It is said the truly smart will learn from the harsh lessons of others' failures. I can say that one member of the WP clan is that smart, that being the youngest of the WP sisters. (As she says, she made her own mistakes while growing up that our parents never found out about.)
It would be great if the political class presently ruling the US was as smart as my youngest sister. Unfortunately they are not.
They see the economic meltdown occurring in the Euro-zone, yet refuse to learn the lessons countries like Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain are teaching us, the primary one being that eventually you will run out of other people's money to fund all the wonderful social programs that have been used to bribe the electorate.
Italy is the latest to teeter on the brink of insolvency, and should it go over the edge it is quite likely it will pull the rest of the Euro-zone with it. Greece's default damaged the European economy yet it has only a fraction of the GDP of Italy. Should Italy default Europe will take an additional $2 trillion hit it cannot afford. Is it any wonder Germany is considering abandoning the Euro and going back to the mark? Can anyone deny that this problem has been driving the British public to demand a referendum about whether or not to remain in the EU? At least those two countries see the problem and realize they'll have to bankrupt themselves in a doomed effort to prop up economic policies from Brussels.
But too many of our own politicians at the state and federal level, regardless of party, seem oblivious to the fact that unless we make some drastic changes in how our federal government taxes and spends we will be headed down the same path. Labor leaders ignore the fact that neither businesses or taxpayers are a bottomless source of funds, shortchanging their own members by making promises no one can keep.
Should the US fail to put its financial/economic house in order, and right quick, it will pull the world economy down with it into a depression unlike any we've seen before.