I was going to leave this alone like you desired but I am really responding to all the comments not to your original piece.
The hope for the regulated capitalistic representative democracy that is the USA is its ability to adapt. Its ability to create favorable incentives.
We are facing three huge challenges, one economic, one social and one environmental. How the US deals with the first and the last will have consequence for the world. The coming depression due to a collapse of the value of Stock and Bond Markets will be the first with which we will have to deal. How the Central Banks and the Federal Government cope with that will have massive impacts on the Social and Environmental Challenges we are facing. Failure to react to the depression with Restorative Social Justice (general goodwill and aid to the poor at the expense of the Rich) could lead to revolts and violence. A proper restorative response could create a sense of goodwill and brotherhood for all. The depression will at least temporarily reduce Carbon Emissions and insightful WPA, Infrastructure and Green Energy make work projects could lead to a Carbon Neutral future. Will the people be willing to relocate and live in tents and work for food, shelter and health care to save the planet and society? Will they instead demand to stay in their failing communities with no work and still be provided food, shelter and health care?
If we do the latter then we will still have to Environmental and Social Challenges to be faced if somehow we survive the Economic Crisis. If the former we can kill three birds with one stone.