Slate.com - How Will America End?

This is a great idea for a series. And I agree, we've got to end sometime, and it seems more and more likely that it will happen during my lifetime.

In the "Forecasting the Decline" article the forecaster, Peter Schwartz, makes this prediction:
His first idea: racial warfare. By 2050, whites will no longer be a majority in the United States and Hispanics will make up an estimated 29 percent of the population. "Most violence is committed by males 18 to 35," Schwartz explains. "Now picture a very large, low-employed Hispanic population of males not too pleased with their lot or their ability to control a white-dominated world. … That population then becomes violent and disruptive. And now you get into racial and identity politics—it's all those illegal immigrants we let across the border."
I don't agree with this. I think that by 2050 most Latinos will have assimilated and built up their familial wealth through the next 2 or 3 generations, enough for many of them to have achieved middle class status and for that population to be satisfied. Actually, when I think about it, I think Black people will be the group feeling angry at their lot. Still at the bottom, after all of these centuries, after being told that everything is equal now so the inequality is your fault, now surpassed by "all those illegal immigrants we let across the border". I don't mean to sound down on my own race, this is more of an indictment of the institutionalized racism in this country that continues to be ignored. I think in either case, whether it's Blacks or Latinos who become angry and lash out violently, it will be the poorest people who do it, because we're the ones who suffer the most.

*On the collapse scenario:

Schwartz submits that government incompetence might not be enough to trigger America's implosion. After all, we could always just vote out the bozos who let us down. What we need to destroy the country, he argues, is Zimbabwe-sized corruption: a succession of executives who pilfer the national treasury and refuse to hold free elections. In that case, the country could fall apart as our national creeds of freedom, democracy, and openness are gradually abandoned.
I have friends who think that there is no real two-party system in America. That all of the richest, most powerful people get together in secret and create a national story to dupe the masses with. So, for example, the country suffers through 8 years of an idiot yes man who makes us poorer while they get richer. But he takes it too far, and the masses are angry - another one like him could cause us to react violently. So to calm us down and make us believe that we're still in control, they create a savior - someone who will on paper reverse all of the wrongs done and improve all of our lives for the better, erasing from memory the rights that were lost, the failures and our distrust of the government, etc. I don't believe this, mainly because I think that Obama is genuine. But I could see this happening with future presidents, especially if the changes Obama makes takes money out of the pockets of these rich and powerful people. They may find themselves needing more control...

*I don't think that the friendly break-up scenario is very realistic for the US. I think our collective egos are too big for us to admit that we can't hold the country together anymore, if it ever gets to that point. Like a dumped high school football star, we'd fight to the bitter end to save ourselves the humiliation and keep the states 2getha 4eva.

*On the global governance scenario: can we play nice with others? I think it would take a international battle with a common enemy of epic proportions for the world to come together and rule equally.

*Global conquest? We'll nuke ourselves first. Accidentally.

I played the Choose Your Own Apocalypse game, and this was my result:

You are a humanitarian internationalist. You're convinced mankind will terminate America—but at least we won't off ourselves in the process. You'll know you're right when: Everyone on Earth pledges allegiance to a world government; the feds default on the national debt.
This was after guessing that the wealth gap, hurricanes, climate migration, one party rule, and tropical diseases will end us.

The next article, "Hot and Bothered", goes through all of the climate change scenarios that I've heard before. For my Canadian friend, I'll highlight this:

In the latter case, Canada will become Mexico—a nation whose citizens are driven to cross the border to improve their lot. In the former instance, in which the most-southerly parts of North America fare the worst, the U.S. becomes Mexico—and those wide open spaces to our north start to look mighty appealing.
Lovely. So, you'll have to either migrate south to escape the coming ice age and invade us with...your polite British customs and French speakers...or deal with invading Southerners complaining about the cold. Why does Canada fare worse in America's demise?

The series continues this week, so I'll keep reading and updating. Hopefully by the time America implodes I'll be on a beach in Jamaica (or perhaps the Bahamas), sipping frozen margaritas and reading a great book.

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