This is my theory of permissibility (for lack of a better term). When a country is getting too rich, she tends to be more permissible. US has a lot of examples:
* Obesity, drug, liquor abuse are acceptable in the society. Drunk drivers have mild punishment - the jurors (drunk themselves) let them go easy. Actors with drug abuse are still be idolized. The society needs to adapt to fat folks like wider seats in the air planes and buses instead of eating healthier food and doing more exercise.
* Failed businesses are not allowed to fail by bailout money.
* Instead of training our kids to harder education in science, just hire foreigners.
* Encourage folks to be lazy. If you have a job at McDonald's, you are not qualified to free medical delivery. Encourage 3 generations of teenage mothers by our generous social system. Hire foreigners for jobs no one wants to do as total compensation will be less if s/he works.
* We encourage to borrow money and spend like no tomorrow. With less taxes due to less employment and less income from corporations, we just print more money, and/or borrow more from our trader partners, even they're many times poorer than us.
* How easy to blame all our problems on others than ourselves? China should spend more, buy more from us, float their currency... and learn our bad habits!
On the bright side, most US problems can be fixed easily compared to most other countries. It is still a rich country in term of natural resources/farm land per capita. We need to tighten our belt and not to fight wars we cannot afford. Let them fight for their own freedom.