currency, the U.S. government actually has to go into more debt before any new currency is created. But the problem is that the money to pay the interest on that debt is not created at that time, so in order to pay that interest the U.S. government will need to create even more currency in the future. That means going into even more debt. Thus the U.S. government is caught in an endless debt spiral that has now become impossible to escape. By basing our economy on mountains of debt and paper money that is backed by nothing, have we essentially guaranteed that our economic system will totally fail someday?
#5) The European Sovereign Debt Crisis - Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and a number of other European nations are in real danger of actually defaulting on their debts. If a wave of national defaults starts sweeping the globe, will it end up wiping out the U.S. economy as well?
#6) The Growing Welfare State - For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011. More than 1 in 5 American children now live below the poverty line. Nearly 51 million Americans received $672 billion in Social Security benefits in 2009. How many people can the U.S. government possibly support financially before it finally collapses under the weight?
#7) Illegal Immigration- There are an estimated 30 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States. Not only is this a very serious economic burden, but it is a huge national security issue as well. Federal agents and local law enforcement officials along the border are now openly telling the media that they are outgunned, outmanned and are increasingly being shot at by the Mexican drug cartels that are openly conducting military operations inside the United States. There is now significant Latin American gang activity in almost every large and mid-size city in the United States. Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to leave the border wide open.
#8) Corruption On Wall Street- The corrupton in the financial system that has been revealed in 2010 has been absolutely mind blowing. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers and Wachovia are all being investigated by the government at this point. The rampant manipulation of the gold and silver markets was completely blown open by an industry insider, and the U.S. government has finally been convinced to take a look at it. It seems like the more the layers are peeled back, the more corruption we find in the financial community. So how long can the U.S. financial system survive when corruption is seemingly everywhere?
#9) War In The Middle East - The U.S. government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the war in Iraq. The U.S. government has spent over 247 billion dollars on the war in Afghanistan, and yet June 2010 has now become the deadliest month of the Afghan war for coalition troops. Now there is a very real possibility that war could erupt with Iran. How long can the U.S. government continue to afford to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into wars in the Middle East? Not only that, but if a war with Iran cuts off the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, what would that do to our economic system that is so highly dependent on oil?
#10) Barack Obama's Health Care "Reform" - Barack Obama's pet project is actually the biggest tax increase in U.S. history, it is going to cause the premature retirement of thousands upon thousands of American doctors, and it is going to drive health insurance premiums through the roof. Health insurance companies are going to do very well (they actually helped write the bill), but the rest of us are going to be absolutely crushed by this brutal legislation. So what will happen when the U.S. healthcare system implodes?
#11) Barack Obama's "Cap And Trade" Carbon Tax Scheme- Rather than focusing all of his attention on fixing the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, Barack Obama has been busy playing golf and figuring out how he can use this crisis as an opportunity to get his "cap and trade" carbon tax scheme pushed through the U.S. Congress. But will Barack Obama's obsession with "global warming" end up totally wrecking the U.S. economy?
#12) Globalism - Most American workers had no idea that free trade would mean that they would suddenly be competing for jobs against workers in the Philippines and Malaysia. Today, corporations often find themselves having to choose whether to build a factory in the United States or in the third world. But in the third world workers often earn less than 10% of what American workers earn, corporations are often not required to provide any benefits to workers, and there are usually hardly any oppressive government regulations. How can American workers compete against that?
#13) The Moral Decline Of America - An economy stops working efficiently when people stop feeling safe and when they stop trusting one another. As greed, selfishness, lust, pride, theft and violence continue to explode, how much longer will the U.S. economy be able to function normally?
#14) Genetic Modification - Scientists around the globe have now produced "monster salmon" which grow three times as fast as normal salmon, corn that has been genetically modified to have a pesticide grow inside the corn kernel, cats that glow in the dark and goats that produce spider silk. Is it possible that all of this genetic modification could unleash an environmental hell that could destroy not only the economy but also our entire society?
#15) Unemployment - Tens of millions of Americans are out of work and nearly a million people have lost their unemployment benefits because the U.S. Senate has once again failed to pass a bill that would extend those benefits. In some areas of the United States unemployment has been pushing up towards depression-era levels. For example, a while back the mayor of Detroit said that the real unemployment rate in his city is somewhere around 50 percent. So is the biggest problem that the U.S. economy is facing the fact that so many millions of willing American workers simply cannot find work?
#16) The U.S. National Debt - As of June 1st, the U.S. National Debt was $13,050,826,460,886. According to a U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015. The total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now about 360 percent of GDP. The United States has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world. So how long will it be before this mountain of debt collapses?
So of the 16 economic problems listed above, which one do you believe is the biggest threat to the U.S. economy?
Please feel free to leave a comment with your vote....