Like it or not, the last ten years of no productivity followed by the "almost depression" were the start of a new direction for America that mirrors post-Industrial Revolution events in Britain and Germany that resulted in the creation of two tiered societies that function only to reward the "Trading" or Merchant Class.
Riches earned from Trading are the wealth of the Crown in a land where few do much that is good for underprivileged around the World. Protecting its Merchant Class and their ever more sophisticated and risky financial adventures is what England is all about. In Germany the rise of the Trading Class led to the rise of the Third Reich.
In the US, Obama missed an opportunity to avoid that direction for the US and follow Roosevelt's lead of building and investing in communities and people. Had Obama studied FDR or the other two great Democratic Presidents- Jefferson and Jackson, he would have understood the risk of calamity that serving the Merchant Class brings on a once free society. Jefferson's ardent opposition to Hamilton's financial adventures are a great read for those wanting a quick understanding of this principle.
At a time when Roosevelt would have invested in the poor and created jobs and reigned in financial misadventures, Obama gave us TARP solutions that protect the very markets and people that caused our economic downturn. That catastrophic decision sets the direction for the last "American" century and entrenches a Wall Street led "Trading Class" at the helm of all US decisions.
It is ugly and about to get worse. When the modest recovery stalls, Traders will follow the path they always take when they can no longer rely on the productivity and resources of their own society. They will look overseas and try to take on wealth rightfully belonging to others. They and the government they control will renege on financial obligations to other societies as well. These two paths will require military support.
We are now well positioned in Afghanistan with an army whose imperative is unclear and whose brass has been looking for a path to success. We must be careful to watch the interests of the Trading Class as it pushes and confuses our President to use that army to support trading programs. If he wakes up and opposes them with a sharp progressive, populist stance it will be a miracle and maybe America's only chance to avoid real demise, as Obama's successor is likely to be a populist tool of the trading class who can inspire millions of uneducated people to take action directly contrary to their personal interests.
Sound familiar? It should; that is what happened in Germany after WWI.