I read an article today by Charles Wheelan, PhD on the Yahoo Finance website that does a good job of summarizing some of the big economic problems that face the United States as it looks to the future–problems that threaten the American way of life, but that very few people want to put effort into resolving.
Wheelan worries that Americans want to much instant gratification (individually as well as collectively), and they are not willing to sacrifice time and money for better longer-term solutions. As a result, the US government has pushed the problems that it most needs to solve under the rug, and it is likely to keep them there until they are too big to be ignored longer. These are problems like entitlements (heath care and social security), lackluster education performance, low savings rate, budget deficits, and a lack of government investment in long-term productivity solutions. Read the rest for yourself by following the above link.