Minor economic collapse and a solution
Say all the other things happen, and collapse becomes inevitable. There are alternative outcomes, good ones, though long term, and at a price.
We will most likely always be dependent upon oil. It is a natural resource that allows not only transportation to occur, but also fertilizers to be produced such that we can feed our growing population. In addition, it is used to heat our homes, make plastics, create asphalt, waxes, and lubricants.
Despite a huge amount of effort to create green jobs or alternative energy solutions, most have a high investment to begin them, and hence a great difficulty to make them viable.
What isn't generally know, is what I alluded to with petroleum reserves in Alaska and elsewhere. In addition, new energy solutions are available, it's just that most people have not heard of them. Both could be suppressed, as it is currently not in the best interest of the petroleum companies to share their power.
Government is a big part of the problem in its current role. There are limited benefits to any jobs created locally. Part of that is from government regulation.
Wealth creation in the current configuration is largely created from market manipulation. This most often benefits the uber-wealthy. They are a big part of the problem.
Engaging in a foreign war in the Middle East in order to secure oil, maintain the dollar as the currency for oil, and protect the availability of the energy that drives industry, is doomed to failure.
What if we let that situation go straight to Hell? What if we let it descend into anarchy, and pulled out entirely? What if we didn't spend one more dime protecting oil? What if we leave the people of the Middle East to figure out their own problems and stop meddling?
Instead, what if we made it very attractive to produce oil in the USA from our own fields? If there is a drop in the availability of Middle Eastern oil, then it might very well be profitable to produce oil from a stable location instead.
At the same time, what if we decided to develop the backbone to say, “You know what, buying something from an imported source, when we have high unemployment, is folly?”
What if we realized that some of this debt, internal to the country, much of it owed to the Federal Reserve, was electronically created, and is in fact, not debt at all? Ron Paul is working on this. He is the only brilliant man, that understands economics, and has fiscal responsibility, and I think moral.
What if we said, “You know, a precipitous fall in real estate, that results in wide-spread homelessness, and anarchy, might be solvable? What if we forgave the cascading debt that were toxic assets on the bank balance sheets AND forgave the debts to the Americans that owed them? For every dollar that people use to purchase renewable energy sources that have a demonstrable effect on reducing our need for public utilities, another dollar is subtracted from any debts owed from loans. What's more, for every dollar that generates two as wealth, subtracts two from debts owed. People who make more money, through investments or business or income, get progressively more subtracted from their debt.
What if we gave industry tax deferments based entirely and only on income generation based on employment. If 500 people are employed, then whatever those people earn, say $40,000 x 500= 20 million in tax write offs. If the government needs the product, the government negotiates with the industry for a reduced cost and additional tax write-offs splitting the difference. If the government doesn't need the product from industry A, the industry can negotiate with another industry B that does sell product to the government, but needs industry A's material. Cooperation between industries to put people back to work lowers taxes owed.
Rather than purchase any imported products, no import tax is created, but any corporations doing business in the USA that relies on foreign labor get zero tax benefits. In other words, let's say there is a shoe company called Nikki. Nikki making shoes in Thailand, gets no assistance whatsoever in any conceivable fashion from any government agency. ZERO. We make it very difficult to use foreign labor which is dramatically lower than any living wage in the USA. All sales of Nikki products are charged a dramatic utility fee and very high corporate taxes. Media centers who advertise Nikki shoes pay a severely high charge for any media license from the FCC. Transportation companies that move Nikki shoes from ports, across land in trucks, or by rail pay stupendously high fees on any any roadways, rails, or waterway passage. Stock ownership of Nikki is banned from the stock exchange. Mutual funds who invest in Nikki pay huge penalties that make ownership prohibitive.
It's not a tax, it's just no longer beneficial to send in cheap goods anymore. Owning Nikki shoes is considered very bad form and unpatriotic. Meanwhile we put our best minds together in engineering and the arts. We offer great reductions in student loans for every invention of an alternative and attractive shoe design that is inexpensive to produce and attractive to wear. Not only that, but industries can purchase the designs from anyone who can develop them. These funds are first deducted from the student's government backed loans, to help them leave college with progressively lower debt.
We do this sort of innovation in every possible industry within our country involving as many people as can work, design, or reduce costs while turning out superior products. People who develop the least expensive ways of growing nutritious, tasty, food in ways that do not harm the soil, get similar tax benefits and debt reduction. If one makes more debt reduction then can use them, they are either given away by choice by the creators, or sold to other debt holders to reduce their debts, but paying the person who sells them at a designated time after employment is reached. That income is non-taxable.
The most basic items that are used up the quickest, but are not created within our country, are the primary industries we begin to work on.
People who can motivate the ill to better health, and can show a reduction in medical costs as a result of weight loss, better adherence to prescription taking, reduced blood pressure, etc get tax deductions or simply pay zero tax on that income. The bad health of a growing older population, and an increasingly overweight general population costs the country an enormous amount of money.
Ms. Jones is 35 lbs overweight. She has high blood pressure of 160/90 and is depressed and on antidepressants. She's taking Prozac, HCTZ as a diuretic, and beta blockers. A voluntary benchmark goal is made to reduce her weight to 20lbs overweight, lower her BP to 140/90, and see about taking weekly group therapy as well as guided nature walks and volunteer time at a place of her choice. Another evaluation will take place in a year. If her goals are met, she will probably be happier, healthier, and the cost of her present medical care will drop. If she continues on a treatment protocol that continues to improver her health, she will likely greatly reduce her medical care costs, give back in meaningful ways, be happier, reduce her prescription needs, and everyone wins. The medical team that gets income from her treatment pays zero tax on any money that she generated if she makes her goal.
All income that generates new wages, allows for a reduction in government costs, makes our planet cleaner, etc is tax-free. Just like the medical team approach, a similar method of benchmarking is applied for innovation and improvement.