This is how leading trends forecaster Gerald Celente succinctly summarizes the current state of affairs in the United States. Celente, a self-proclaimed "political atheist" who is often critical of Wall St and Washington DC, is not one to mince words, and his six-word description of "what's going on in America" is consistent with his blunt style.
According to Celente, America's economy primarily services the big banks, continued escalation of the War on Terror is lining the pockets of the military-industrial complex, increasing the probability of another 9/11 style terror strike, and setting the stage for the first great global war of the 21st century. In addition, Ivy League elites dominate the Supreme Court, Congress, and the current administration.
Celente believes intellectual group think and a "red carpet crowd" mentality have blinded our leaders on both sides of the aisle to the deep, structural problems in our economy, foreign policy, and two-party system.
Having specifically predicted the coming Great Recession way back in 2004 and the Panic of '08 a year ahead of time, Celente has cited the following policy prescriptions as necessary to restoring American greatness:
debt reduction; Americans borrow and spend too much, and the government's chronic budget and trade deficits are leading to an even more severe economic crisis in the near future
a much enhanced productive capacity; America needs a game-changing manufacturing and technological capacity to lead it out of the current downturn
a more non-interventionist foreign policy; open-ended wars and intensified provocation abroad are draining the Treasury, inciting greater instability, and increasing the probability of future terrorist reprisals
a return to free-market capitalism; America used to be the bastion of capitalism, where Main St was not asked to shoulder the burden of the "Too Big to Fails" on Wall St
greater intellectual diversity; whether it's the Federal Reserve, the Supreme Court, presidential administrations, or Congress, highly insulated intellectual elitism is drowning out critical thinking, rejecting accountability, and suppressing much-needed reforms
a restoration of the local, community spirit; long ago, America was the land of Mom-and-Pop shops and family farms, but Walmart and genetically modified foods have lowered the quality of life of local businesses and communities
While Celente predicts a number of painful events over the next couple of years, by 2012 he believes a viable third party will emerge to vigorously challenge the "two-headed, one-party monster" and that a genuine Renaissance will begin to evolve, leading the United States out of a dark period.