There is an interesting (but depressing) editorial by Mortimer Zuckerman in U.S. News & World Report regarding the sad state of the Western European and US economies. In his article, Mr. Zuckerman paints a particularly bleak picture of the US's debt burden because our children are not being educated - despite the US spending nearly twice what other countries spend - and will not be ready to take on the ever increasing debt that our and previous generations have left them through our irresponsible spending habits.
The author makes his point by way of the forecasts made by a German mathematician and philosopher of the early 20th century, Oswald Spengler. Mr. Spengler had an intersting view of the rise and decline of western civilization and it closely mirrors what I have been thinking for a long time - I shall have to delve into Mr. Spengler's works to see what else he has to say.
Anyway, the article is highly interesting. I recommend it highly.