Civilizations and countries rise and fall, and the falling of any particular civilization and country are not always obvious, until such is seen in hindsight. America is the largest economy in the world, and is currently the most influential country as well as the nation that truly has a massive global footprint that reaches nearly every country throughout this world. To a certain extent, all seems just fine, but a peak underneath the surface indicates that not all is necessarily well.
For instance, there is the monstrous national debt that America carries which is nearly $22 trillion, of which this staggering load continues to increase yearly. Additionally, while America has always had an underclass that has served as a source of embarrassment as well as being an inconvenient truth, the 21st century has seen, the divide between what was once arguably the greatest middle class the world has ever known, beginning to disintegrate piece by piece, as America, which advertises itself as the land of meritocracy and egalitarian roots, has become more and more exposed as a country of the very rich, for the very rich, and by the very rich.
Sad to say, not only is the country at large carrying a humongous debt, which is the ultimate responsibility of all Americans in aggregate, but the American public, is getting more and more indebted by the day. So that, the aggregate mortgage debt and home equity debt for housing as reported by the newyorkfed.org is $9.432 trillion as of the 3rd quarter of 2018, which is the highest total on record. So too, student loan debt as reported by ycharts.com has exploded from 0.4389 trillion dollars in the 2nd quarter of 2006, to an astonishing 1.442 trillion dollars in the 3rd quarter of 2018. Additionally, as reported by the newyorkfed.org for the 3rd quarter of 2018, outstanding auto loan debt is at $1.24 trillion, and credit card debt is at $829 billion, of which all of this combined is the highest amount of indebtedness by individuals on record.
Not only are individual Americans in a situation in which they have never been so indebted, but the ownership rate of housing which basically was on a continuous uptrend since the conclusion of WW II, actually peaked in the 2nd quarter of 2004 at 69.2% and as of the 3rd quarter of 2018 rests now at just 64.4%, or a reduction in home ownership of 7%, even though, the amount of money owed on mortgages has increased substantially since the 2nd quarter of 2004. What this means is that the American consumer, and in particular, the credit worthy middle class of America, is getting stretched further and further, to make their payments on their homes, their payments on their cars, their payments on their education, and their payments on their credit cards; in which it must be kept in mind that those that are in debt, don't legally own the things that they believe that they own, for those assets essentially have obligations or liens attached to them. Further to the point, more and more Americans, are not only indebted, and not only don't own much of anything, they also do not own a business that they have a vested interest in, of which that personal business produces their income.
All of this means that many Americans, do not truly own their own home, do not truly own their own car, do not truly own a lot of their material possessions, and are paying for an indefinite period of time for their higher education. Additionally, these Americans are not truly sovereign in being able to make their own income for they don't own their own businesses, but rather are dependent upon being employed by a given institution that determines where, when, and how much they are going to make; of which, many of those Americans will find to their utmost dismay, that there will never come a time that they own much of anything, for the game is now successfully rigged to benefit the superrich to the exclusion of those once qualified to have the accouterments of the middle class, but now are slouching towards serfdom.