September 10th, 2009
05:47 PM ET

U.S. headed for Third World status?


Life size bronze statues depicting men standing in a line during the Great Depression at the FDR Memorial in D.C. (PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Wilson/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States may be headed for Third World status... according to a new study by two economists and endorsed by a Nobel laureate.

It suggests that President Obama may be repeating mistakes made during the Great Depression, which caused the worst economic collapse ever. The authors say the administration's plan to put hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy will undermine it in the long run, hurt long-term growth and possibly delay recovery by years. They say the U.S. could fall from First to Third World status, much like Argentina did.

We might already be on our way. Consider the following: A report by The World Economic Forum shows Switzerland has toppled the U.S. as the world's most competitive economy, pointing to the collapse of our banking system as a key issue.

China - which holds lots and lots of our debt - is worried about the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy of printing more money to buy bonds.

One top Chinese official says if the U.S. keeps this up, it will lead to inflation and quote "after a year or two, the dollar will fall hard." That would be on top of the steep declines in the value of the dollar already recorded in the last few years. He suggests that might mean the Chinese will be forced to invest elsewhere.

And a United Nations panel is proposing that a new global currency replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The signs are beginning to mount that the mightiest economic engine the world has ever known is beginning to falter.

Here’s my question to you: Is the U.S. headed for Third World status?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Felix writes:
I believe if we keep sending middle class jobs overseas, the middle class will collapse and the country will be like most third world countries, where you have 5% of the population rich and the 95% poor. It is time for America to start protecting itself.

Dave writes:
No, however, stimulus packages that increase the national debt aren't helping. The government is responding to a credit crash by extending the country's credit line? How will this work?

Adam writes:
You're kidding, right? Go to the inner cities, spend some time in Appalachia: Tens of millions of Americans are ALREADY living in the Third World! But don't you worry none about the Trumps, Hiltons, Fords, etc. They'll do just fine!

Jeff from Hawaii writes:
Jack, I have seen quite a bit of the world. Third world country, no, but if the good old U-S-of-A doesn't get off its butt and start manufacturing goods instead of ideas and worthless paper exchanges, second world rating cannot be far off.

Joy writes:
I'm afraid we are heading for Third World status. With so many people jobless and our borders open to any gang member, drug dealer, person with infectious disease, or even a terrorist… how can things go any way but downhill?

Diana writes:
One would have to be delusional not to see what is coming our way: We are no longer a solid manufacturing nation. We print money with wild abandon, keep raising the debt ceiling and, like Jack said, are losing our middle class. There's been talk for quite some time to change from the dollar to a more stable reserve currency. What country in their right mind is going to continue to invest in what we have to offer?

Filed under: United States
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Peg from NY

    It seems like we have been headed in that direction for a long time.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Oh yeah, and pretty darn quick. Once the BRIC countries drop the dollar as world's reserve currency, the dollar will dive to hell and beyond and we will become a Banana Republic with nukes. Can't wait.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  3. Kerry Diehl

    We are there already Jack.

    Given the deficit, continuous spending and now an upcoming raise in the debt ceiling by another Trillion (healthcare not included) – your question is a bit late!

    September 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  4. Helen

    Jack, are you running out of questions?

    September 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  5. CAA Dover, NH

    Yes. Our country's love of war and distorted "Christian values" has made us financially and morally bankrupt. We need a collective reality check of what is really important: support and care for each other within our country's boundaries, rather than obsessively focusing on how we define the boundaries.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    George W Bush certainly put the nation on that track and put the pedal to the medal with reckless wars, reckless tax cuts and borrowing trillions for things he wanted. And the U.S. tortured for a number of years just like other terrorists. This should be a featured part of "W's grand library as well.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Brenda R. Harris Saginaw, Mich.

    Look around, it was third world when Bush vacated .

    September 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  8. Sam in New Castle, PA

    Jack, as of this writing,I can't help to think that we are already there.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  9. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    If we continue to expect the world to change as we want them to and not as we do. Then we are headed that way at 90mph. At some point we may be a world power although part of the Third World.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  10. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Ummmm. No. I will take America over any other country in the world. I have lived in or visited most of them in my life time and none comes close to what America is. Ask this same question again in another 20 years Jack and I might have a different response but as of right now I am sticking with the good old USA.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Alex in Seattle

    What's with the gloom and doom, Jack? We still lead the world on many fronts. Yes, we may have slipped from the peak in a few areas, but we are still on the mountain. We may have more company with China, India and Brazil joining the leading nations but we are still a leading nation.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  12. David in GA


    We are nearly there.

    American's need to wake up and recognize how far we've sunk from first.

    They need to look at:

    Infant mortality
    Average income
    Average work week
    etc, etc

    The European's may pay higher taxes but their numbers are going up while ours go down.


    September 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Phil Dynes London, Canada

    Jack–the United States is not moving to 3rd world status, everyone needs perspective. If you have ever visited a 3rd world country–and have witnessed the hunger and absolute despair, no one would use this phrase–so pls stop.

    The United States is facing real global competition though. The US has always maintained its high standard via innovation and a larger population with significant disposable income–this generated wealth and frankly kept the globe going.

    in the 21st century–China and India are now developing the technology, and as there huge populations (about 1/3 of the earth) create disposoable incombe–societies will grow just as the US did in the 50's.

    The biggest change is simply that for now (and moving forward)–the US faces real competition globally.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  14. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    We the people of the United States will bounce back.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Roy

    No, we won't be Third World. We'll end up more like Europe, which isn't all bad. They have better health care than we do for half the cost.


    September 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  16. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Jack, we have been on the road to a Third World status for quite some time. Our short sightedness, greed, and arrogance put us on that path. Unless we get our act together soon, we deserve the fate that awaits us.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Dave

    No, however, stimulus packages that increase the national debt aren't helping. The goverment is responding to a credit crash by etxtending the country's credit line? How will this work?

    September 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Felix Kane

    I believe if we keep sending middle class jobs overseas, the middle class will colapse and the country will be like most third world countries where you have 5% of the population rich and the 95% poor.It is time for America to start protecting itself.

    September 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  19. cora

    jack, just keep letting the federal reserve call the shots, and you will be there. the usa is an imperialistic society!!!! are there any general jacksons out there??? Kind Regards from Toronto

    September 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  20. connie in PA

    Well if we are...we can thank Wall Street, the BANKS and 8 years of republican rule, that gave our nation away to CEO's and corporations!
    THe healch care industry is next on the list of GREEDY CEO's dragging our economy into the tank! Blue collar workers can TAKE NO MORE and can GIVE UP NO MORE!

    President Obama has not been in office long enough to do the damage, this has been coming for YEARS! 8 to be more precise.
    President BUSH gave the first bank bailout....NOT Obama!
    President Obama was handed this mess...he didn't create it!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  21. George , New York


    Wow, what a surprise. Third World Country you say. What gave it away? We are the only industrialized nation in the world without universal health care,. Forty million Americans are living at or beneath the poverty level. Fifty to Seventy Percent of our earned incomes go to local, state and federal taxes (both hidden and direct taxation) and we have less worker rights and fewer unions than any other developed country. Also, we have given away the public treasury to the Banks and to the Corporations. ? Oh yes, and we have a bunch of angry, white, antebellum-era Republicans arguing States Rights and carrying guns to meetings. Need I say more?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  22. Barton Gill

    The names of the economists and the Nobel laureate, Please.
    Third world "status" implies a LOT of things that are not true now, nor will they change. We have clean water and functioning sewage systems. We have a nation wide electrical grid, and a very low illiteracy rate. While our national 'health' could be better our collective life expecancy is high.
    I'm not at all sure what they mean by "Third world Status"
    From Wichita Kansas.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  23. Fred Dean Weaver Oklahoma City

    Jack Every time you cut taxes on the rich you are a third world country. It always hurt poor and middle class when you favor the Rich.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  24. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    We aren't there yet, but if the President doesn't start acting more like our founding fathers, rather than Hugo Chavez, we'll be there soon enough. This reckless printing of money with utter disregard for our future economic stability needs to end soon.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  25. cesar

    If we are on our way to third world status it is not because of the money that the government is spending. It is how it is wasting it on stupid endeavors that have nothing to do with the betterment of our society. We can pay for their healthcare with no say at all. But when it comes to ours, basically "screw the goose (taxpayers) that lays the golden eggs! As long as we're (politicians) taken care of ". Good luck keeping the status quo gentlemen. Just don't forget who is really Paying The Bills. Just remember how this country was founded? If I recall? Revolution or Evolution, Gentlemen?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  26. PETER

    Huh! Headed for third world status we are already there. We export more than we import we have for years. We have outsourced most of our manufacturing jobs and have become a service econoomy. Tell me who are we going to service when no one in America has a Job left. We buy worthless junk from China and borrow money from a communist regime at an alarming rate. We treat them as our own personal money tree and pay 530 million dollars in intrest payments everyday to countries like China who hold our foregn debt. Oh i almost forgot "we export grains " how silly of me. In return the Chinease spy on us, steal out technology, and laugh at us behind cloosed doors. If this doesn't sound like a third world country what does? Our government and Big Business have sold us out, soon there will be nothing left to sell! Why can't we have a government that has common sense, that puts the American People before greed!

    Peter NY

    September 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  27. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    No, but we are behind China and Japan so that makes us look weak. Every time I hear of a cut in public education my heart sinks. That puts our youngsters in a compromising position.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  28. Nan in Albuquerque,NM

    In American people whine when they have to stand in line for 10 minutes to pay for their groceries. 3rd worlders may stand in line for hours for drinking water, if its even available. I found myself laughing at my own impatience yesterday when a friggin gas pump was slow and I recalled that there's people cooking over dung fires in their house and who can only dream of clean burning fossil fuels. In America we are concerned with green house gasses while indoor air pollution from biomass fires kills more humans than any real or imagined bump in global temperatures from our fossil fuel consumption. Americans consider diarheaa, impacted teeth, and broken bones nuisances, whereas they may be fatal in 3rd world countries.
    We have these supermarkets...they're like huge warehouses just full of food. Aisles and aisles of food, anything you can think of. You don't have to catch it or kill it, and there's virtually no chance that you will step on something sharp while trying to get it, and die of an infection.
    On the other hand, a third world country, Costa Rica has free healthcare, education, and their children speek two or three languages....We wouldn't want THAT, would we?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  29. Ben from Ann Arbor, MI

    Does that mean celebrities will start adopting children from the US? Think Angelina will want another kid? Is 25 too old to be adopted?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  30. Nathan from Indiana

    Is our children learning? Bekaws our childrens are the futur. The rest of the wurld sends there smartest here four educaton, bkaws we haf been the best at that fur some time. But now that china and india are now industralizized and growing so rapiddly, they will probably go ther now. So americas will haf to rely on its own students to drive its growth.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  31. Rick in Atlanta, GA

    We basically already are. Moreover, we are no longer really a democracy but a "dollarocracy" where politicians, who need massive funds for TV to get re-elected are bought by the lobbyists and just cannot stop spending. And the upcoming Supreme Court decision may gut McCain-Feingold and make it worse. Sadly, I see no way of stopping it. The process is broken.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  32. Conor in Chicago

    This isn't going to be like Argentina; a relatively strong South American country at the time. This is going to be the most powerful nation in the history of the Earth have a currency that will become worthless. So we are going to have a massive military, a huge armed populace, no jobs, no monetary system, and a population that is uneducated, easily manipulated, and used to comfort suddenly having none of it. This isn't going to be first world to third world. One day this will be looked at as Old World VS. New World or the Fall of the Roman empire on some serious steroids.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  33. Mark Gillis

    Jack, don't be ridiculous!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  34. Mark (Newburgh, NY)

    No, Jack, we are already there. With the exception of our military, we have little power in the world any more.. We are the champions of mediocrity, and that has done us in. Saying you're number one doesn't make it so.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  35. Jeff Crocket in New Britain CT

    If Obama is able to put his full communist programs into play, we sure will end up like Cuba and the Soviet Union!!!!!

    Of course Jack can't wait to watch the USA fail!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  36. george

    jack i believe if the left and the rite dont come together and work things out all the way around third world status will be knocking on our door sooner than later.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  37. Annie, Atlanta

    We’re nearly there, Jack. Wealth has been transferred upwards, from the middle class, who are rapidly dwindling thanks, in part, to our disappearing manufacturing jobs as well as rampant corporate greed. No Child Left Behind left us stupid and in need of importing educated workers to handle high tech jobs. And we were told to go shopping I’m guessing so we wouldn’t notice the shift. Its not getting ugly out here; we’re there.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  38. Neil B. Strauss

    I've just returned from Eastern Europe. I think we've dropped to Second World Status...so Third World Status is just a click away!!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  39. Rick

    Yes, we better start making things and not just buying them. The USA credit card is about to be declined!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  40. Martin McSherry

    We will fail as a nation if our press continues to make consumer confidence plummet in a yearn for higher ratings. We are the richest country globally worldwide, but we as Americans have the unique ability to have patriotism through whatever comes our way. Don't take away that quality away by raising mendacious questions.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  41. Jacob

    No Jack, I don't think that the U.S. is headed for a Third World Status. Yes, the economy is failing, but we still have the largest GDP in the world. If you haven't noticed the economy is slowly recovering, the DOW is 9,000+ now, slowly but surely the economy is recovering.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  42. Eric

    The United States, like all other empires, will eventually implode. If the catalyst to this implosion is our inability to regulate capitalistic mischief, then so be it. As you've stated, the middle class is near extinction as a result of the greed of a few morons at the top. Who will buy all the garbage the elites produce when US citizens cannot afford to do so? They'll work their way right out of business!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  43. Miguel in NYC

    All great empires must fall.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  44. Steve - Mich

    YES, but not because of Anything Obama or the Dems have done.
    Its because of Bush and the GOP Sending our National Debt from $5 Trillion to $10Trillion, and Continuing a Republican pattern of Lowering Tax rates on the Highest INcomes started with Reagan.
    Which Directly Coincides with the Changes in Division of Incomes with the Rich increasing their hoard over the Entire rest of the populace.

    GOP= Wildly Raised our Debt WAY beyond anything Obama has proposed or completed.
    GOP= Greedily lowering Tax rates on Rich. which kept the divide lower over the past 75 yrs.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  45. Kayla

    Seriously? Have you ever BEEN to the third world? I have, and I see no reasonable comparison. Perhaps we should consider the media's outrageous claims, which only cause anxiety and stress among the American public, to be more of a concern.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  46. Henry Souda

    It is a possibility. If in ten years time we have not weaned ourselves of our oil addiction and truly curbed Washington's spendthrift ways, we could be looking at a drastic decrease in our standard of living.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  47. victoria martinez

    From Miami, Floirda

    Headed for thrd world status? We are already there. Come to Miami, Florida.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  48. Roy Tacoma WA

    Hi Jack,

    In the Great Depression, we had the Republican administration in there for two years after the collapse, doing the same things (cutting taxes) that put us in it.

    When the Bush administration got in, their avowed purpose was to "starve the beast" so they cut taxes and and threw money around like a sailor on a toot! At the same time they let the infrastructure go to "swell" and encouraged sending manufacturing jobs overseas. And did I forget to mention the oil companies who actually found out "how much the market could bear".

    Add to this are antiquated healthcare non-system, disdain for education and the war on science, yeah I think we could easily slip the third world status.

    But I'm still going to fight that.


    Tacoma, Washington

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  49. Chuko in Canada

    As a Canadian that means more illegal aliens crossing our border and stealing hardworking Canadian's jobs.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  50. John Galt

    Of course it is. When you spend more than you have for decades and steal from those that produce and give to those that take more than they make, all the while taking your cut for corruption and graft that is enevitable in government what do you expect?

    Ron Paul understands economics. Keynsian economics is a failure that has never worked, but politicians love because it gives them permission to take from you and give to others in the name of improving the economy and bloat government far beyond anything that the founding fathers intended and even warned about. it's time that someone in the economics field pointed out that the jigg's up, that the entire premise of our government is flawed and wrong.

    Oh, and elminate the federal reserve immediately because it's the engine that is destroying the US. The government is just the people throwing the coal on the fire.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  51. Dan in CA

    Anyone who can seriously ask that question has clearly never been to a third world country. But good job suggesting Obama's taking us there. We had 8 years of reckless economic policy but lets blame the guy who's been in office 8 months.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  52. Stephan Warner

    Unfortunately i would have to say yes. This is not a partisan issue like some would have you believe, but it is something that both major parties in our country have contributed to. You can see this in senseless wars that at there peaks cost use ten billion a year, or spending trillions to bail out an economy that although may have need some help, the fall that it experienced was strongly associated with our economic policies in the past.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  53. Eric E, Granville, OH

    Unfortunately, Jack, the U.S is heading for third world status, if we're lucky. No great society has flourished much longer than 200 years...maybe we should remember what Cicero said right before the fall of Rome: "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, Public Debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  54. Shawn

    Of course we are. Ron Paul and Peter Schiff have been saying it for years. When will America start to listen to the Austrian School of Economics and start ignoring the Keynesian, big-government statists.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  55. jhns3thm@yahoo.com

    Without Universal Health care we already are third world. We are the one industrilized country without it so we our businesses are at a disadvantage other countries business dont have to worry about it. Thats a big burden on business and unfair tax on every product and service were offer or sell in this country.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  56. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    Yes we are headed for third world status. Especially when so many fascist Americans support punishing people for engaging in free speech.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  57. Tim

    Jack, the idea that the US could become a third world country is ridiculous. I think people forget how much influence our economy has on the international market. If the US become a 'third-world country" then we would be living in a third world, world.

    Tim, CA

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  58. turbokirb

    Is America headed for 3rd. world status?

    Not if Americans awaken first!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  59. tod

    unfortunally jack, i beleave we're already there. if we're not, we will be when the nations dept reaches whatever number comes after a trillon. looks like i'm gonna have to go back to school to fine what number that is.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  60. Bobby C

    I don't believe we are heading toward third world status, but we are going the way of every country that was at the top before us, we peaked in our economic might, and are now being replaced by another country. It has happened throughout history, and will continue to happen in the future.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  61. Becky in Maryland

    Our students are performing behind Estonia. We have millions of unemployed and uninsured. Our dollar will no longer be the basis for monetary measurement. The world uses us as a police force. It sure sounds like we're headed for third world status to me.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  62. Mary Jo

    We certainly are in the midst of a crisis, but I believe that if we can invest in alternative energy, we can become once again a world leader and market all of the inventions that will flow from developing that expertise. It is a niche that we need to fill and fill now in a large way. It's just sitting there waiting for someone to take the lead.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  63. Robert

    The US aka Rome-The final days can sumitro up simply as
    1. Lack of quality education vs India and China
    2. Distarous Immigration policy during the Clinton years
    3. Relaxing government banking regulations
    4. Watergate- letting the evil media gain unprecedented power

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  64. Alex

    Off course we are. Look at history. Every great empire has fallen. This countries arrogance will definitely be its demise. Also, have you see the quality of young people these days. They are making our language dumber and no one has any work ethic.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  65. Allen

    The U.S. isn't going to be a third world country. We will have a global currency forced on us by our creditors so that we don't collapse. This will put the New World Order in play as G.H.W. Bush spoke of favorably.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  66. Jeff

    The United States isn't headed for a third world status. Its headed for a one world status. As you said, a United Nations council is proposing a global currency be issued to replace the dollar. This is exactly what they've wanted for years and is why our government and the federal reserve don't mind printing money out of thin air.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  67. Shawn

    The US will not drop to 3rd world status, but their days of being the world's superpower are numbered, at least economically speaking. Like the Roman Empire, the USA will decline slowly over a very long period. I am not a fan of having 1 country being far more powerful than any other and the spreading of wealth out of the US into other countries is a positive change in my view. I don't hate the US but I no longer see them as a bastion of good that should police the world. China and India's time is now coming.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  68. Christien S.

    Yes but barely. We have been headed there since 1913. From that date to today, the U.S. dollar has been devalued by 95%. Guess how? I'll let you and the folks at CNN talk about that further Jack.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  69. Derek from Euegen Oregon

    No, but with the US spiraling out of control the direction we are headed could see us there in 20 yrs. Timeot focus on our own internal issues such a goverment that is working for the PEOPLE again and not for their own personal gains. Instead of policing the world and eatiing foreign oil likes it's candy, spend the money on our youth in US neighborhoods and citites that already look like they are 3rd world. Its okay to take care of American citzens for a change, and not the World.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  70. Frank in South Bend, IN

    We are not on our way to becoming a Third World country. Jack, how can the "hundreds of billions of dollars" we have invested into our economy be the sole cause of our potential downfall if we've spent similar if not more money on the Iraq war and tax breaks for the wealthiest people in our country? Clearly, we must feel confident in our spending habits, right? Quit looking to blame the stimulus package when Washington blows more money on non-issues daily.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  71. Antonio in MD

    I dont see how, we Americans still make good money and to speculate third word status is nonsense, if thats the case then Russia and Uk are third world now.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  72. Nick; Longmont CO


    We are rapidly heading in that direction. We see this in the wealthy trying to get what is left of the wealth in this country. The new Wall Street gimmick buying up life insurance policies and packaging them as investments. The sooner the insured dies, the more the investor gets.

    By the way, you cannot blame 30 years of "trickle down" economic on President Obama. The beginning of the decline started when wages peaked in 1979 (adjusted for inflation). Since then all the deregulation has eroded the middle class and it is now accelerating. In a few years, we will see Americans sneaking into Canada to achieve the "Canadian Dream".

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  73. Down South

    China's economy has been steadily growing. They have a billion consumers. Why do we presume we will always be the top world economy? Ethnocentrism! Sooner or later we will probably become number two or even number three. It's time to wrap our collective minds around that probability. But third world, no chance Jack. America has too many resources and enterprising people.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  74. Lou in Virginia


    The way to the Third World passes through the Second World. That is the term that Cold War era triage of nations applied to the Communist bloc. That seems to be the destination to which the far-left Democrats who control the Congress want to take this country.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  75. Dony

    If Sarah Palin becomes President in 2012, YES !!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  76. Debby

    If our leaders remain more faithful to the their parties and not the country, we will implode like Rome and other civilizations that took to power and greed instead of the betterment for all. Oops–is that socialism? Our democracy is sliding because of greed and power. The people must continue to have the "audacity of hope!" Give the President a chance to lead instead of drowning him out for the sake of partisan politics

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  77. Bob Davis

    Printing money by the action of the Fed and Treasury to monetize our debt will indeed lead to third world financial status.

    The other issue on my mind is my amazement you have not yet mentioned the Baltimore MD Acorn office video. Must be you are interested in getting closer to the NBC/MSNBC news ratings.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  78. Miguel

    I find it very difficult to believe that we could decline to a third world status. Unlike the rest of the world we are not defined by what we have but who we are. The blood that runs thru the United States is made up of generations of people that under the hardest of times unite as one while the rest of the world divide themselves under the same situations.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  79. Harry Ortiz


    I would appreciate it if you reference "new study by two economists and endorsed by a Nobel laureate."

    Please indicate who published it and where. I would like to cite this study but cannot find it. Thank you.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  80. Dan Dexter

    The more money you have the more likely you are to gamble. You have the slack to do so, and in the giddiness of the moment, quality decisions about your society your country, & fiduciary concerns, are set aside. So due to poor design, theft is the basis for the current economic system. We have pulled into a “Jiffylube” (Governmental Oversight) to solve a serious, psychological problem. If we loose the buck all bets are off!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  81. Kathryn

    I hope not, Jack, but the future looks murky from here. If we do sink to Third World status, or something approaching it, here's my question: Who'll dominate? China? They think their diminished status for the past few centuries is a blip on the screen and I have no doubt they're feeling ready to resume the status they had pre-Age of Imperialism. Don't think they'd be too sensitive to our wishes should that occur.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  82. Richard

    WIthout a doubt! We are no doubt headed to third world status – and have been for some time. This is for two distinct reasons. First, the American people have become lazy and complacent and we don't do the necessary work to know what our elected officials are doing and have done so we reelect them time and time again. Secondly, Capitol Hill, without exception, has become interested in only three things. First, getting reelected and secondly continuing to get themselves by special interest groups. This insures that they retire from office far richer than they came into office. Third, placing a priority on politics and party but not country. All this leads to ruin and collapse of what was once a great nation. Thanks Washington!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  83. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Yes, and it's the fault of George W. Bush, his international cronies, the corporate vampires who are sucking the blood of America, and the Christian End-timers who are hoping to be off the planet by 2012. All of these money bag people want to put their own "values" first and none of them care about the USA. Anybody who cares about this country should get out of the way of President Obama and let him do his job!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  84. Ozzy

    Once again, Ron Paul was right!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  85. Alex

    By the way, you can't just blame president Bush. Who are the people who elected him into office? Wake up America.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  86. Anthony

    Thank God we have President Obama in the White House. Former President Bush almost bankrupt this country and we were headed towards a 3rd world status. Sad.

    Atlanta, GA

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  87. Giancarlo NJ

    Things are difficult, yes...agreed, but 3rd world status I doubt it anyone like myself that has lived in the 3rd world will tell u that..believe me, some of us do know the difference.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  88. Michael

    Impossible; are you kidding me. Those economists need to go back to school.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  89. Jim

    Yes. We can’t import or spend our way to prosperity. Our only real path to sustained recovery is to produce! An economy that produces goods can address deficits, maintain the value of its currency and pay for social spending. Free trade at all cost will eventually destroy our economy as it erodes our standard of living. Bring Back Made in America

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  90. Michael

    I'm living in Brazil and I know first-hand what 3rd world feels like. A VERY small middle class. Government corruption. Mismanaged poverty. A broken infrastructure. Laughable public services. The United States would have to fall very very far to become 3rd world.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  91. Daniel Marughu

    I dont see America ending up as a third world nation, although we are facing econmic crisis, but it is left to us to play our part as consumers by increasing consumer spending. I think the goverment has played it's part by executing the stumulus package which is aimed at revitalizing the economy. Therefore i believe what we need is more time and patience.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  92. Sidney

    jack, I believe that greed and our lack of morallity is going to possiblely lead to our countries demise and may send us to a third world status. We not only make laws that put the US citizens at a disadvange when it comes to investing and creating business; we give foriegn people tax breaks that US citizens cannot have. Outsourcing is going to be the demise of our country

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  93. Andy from Virginia

    Ridiculous to think that even a catastrophic depression will turn the U.S. into a third world nation. Third world nations are countries that have never fully industrialized or modernized their financial systems. The U.S., if nothing else, has one of the most advanced education systems and the most highly trained workers. And, we speak English, which has become the worldwide language of affluence and education. What we need to do is encourage more of our own people to take advantage of our education system so that top-level professional training is the rule in this country, and not the exception.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  94. Philip (Atlanta, Georgia)

    Jack i think the reverse is the case but good a thing you are just waking up. The United States has been in a third world status since George Bush vacated office. It can't get any worse than it was.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  95. Alex F

    We will not fall into 3rd world status. This nation is going through a tough time, but like always. We'll come out on top. Our economy will be on top again,like it always has been.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  96. Irvin Ackerman (Albany, NY)


    As much as I do not want this to happen, it is undeniable that we are on the way down as a Nation. The Federal, State, and local branches are in debt and we the people can't bare anymore taxes to support them.

    At the same time our infrastructure, Schools, Health care, Medicare, Social Security are in need of serious investments that we just don't have the money for.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  97. KT

    The way this adminstration is spending the money of the coming generations, yes the US is headed down the road to being a 3rd World Country. Yes we need to help the economy but when the money goes to big business and their employees as bonsues instead of being given to the average working joe, then it tell you that like you said there will only be two classes of people the rich and the poor.

    We pay, yes those in Congress to represent us, but are they doing what we want, NO. Like the health bill, Congress doesn't have to part of it, so if they don't have to why does everyone else.

    Fiscal responsiblity went out with the election of obama.


    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  98. Chris Morse

    the US already is in so many ways. Third world nations are more about meaningless bureaucracy, socialism, and protectionism that stunt development. Here in Brazil, everyone knows why the country is underdeveloped ... we do it to ourselves. That said, healthcare is free and there's no hunger.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  99. B. Minnick

    We have a government run banking system, auto industry, and soon, health care system. We have two government run ponzi schemes in Social Security and Medicare. We have a Congress obsessed with paying back contributors with pork barrel spending, led by tax cheats and criminals. We have a Marxist ideologue for a President, who defies our Constitution. Haven't we already acheived third world status?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  100. Michelle, New York


    The answer is YES! God forbid our government admits the direction we are heading in. We are losing an average of $450,000 jobs in this country per month. We have hundreds of thousands of both veterans & civilian disability cases in backlog. No, I repeat no new jobs have been created. THIS, has all been foretold...too many Americans are walking around with that glazed look in their eyes thinking that things economically will get better-it's simple math, how will we fund these much needed programs today and tommorow with millions out of work????
    Let's not overlook the obvious here, don't think that another country will not kick us while we're down--many have been waiting in the wings for such an opportunity.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  101. Herman Norvel

    We have an art company that set up a studio in Hong Kong 4 years ago after doing work for Hong Kong Disneyland. The objective was to do more work in the region, and in part, to capitalize on the low cost labor in China to produce decorative artwork for the US market since we could not compete here as easily. We were successful on a few projects, but its gotten much harder to find interest and be competitive.
    Now, we are finding less factories in China willing to deal with us. We just got left in the lurch by one in the 11th hour of our project – he Chinese vendor raised his price 80% in the end. Ironically its for a hotel IN China. With unemployment in USA so high, we have decided to do the work here in the USA and send it to China. Made In Small town USA.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  102. Rick


    The US is on a spiral to 3rd world status. The problem is everything this adminstration is doing is not based on real earnings. A stimulus plan and cash for clunkers is not going to produce real jobs because there is no real earnings foundation. The administration bailed out the banks and Wall St, but it never bailed out the American public...namely all those real estate values that have declined well below what people owe. Those values will take several years if not longer to be equal to what people simply owe. This is what is keeping money and jobs at bay, because this effects the economy at large. Why not reassess the mortgage balances, putting them in line with today's market, slow down or stave off millions more foreclosures, and that will keep money in the hands of the people, who will spend it and create jobs, until that happens, I only see more unemployment and more spending based on nothing.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  103. Brianne

    I read about the great depression in history.. I honestly never thought about encountering it.. It's hard to keep faith these days.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  104. Byron

    Coming from someone who has lived in the United States AND a Third World country, no, not yet. Can you seriously see big proportion of Americans living on $2 a day? Or even $1, like much of my country? The U.S. is up there too high to fall so low so early. Let's ask again in 30 years.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  105. CK Honolulu

    The US just barely survived a financial apocolypse. Whether we become a third world country will depend on whether we learned our lesson and implement the necessary reforms. Heath Care reform is currently topic #1 in Congress, but financial reforms are also in the pipeline. It will take several years, but we will have a strong economy of which all the people will benefit–not just the top 1%.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  106. Audrey Marie

    I would not blame Pres. Obama for this mess. He is trying very hard to fix Bush's mess of 8 years. So do not blame him.
    He needs the help of the No party to work with him and we may be okay. Otherwise with the" NO' groups attitude we could become a thrid world country.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  107. Sherrod Flowers

    I believe everything that are elected officials our doing now will yeild good results. I just wish that some of these other states get rid of some of the Bozos that are getting in the way of progress. I have been to many thirld world countries and we are in no way close to ending up like that. Contrary to what some may believe we do have so honest individuals that have been elected to office.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  108. Jim


    During Bush's disastrous 8 years I would have said yes. If McCain had won the election I'd have said yes. But with Obama at the helm and the support of a democratically dominated Congress, I expect a roaring economy within 2 years, unprecedented economic health by 2016, and a massive surplus bequeathed by Obama to his successor. Let's just hope it's another democrat.

    Reno, Nevada

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  109. Alan

    If the US continues spending billions, perhaps trillions, on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and who knows whats next, yes, indeed you will lower your standard of living...whether first, second or third world.

    Either request your allies to shoulder the enormous expense of these wars, or go it alone and risk reducing your economy to second or third world levels.

    Hubris and unilateral actions will exact a price. Is the US in a postion to pay this price?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  110. Wayne Collum

    We are probably headed that way…. But there is still a lot of time for corporate America to rape us (including the healthcare industry) a while longer. Unfortunately, the population will continue to be in denial, or continue sleeping or keep focusing on ideology and personal moral issues; we’re still too “comfortable’ to care or to realize the gravity.

    Wayne Collum, RN

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  111. James Elliair

    The rapid expanse of the department of Homeland Security, to include federal patrol cars–you can see them on the streets–and urban military drills to curtail "civil unrest" are both tall tell signs that their will be blood spilled in our streets. This is not the America I was born into. This is the wrath being poured out upon the great harlot who is our economoy. We'll be lucky to be able to call this land a third world country when all is said and done.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  112. rahmel

    Jack Jack Jack,where I'm from a third wold country would be an upgrade. No jobs, dirty police, and drug selling judges. Crossett AR.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  113. Ada/Toxey, Alabama

    Yes Jack, I am glad you have brought this topic up, I have heard all of what you have said about the third taking over the U.S and I believe we are headed into that direction. It is imminent. We are in debt; soon the United States is going to be governed, and ruled by another nation. If the majority of the naysayers cannot accept President Obama as the President, let them stay around for what is coming. owned and ruled by another country, believe it or not, it is prophecy.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  114. Pat Irvine

    We are on our way to Third World Status. Without question, we are throwing good money after bad as Obama tries to rush through more programs and bills at our expense.

    I am bothered by his use of "I", "my", and "I'm the President " too often.
    His efforts to control unilaterally deferring only to a questionable staff of "advisors" (avoiding the "C" word), is an indication that Third World s could be our next title.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  115. Eric

    The United States is definitely headed to third world status. We have dug ourselves a deep hole and we continue to dig deeper. The reason is because we put money in to all the wrong places. As we continue to put all the tax payers' money in to a war that's already had hundreds of billions of dollars put into in to it, our education suffers. We need to put an end to this over funded war or else our hole will the core of the Earth and America will burn in a fiery explosion... figuratively of course.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  116. RL

    If current congressional trends continue absolutely yes. With Pelosi and Reid "leading" the way.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  117. Tracy

    Without a doubt we are well on our way and I think Obama may be our way of hopping the express train to 3rd world status. Unless you live in a country like Norway, where there are very few people and more oil revenue than they know what to do with, communism and socialism simply don't work. Unfortunately in the US we won't even have the benefit of the country offsetting it spending by way of owning the profitable companies. Instead the US will soon have a welfare programs for companies/entities as well as those already in effect for individuals...GM is only the first example.

    If you give it away free there is no incentive to work...if there is no one working then there is no money made...if there is no money made there is no money to spend...if there is no money to spend then you can't give it away free...its a death spiral and I for one am getting dizzy.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  118. Richard Wayne Garganta

    We will be fine if the corporate structure realizes US capitalism can't continue with this constant returning to eroding the middle class. Let the people that do the work get the money and enough with this dual class mentality. And yes, that means big money will make less money – that is the way it must be to move forward.

    Coventry, Rhode Island

    September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  119. Carolyn from Georgia

    Obama has only been in office 9 months, aren't we being a little stupid to put all this on the President and his administration? How much money/power/influence has been sucked out of the USA by the Bush years?

    It is time to see, think, be differently.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  120. frankie

    President Obama himself said in his speech last night, that if we do not fix health care, the cost will soon double and thus make our industries even less competitive in the world market. The reason he is tackling health care, education, the economy, financing, the struggles of the working class, etc. all at the same time, wasn't just to inspire bickering.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  121. Jim Akron

    Most third world countries have stronger manufacturing industries than we do, enough said.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  122. Dirk Bester


    USA,third world? I can understand where the panic is coming from,but come live in a real 3rd world country and we'll all agree that you still have some way to go before joining our club

    Stellenbosch, South Africa

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  123. Ted

    It seems like it! bush started it and now its become Obamanomics.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  124. Jason IInuma

    We have been headed to third world status for the last thirty years. Its been a slow and agonizing process. Our schools and infrastructure have been in decline for decades, with politicians afraid to spend money on needed repairs and fixes. You have politicians like Arlen Spectre and John Murtha pushing money to Pennsylvania too for some reason constantly tear up the same street or road, instead of fixing the railroads or main highways that run through their state. The one thing the Pennsylvania state government has agreed too hands down with no opposition is the adoption of the red traffic cone as the new state tree. In Hawaii, you have Inouye, pushing all this money to bring in the military but no real money to expand or fix our super congested freeways or fix our failing schools. Our ports of entry are fourth country rated. The unions have a stranglehood on our import/export at the ports and require the use of some 20-30 persons to offload/load a ship with cargo, but you go to Singapore and other first rate countries and they have "1" guy in a crane loading/off-loading multiple ships. I can go on and on, but until "our" goverments actually start fixing the small things, how can I expect them to fix the big ones? So yes, we are headed to a third world state.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  125. Bill Parker

    You mean we're not already? I grew up in beautiful 1950's Detroit. Look at it today, it would have to move up to be Third World!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  126. Christien S.

    Too much frivolous spending. Too much money being mishandled. 23.7 Trillion Dollars "disappears". That is why we are heading for third world status!!!! Why can't someone talk about THAT more??

    September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  127. Phil

    The U.S. is probably not headed for a so-called "Third World" status–although this doesn't mean that very real changes aren't underway. No country, however powerful and affluent, retains such standing forever. For this reason, the current economic crisis is interesting: it opens our eyes to the artificiality of painting an "immortal" image of ourselves. We are no longer the "unquestionably stable" nation we were in the past. Such is life.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  128. STAN - IL.

    No, definitly not. Are you trying to fan the hate, to take away from the health care program? Evidently you haven't been out of this Country, or you wouldn't ask that kind of question. Comparing this Country to third world Country's is like comparing ripe fruit to rotten fruit.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  129. cherie

    Sir, this was predicted back in 1983. The first Iheard wind of it I was stationed in Kitizigen Germany and the rumor of the Holy War against the U.S was also being rumored. Man what a coinky dink man.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  130. Craig


    I support President Obama because I believe he is very bright and really listens to his advisors and other experts out their before making decisions.

    This doesn't mean that our deficit, and debt are very disconcerting. I think we must begin to turn the tide in these areas within the next couple years or we will never make it out.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  131. Fred Doane

    We're headed to third world status? Really? We started down that road when President Reagan gave amnesty to those two million "illegals" which was actualy 10-15 million and grew to 30 million. You know, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and so on. As long as we keep importing from the bottom rung we'll just expedite our race to the bottom – of everything!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  132. Sandra Atlanta

    Yes, thanks to Geroge W. Bush!!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  133. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    Bush put us in this mess and It will take the President awhile to get things going our way again.It was like this when Pres. Clinton took office and he turned it around going to be slow as we don't have jobs.The mills closed in the Carolina and the steel plants in Bufflo N Y and that employed lots of middle class people.I pray everyday for the President that he can lead us out of this mess.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  134. Chris in Atlanta

    Anybody who has said no we are not headed for 3rd world status does not fully comprehend the exponential function nor have they looked at a chart of Alt-A and Option Arm resets. Ideological views of American ingenuity will not absolve the sins of Wall Street.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  135. Michael, Arlington VA

    If we continue on the path we are on then 3rd world status would be inevitable. We have the power to change our path but that means changing a culture of greed that does not want to be changed. It runs from Wall Street traders betting against the success of a company's stock to Capitol Hill where too many of our elected officials are on the take from lobbyists who are only concerned with making a buck today and not how their greed will affect tomorrow's economy. It's possible for us to change our path. The question is will we be able to break the grip of corporate American greed and take our country back to the honest democracracy that our founding fathers envisioned.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  136. Karl from SF, CA

    We are only number one in the amount per capita we pay for grossly inferior health care. That $6.000.00 plus is nearly double number two’s cost. Our civility level toward our fellow man has dropped to a negative number and half of our politicians would rather lie to us then look at us. Sounds like solid 3rd world to me. What’s next? Dancing naked around a pot in front of a grass shack? I think we have a few of them in homeless camps already.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  137. Adam Kirur

    You're kidding, right? Go to the inner cities, spend some time in Appalachia: Tens of millions of Americans are ALREADY living in the Third World!

    But don't you worry none about the Trumps, Hiltons, Fords, etc. They'll do just fine!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  138. Keith Metcalf

    Absolutely. If president Obama and Congress keep spending their way out of this mess it is not going to help the economy at all. If we want to avoid third-world status then we should eliminate wasteful government spending, overseas spending, and end the wars. Enough is enough, Americans are fed up and it's time for some real change.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  139. Raymond

    The US is already like many third world failed states in 3 aspects.
    First, it has no functional universal health care system.
    Second, it allows teenagers to purchase firearms easily as long as they are tall enough to look over the counter.
    Third, the citizens exhibit rude and uncivilised behaviour during discussions in public square, i.e. town hall meetings' rant

    September 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  140. Stefan Nilsson

    Of course the US is not headed for Third World status! As a liberal Swede, often critical of the US, I must admit that history shows that your country always has had the ability to adapt to challenges.

    The US will face strong competition from China, India and Brazil but will stay in the League of the strongest economies. Hopefully it will also take the lead in the development and use of green technologies, so badly needed in the years ahead.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  141. Sherrod F. from Milwaukee

    I believe everything that our elected officials are doing now will yield good results. I just wish that some of these other states get rid of some of the Bozos that are getting in the way of progress. I have been to many third world countries and we are in no way close to ending up like that. Contrary to what some may believe we do have some honest individuals that have been elected to office.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  142. Jolie Anderson

    I have been saying for months that if you want to know how a third world becomes a third world, all you have to do is watch what is happening in America. Our government has taken away the blue collar manufacturing jobs and replaced them with Government aide programs to not only shelter but feed the once middle class population. Eventually these programs will become to over burdened to handle all the people. I don't know when the upper class will understand that America is only as strong as there manufacturing middle class and our dollar and economy depends on us. If we don't get this soon we will eventually see other countries showing infomercials with our childrens starving and homeless faces on it asking for a monthly donation to help feed and shelter the children of America. We the people need to tell our government to bring back the jobs NOW!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  143. Kevin of ny

    Of course we are. Problems like exponential border penetration, increased us citizen birthrate with the lack of jobs to support them, natural resource depletion, trashing of our dollar, among other, things i think is the perfect storm for 3rd world status.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  144. David California

    The simple answer is yes. I have the utmost faith in the American economy, but lets face it, we have serious problems. Discounting rising unemployment, we have skyrocketing deficets, trade imbalences, and so on and so forth. We simply can't go on like this forever. Although we lead the world (for now) in inovation and that is a very bright spot for our economy. But you can't rely on that forever, sooner or later we will be supplanted in that area as well.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  145. Diana Howell

    One would have to be delusional not to see what is coming our way. We are no longer a solid manufacturing nation. We print money with wild abandon, keep raising the debt ceiling and like Jack said, are losing our middle class. There's been talk for quite some time to change from the dollar to a more stable reserve currency. What country in their right mind is going to continue to invest in what we have to offer. It's only a matter of time before countries start calling in their debts – and then we're really in trouble.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  146. Paul Feldstein

    Yes, the United States is already in third world status.

    Technologically, too many jobs have been outsourced to countries like India. Even sewer caps that I have seen in New York City are being made in India.

    Our children are not being prepared well in our schools to handle the challenges facing our nation.

    We have best medical care, with the worst access to it. That is unacceptable for a country that has been as rich as we were.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  147. ariana

    NO, Jack we cannot call ourselves a third world country-it's quite the opposite from that. Third world countries would kill to have what America has; drowning in debt, or not.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |

    Have you noticed that EVERYONE WORLD WIDE, has a sence of DREAD? DREAD about what tomorrow may bring.The entire World sences that America is about to be brought down by who else? Third World countries that are seeking the nuclear bomb, for peaceful purposes only or those holding our debt. China is right about the dollar because they report the truth of Americas national debt. Its not $9 Trillion, it's $64 Trillion, which can never be paid back to the Federal Reserve or China or the Arabs or others that hold our notes. The foreigners that own America are scared America will fall before they get some of their money back. What Thomas Jefferson warned Americans about Foreign Bankers has come to pass. THEY OWN US!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  149. lennie kay

    Yes NAFTA ,unfair trade greed, bad government,greed bad government and more greed.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  150. Jenny, Canada.

    The first step to avoiding this is to reform health care (the US already has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the modern world).

    The second is to increase access to quality education, and reverse the epidemic drop out rate.

    It's a matter of trust, and I believe Obama is on the right track. He worked to pull the economy back from the second great depression, and there are now signs worldwide recovery. Peter Schiff has said that the Canadian dollar will one day be worth twice the American, but I think this time he is wrong and perhaps even biased by partisan politics.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  151. Jake

    When China revokes our credit card we will crash over night. Do people still call China a third world country? (There putting up 50 story high rises over there like handing out snow cones at the county fair.) China is ahead of us in wind power and is investing in solar. When they release there electric vehical in a year or two it will finish off one or two of our domestic car companies. China figuered out decades ago that only so many people fit in a life boat before it sinks and we haven't even began a national dialogue on population control. ( Looks like we may need thoughs ficticious "death panals" after all ). Bush sold us all down stream and it's a long swim back! Our kids are malnurished (overweight) and intelectually inferior in a global market. Eight years or more of an open door policy with our neighbors has produced a society of people that can't even talk to each other.( Reference Tower of Babel.) Musical accompaniment, " This is the End" by the Doors.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  152. Paul Coe

    Yes, the US is headed towards third world status. Our whole economy is based on wasteful consumer spending. When the financial system crashed the government foolishly urged Americans to go out and spend. Americans need to save, not spend so that corporations and foreign governments can gorge on the profits.

    America cannot keep borrowing from China and other nations so we can spend that money buying more crap from China. The only beneficiaries of this system are corporations and foreign countries. The sad thing is that it is already too late. We have literally sold ourselves for instant gratification and totally forgotten about the future we leave our children. Like all other great societies America now too is falling. Human nature being what it is, we cannot save ourselves from ourselves.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  153. cait

    As the Baby Boomers in this society we can look back forty plus years, see how this country has changed, and yes, believe the nobel laureates' graffiti on the walls. It's alarming to see the state we're in. Just drive through Cleveland and get a load of those boarded up houses along the interstate. I returned to my hometown in Louisiana one year recently and was aghast at the deterioration. My doctor's office was rundown, and looked Third World. I've traveled the world extensively and lived in the so called Third World as well, and guess what. There's an uncomfortable resemblance in our own backyard. We need to work our asses off to prevent serious decay. Every single one of us. Getting more people on the government dole, rather than off, is just going to take us to hell lightspeed.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  154. Randy Dinkins

    Do I hear chicken little?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  155. Kathy from Tennessee

    I think so, greed, and shipping jobs out, to much spending will take this country down some day. I see it coming. We also have to many special interest groups that are not doing us any good either.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  156. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Present trends continue, the US will be what China was in the 1800s – big and broke! Surprise to everyone: foreign adventurism, off-budget programs, lunatic historical tax policies, and uneconomic health care are the nails that are going put us in our coffin. Real health care reform could make as much as half of the cost of health care in America just vanish (at the expense of only the private insurance industry.) Sane tax policy will increase domestic investment and jobs and make the wealthiest pay their fair share. Real defense reform will cut the cost of unneeded weapons and improve our global security. However, we are stuck now, and for a few years, with the unpaid bills from GW Bush policy, including Afghanistan, and we must see that through or else. Same with the economic "stimulus" and the troubled assets programs – it will cost more now rto fix this mess than we like, but it will cost more later if we don't. We must balance the budget by the time inflation picks up, after the recovery gets going, but not sooner.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  157. mike tn

    yes we are if the spending does not stop.how are we going to pay
    this back.what was obama thinking? or was he?

    mike , tn

    September 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  158. John

    The US has lost nearly all manufacturing jobs. We have nothing left to export. Soon we will default on our debts and we will having nothing left.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  159. Jeff from CA

    If we became a third world country, maybe all the jobs would finally get shipped back to us!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  160. JOHN

    We could avoid all wars if we started doing the right things instead of our supposive ally Israel. Heat is coming from middle east 142 countries around the world agreed/ voted on at General assembly that what Israel is doing to humanity in palestine is Genocide in open death camps. The whole world knows and protesting against this unfair treatment. Double standard is being used here, just because Israel is our so called ally doesn't give Israel the right to kill people. Terrorized kids are becoming terrorist. Israel knows the world is becoming desensitised to shedding of muslim blood, becuase it is easy to justify killing on mass scale once you have demonized the population as whole. The same thing was done by Hitler which killed 6 million innocent jews. The same thing was done to red indian in America. The same thing was done to black people in America. You want to end the war win the people and win the war. This will engulf us all. If we could face the fact and do the right thing for the people by the people in general this all can be avoided. Future how we make it is in our own hands.
    God Bless USA.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  161. Jackie in Dallas

    If we don’t take care of our own people, if we don’t bring back jobs to put them back to work, and we continue to let 2% of the people of this country control 98% of the wealth, we certainly are headed that way. Our companies have no regulation, our big business interests control too many of our legislators, and we are shown to be the biggest political hypocrites in the world by our legislators.

    We rank 37th on the list of international countries for healthcare. 37th! We rank that low because of such things as infant mortality rates, access to emergency care, quality of care, availability of care, and affordability of care. While paying more for healthcare on an individual basis than any other country, we still rank 37th!

    I’ve paid taxes for 40 + years, and cannot afford health care! And my representative was flipping through papers while the President was speaking! That's crass, disrespectful, and indicative of a 3rd world country!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  162. Marion/Birmingham

    Looks like that Jack, Spending too much,Borrowing too much,and Campaigning too much.... Where is our Leadership,Obama never looked at the Camera all night he was looking to the left and right teleprompter all during his speech.He never did get to any specifics of a bill,makes one wonder if he has any idea what is in the bill?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  163. Richard Dame

    For at least 20 years, there has been an estimate that for the rest of the world to attain the same standard of living as Europe and North America, without a decline in our SOL, the equivalent of three additional Planet Earths would have to be found. The chances of the latter taking place any time soon are slim to none. The more likely prospect is that the horsemen of the Apocalypse will make their effects known.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  164. Rahmel Crossett AR

    Jack since repubs don't want big gov seems as if they would vote for the health plan in order to break the gov and then they wouldn't have to worry about the gov because it would be broke.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  165. maria

    Third world? So what China owns our debt. Who do you think built their economy? Until the rest of the world, whether developing or already developed,can consume the way we Americans do, the global economy cannot rely on a recovery. Who else is going to buy the crap they produce? How else are they going to continue to grow? Why are we competing against a Communo-capitalist country that has 0 human rights and a very large workforce that gets paid so little? We may have our world status change a little, but this is America. We will be back!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  166. Tom Teas

    Government has never created wealth or capital, it only taxes it away.

    The less government interfears with free markets, other than to regulate crime, fraud and abuse, allows individuals the freedom to develop new technologies, products, medicines, and jobs that creates wealth. Wealth creation better serves the individual and society.

    Wealth or Capital propertly invested creates ROI which creates more capital, more growth, and a riseing standard of living which allows individuals to purchase the itemes they want including health insurance.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  167. charle michigan

    No,the usa is the most developed country in the world for soooo many reasons.i will mention only few of them,because i can't even count them.
    a) the technology in the usa is the best in the world.
    b) infrastrucure in america is also the best.
    c) us military is also the best one in the planet.
    this question is not to be asked about america.
    thanks jack

    September 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  168. Ron

    No. will not turn into a Third World Country.As american's this isn't going to happen.To many resourceful people .will not let this happen. Don't you know ,we have the greatest people on the planet!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  169. di

    The good old USA is on its way veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy very fast.
    God help us!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  170. Anna

    We have been working hard for years to loose our first rate status. Third world, no, but second class yes. Anyone else ever visit Russia?

    We have to have products to sell to the rest of the world. Our cars, steel, radios, are going the way of the tv... all overseas. You can't sell nothing for long before people realize they don't need us anymore.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  171. STAN - IL.

    No, but if our new President hadn't beaten Mccain we would have been there soon. He would have us in wars everywhere.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  172. Michael Doran

    Yes, the U.S. is headed for Third World status. The value of our dollar has eroded as the Federal Reserve has printed money with without restraint. The U.S. is in debt so far that only the only solution is to print monet even faster. We can not borrow our way out of debt and the debt does matter. When our elederly have only a few dollars each month and those few dollars buy less and less food, you will see how we have destroyed our nation by destroying our money. Thank the Federal Reserve for our new found status.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm |