November 21st, 2008
03:56 PM ET

Next 20 years: How worried are you?


People in Baghdad burn an American flag in protest against a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The power and influence the United States has in the world will decline in the next two decades and struggles for the world's natural resources will intensify, according to a new government report.

The National Intelligence Council's "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World" says the world is in the middle of an historic transfer of wealth from West to East. That's been brought on by increases in oil and commodity prices as well as a shift of manufacturing and certain other industries to Asia.

The U.S. will likely remain the single most powerful nation in the world, but its economic and military strength will decrease considerably. It will continue to play a leading role in the war against global terrorism.

Nations like Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey will likely gain power, and their need for natural resources will increase.

But China is expected to be our biggest rival by 2025. The report predicts it will have the world's second largest economy by then and will be a leading military power.

Here’s my question to you: How worried are you about the next 20 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Michael from Greenfield, Wisconsin writes:
Very. If we don't jettison the old failed ways of doing things, we are finished. The “good old boy” slap on the wrist for destroying a nation has got to stop. Country first, or you go to jail forever.

John from Sacramento, California writes:
I'm extremely worried about the massive debt my child will inherit. As a country, our answer to almost every problem for the past decade has been to borrow against our future and only now are we seeing the awful results: and this is just the beginning. Our future is here now and the only answer our leaders have is to borrow even more furiously and rack up historic debt.

Karen writes:
If more isn't done to help the middle class, we might not have 20 years left to worry about. We have outsourced the jobs to foreign countries and sold or borrowed against most of our assets. There isn't much left to worry about.

Grant from Ann Arbor, Michigan writes:
Twenty years? Jack, I live in Michigan. I'm way more concerned about waking up tomorrow morning and having a roof over my head, a car to drive and food on the table. Twenty years from now is beyond my comprehension. Get real.

Stacy from Virginia writes:
Jack, you have to enjoy each day as if it were your last. Hug your kids, kiss your wife, tell you them you love them, don’t eat too much, sleep in on Saturday morning now and again, don’t worry all the time, and 20 years will fly by.

Dean from Delmar, New York writes:
No worries at all, Jack. We have some of the best farmland and agricultural technology in the world. We grow more than enough food to feed the country every year. There is a global food crisis looming on the horizon. Think living without oil is tough? Try living without bread.

Larry from Georgetown, Texas writes:
The beauty of living one day at a time eliminates a lot of the worry in life as it doesn't do any good to sit around and worry. Fear causes us to do things that create more problems in the long run.

Filed under: U.S. Global Image
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Worried, No. Excited, Yes.

    Hope simply defined is seeing new possibilities. And the possibilities for new technology, new culture, new humanity are endless. And to live in this moment on the brink of this change in evolution of the World and of humanity is indeed exciting.

    Carpe Diem, Jack.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Annie Florida

    At my age not too worried but for my children and grandchildren they are going to have real challenges ahead. Much like my parents did. I hope they are resilient and take the time to get involved in what is necessary to better their future.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  3. Mike - Pueblo

    I'm most worried about my kids for the next 20 years and beyond. I'm worried for them about the economy, the environment, the long term government stability and involvement in citizen's lifes, and more. It keeps me up at night.

    Mike – Pueblo, CO

    November 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  4. Bertha

    Remember when our grandmothers would always say "Lord what is the world coming to"?

    Well, I think that we've arrived, Jack.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  5. Jane (Minnesota)

    I'm in my late 40's and hoping to be able to retire in 20 years. I'm wondering today just how much my 401K will recover by that time from the losses it took this year. It doesn't do any good to lose sleep over it unless you will need the money in the next year or 2. If that was the case then the money should have been more conservatively invested. Investing in the stock market has never been without risk. I can't help wonder though just how many senior citizen investors were given poor advice or no advice from their investment advisors. I personally know a 90 plus year old man who took quite a hit on his portfolio in September. When he talked to his advisor, the advisor told him to leave it be for 5 years. What kind of wise advice is that to give someone more than 90 years old? I suspect greed & commissions along with some lack of oversght may have been at play.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  6. Conor in Chicago

    I honestly don't think we'll be here in 20 years. That's why I still smoke. That's why I still drink. Do some meaningful research on water shortages, booming populations, crop failures world wide, global warming, prison industrial complex, military industrial complex, the realities of a declining America, and couple that with over 40% of the American electorate that thought that McCain/Palin was a good idea, and then couple that with 60% of the population that thought Obama a good idea (neither of them were). And this is just America I'm talking about. Think about the rest of the world. We're doomed.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  7. Chad N., Fresno California

    Not worried at all about the next twenty years, I cant be, I dont have enough time to worry about the next twenty years when I am so busy worrying if anyone will be around to see the next twenty years!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    I must admit, I've never been more concerned about the economy and the world, than I am right now.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  9. Daniel Ambrose

    Unless President-elect Obama can resurrect how bad things are now within his four years of office, then this country really have serious concerns. Some will survive this turbulent flight and others will not. Looking into the future now of 20 years I don't see a very good outcome. This country is in too much debt and we have trusted present and future big heads to lead this country and where have they led us? To me it looks like an out of control plane descending faster than a speeding bullet and there will not be this big ballon that breaks our fall unless we cut ridiculous spending and stop issuing taxpaxers money as bailouts and handouts.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  10. Don (Ottawa)

    My biggest worry is that while corporate CEO's were trying to maximize profits, others like China and India were working on developing sustainable options. Twenty years from now we may find outselves out sourced, out maneuvered and out done as a superpower.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  11. Ray Kinserlow

    At 63 years of age, not much. I feel for the kids though.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  12. Frank from Peterborough

    Fact is the next 20 years are going to be very bleak for a lot of people we consider middle class with less than a college eductaion.

    My reasoning behind my thoughts are that a huge portion of people have, up until now, been able to work at decent paying jobs without needing some form of higher education.

    These types of jobs have disappeared and will not be returning and the work force is going to be flooded with people who fall within this category with nothing to look forward to but menial jobs paying the minimum wage.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Myra Becnel


    I am too worried about the next year too even think that far. Ask that question again after we have had some time to implement some new polices. Baby steps not leap frog!

    Kaneohe, Hawaii.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    The next 20 years, not so much – the next year or two, extremely.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  15. Al, Iowa City, IA

    Well, it depends on whether or not Barack Obama is brainwashed by the so called "intelligence" that has driven this nation's foreign policy to it's current disasterous state. I was very concerned to see, after his first intelligence briefing, a look on Obama's face that I had never seen before throughout the entire campaign. It was a combination of frustration and resignation, no doubt over the ever so top secret lies and misinformation he recieved in that briefing.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  16. Nuria

    I'm 41. I have no 401K where I work, and the cost of living keeps going up and up, too bad my paycheck doesn't.

    I expect to die over a fry cooker unless something gives.

    I used to watch movies about the future, being portrayed as this dark desolate society (picture Mad Max or V), and think that's not where we're heading. Sadly, I'm not so sure anymore.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  17. Tony from Torrington

    Jack, I'm 66 years old. I'll probably be dead in twenty years. My worry is for my daughter and my grandson. I hope when m grandson is my age we will still be a democracy, and not a country like Cuba, Russia or China.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  18. don Calgary,Alberta

    bush's legacy will go well byond 20 years, lets say 80 years; bush put your country back into the first 13 colonies!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  19. Philip from Toronto Canada

    I have never in my life been so afraid of the future.
    I see a return to the brutal system where an Elite few control everything while the rest of us work for enough food and shelter. Look at Paraguay, Mexico or Argentina....are we so far removed from a life like that?
    America was created by the middle-class who earned more than they spent and established a dream for the future.
    Kill the middle-class and America dies so will democracy and freedom.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Colleen, Charlotte, NC

    My first thought is that I WOULD be happy and grateful to see the year 2029, my second thought is that if I do indeed see it, I HOPE that I am glad to have made it...I will be 70.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  21. John in Rohnert Park

    The short answer is I'm worried quite a bit. However, it's not so much the next 20 years but the next 2 that troubles me the most. If Obama can get us on the right track over the next 2 years then I think the next 20 will be ok.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  22. Devon - Alton, Ilinois

    We still are biting our nails from the last 8 years of turmoil. I think in the next 20 years following we might be having people building storm shelters preparing for a fallout.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  23. Bob Gaffrey in Southfield, MI

    I'm standing on a ledge, Jack. As a GM retiree living on a meager pension, I'm wondering, where was my $70 an hour? I live in a meager home and drive a beater.
    Now that I've acquired a BA and MA and can't find work because I'm too old.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  24. Lisa in Ga

    Jack, if we don't stop sending our jobs over seas, stop paying outrages health care cost, catering to the greedy CEO'S, continue depending on oil and spending billions in Iraq... I am afraid America will not make it 20 more years..... crime will eventually take over because 95 percent of America will be broke ... and morality will eventually end the America we know today.

    Better start praying now....

    November 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  25. Steve Peach - Indiana

    I have concerns, no questions on that Jack. But honestly now that Obama is our next President, I feel he can and will make the proper changes to make this country strong again. My grandkids won't have as much of a burden to deal with as they did under Bush, or would have had under McCain.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  26. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    I fear there are several related trends that may lead to the precipitous decline of human civilization in the next 20 years if they aren't checked or better still reversed.

    Global warming - threatens to reduce availability of arable and habitable land,and water - hence food. These shortages could lead to attempted mass migrations and global conflict.

    Energy shortage - the availability of currently used energy sources , particularly petroleum, are finite, and they are being consumed at an ever increasing rate. This could also lead to global conflict, as it contributed to World War II and the Iraq misadventure.

    Overpopulation - this factor drives the other two since each person contributes their carbon footprint to the environmental stress and energy consumption.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  27. Jenna Wade

    Next 20 years: How worried are you?

    Forget 20 years, I'm worried about next month!

    Roseville CA

    November 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  28. cy gardner

    I am 53. I don't expect I will ever be able to retire. At some point, I expect society will not have any jobs for old people who need to work. I expect suicide rates to soar and I have real expectations that some day I will be a part of that statistic and when that day comes, people will be so desperate that the media won't report on it and the public will look the other way. The future is bleak and you can thank the GOP. cy gardner arlington va

    November 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  29. Joe in DE

    The good news is that I probably won't live that long.

    My descendents will have to deal with the bad news. We are heading down. Only a radical restructing of the economy and a greatly changed approcah to free trade (total UNFAIR at this time) can turn things around. The US is on its way to becoming a has been.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  30. Diane/Allentown, PA

    Not too worried Jack. We have two sons who can take turns driving us to work when we're 80 years old. It'll be ok, don't worry........

    November 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  31. John

    Jack: Worrying is stupid. It is a waste of time. We need to keep electing smart people like Barack Obama and Joe Biden. This nation can not stand the lack of intelligence demostrated by the Bush Admistration. We need people driven by service to mankind not driven by greed like we saw with Worldcom and Enron. If you eat like pig you get a stomach ache like Wall Street is having now. We need people who want to see capitalism work for all not just the top 5% of the tax brack.


    November 21, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  32. don dean FL.

    What me worry? I am not sure I can make to next year

    November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  33. me46

    The USA is at a crossroads in history where we will define the fate of a nation. If the government continues along the same path, America will fall into an apocalyptic state where poverty, hunger, and despair are the norm and where anarchy and insurrection will lead to a totalitarian state. A humanitarian approach to government is the only way to save us from ourselves.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  34. Cori from Colorado

    Absolutely worried! My biggest concern is what the job market will look like, and if I'll be employed, my retirement and if I'll have a 401K, health care in my older age, taxes in 20 years, our world's resources, pollution...the list goes on and on. If people aren't worried about the outlook of the future, they should be!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  35. Matt in ABQ

    At this point, I am more "cautiously optimistic" than worried.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  36. NANCY M.- Colorado

    Lets see. Twenty years. I'll be 94 years old. I'm a lot less worried now that we have this intelligent and hopeful president elect. Otherwise, I would be unconsolable!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  37. Ken in Seattle

    At my age I just hopeful that I will last another twenty years, and know what day of the week it is.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  38. Happy in Arizona

    I have been a Republican all my life, but until we get rid of these stupid, dysfunctional, maverick Republicans out of office, there is great concern for this country.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  39. Karl from SF, CA

    I'm worried in the short term with Wall Street and automakers and all, but the future looks good in my eyes. The results of the past eight years will probably require most of the next 20 years to undo and pay off. It will happen and we will get through it. Besides, it will probably take the republicans that long to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, anyway.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  40. Karen - Nashville

    The older you get, the less you like seeing your world change. I like to think I haven't reached the paranoid stage yet.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  41. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    In twenty years the Hip-Hoppers will take over. My generation was hippies, and look what we have done. We're handing over to Obama and his generation were the yuppies. I think a generation with a yuppie attitude can get the job done and the Hip Hoppers can mess it up again.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  42. Sam, Springfield

    No Jack. And let me tell you why. The cost of living will go back to the

    Bread .39
    potato chips .10
    gas .69 (well maybe not)
    House $15,000
    car $3,000

    Everyone will have a job putting the failed infrastructures back together
    and treat each other kindly once again. Kind of like the rebirth of

    November 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  43. David, Tampa, Fl

    Hopefully in 20 years I'll be chasing cute nurses around the retirement home as I'll be 80. If not I'll be working for less than minimum wage with no benefits someplace just trying to get by. The causes of this economic mess we are in goes back 40 or more years and will not be solved in the next decade or two, for which I would like to thank both major political parties and our leadership, political and economic.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  44. ajks

    I think we as a nation will be getting back our confidence soon, and the economy, etc. will make a turnaround. Even with all of our problems, our country has the intelligence and fortitude to look past these tough times. It is going to take hard work, but we can be successful!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  45. Krishna Kumaran

    US Govt which is itself burdened with heavy debt can not rescue the economy troubled by humonguous losses. Unless the US govt has a surplus budget e.g. by imposing non- anti-enterpreneurial taxes such as Gasoline tax, Alcohol/tobacco tax and even sales tax on stock trades, we will have to be worried. Only a fiscal solvent govt can prevent economic depression and the resultant worry.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  46. Engels (Philadelphia)

    It's to premature for me to worry about the next 20 years. Lets first focus on Obama's term. If by the end of his term he doesn't show progress and reverses everything he promised, then it means he is just like any other politician and we all should be terrified. If however; he shows progress and the American people are willing to help him along the way, then I can see a bright future for us all.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  47. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    That depends, are we going to get through these tough times by continuing to spend money we don't have, or learn to live within our means? If it's the latter, we're going to be better off.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  48. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I'm very worried about the future of our children, grandchildren etc.
    Unless jobs are brought back to our country, new jobs created,
    regulations created to ensure this does not happen again, the
    return of our country to the greatness we once were , living as
    we have known it is doubtful.
    With the world unrest., loss of respect and trust by many,
    ongoing wars and future conflicts possible, the hurdles are
    With broken financial, educational and health care systems
    the the future we are handing our loved ones seems dismal.
    But, if the American people, the politicans all unite, stand
    strong and do what is best for our country, we will survive.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  49. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    When you are over 70, you just hope that you are around for the next twenty years and are in reasonable health. That said, I worry about what my grandchildren and their children have to look forward to in the future.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  50. Vinnie Vino


    As long as I wake up tomorrow, because I can not worry about the next 20 years without cystal ball, everything will be alright. The bottom line is why should I waste my energy worring about something out of my control, like the future...

    C.I., New York

    November 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  51. Mickie

    I am very afraid for my son, who will have to live with the Bush legacy for quite some time. Pres. Elect Obama can only do so much and it won't be a fast recovery. Unfortunately, in 4 years, Obama will be blamed for a lot that the republicans have left that is yet to come to fruition. I just wonder how much information/documents Bush/Cheney will destroy before Obama can discover some of their criminal acts.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  52. Honest John in Vermont

    There is much to be concerned about but worrying will only stress you out and give you an ulcer. However if we do not confront our current problems they will only grow and a ulcer is preferable to death. We can be sure we will see war on a large scale with increasing populations and their consumption and dwindling resources. Mix that with Islamic religious radicalism and we have much to worry about. Right now times are getting tough and history demonstrates that when times are tough-war is just around the corner.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  53. Rob , NYC

    my concern is making sure Obama is made president and is protected – after that not so much

    November 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  54. Curt W

    I don't think we have 20 years. I am planning now, by buying bottled water, food items that can be stored for long periods of time, containers of gas, emergency equipment, flashlight, batteries, candles, etc. Better to be prepared than soory.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  55. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Well Jack unless both Canada and the U.S. get smarter real quick the bulk of each of our populations are going to be at or below the poverty level.

    There simply isn't anyway we can compete with China, Japan and Korea etc. for manufacturing jobs as their working standards and pay scales are just too low.

    Unfortunately those conservative thinking people feel our work force should be lowering their standards to what exist in these other countries which of course completely wipes out what we call the middle class.

    What I expect is crime to rise dramatically over the years as people simply aren't going to accept living on the street or starving to death as a viable option.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  56. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Next month I'm scheduled to be 60 years old, OUCH! Our family members don't get to 80 very often so I'm not concerned. If I make to that road marker I'll probably would have lost my mind by then.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  57. ken jefferson city mo

    Jack, I have a 6 yr old daughter and when she grows up this country will be so different we won't make anything a factory job will no longer exist and that scares me because there won't be a middle class only
    the rich and the very poor ,we won't have cash just a card that says what we have and people will not have a appreciation for manual labor
    because that will be in the past .

    November 21, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  58. Richard McKinney, Texas

    I don't sweat the small stuff Jack. It is a waste of time. I live for the present and play as hard as I can each and every day of my life. When the end comes I want to slide into death fully spent having missed nothing, loved often and with a clean conscience. If that day comes tomorrow then I am all set to go. No regrets no fears and no worries.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  59. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    I underestimated the damage "king george" could do in 8 years, the future looks kinda bleak, but anything will be an improvement.
    We can't fail. I am afraid of the debt we have laid on future generations, yes they should be worried.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  60. Mildred, Piedmont

    Well put it this way, Jack. I've put up a shelf with plaid curtains in the
    basement and started collecting mason jars and canned goods.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  61. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    So worried, i'm already investing in seeds because the farmers will have all the power!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  62. odessa

    i am not worried at all..i know that i have to work for my family and i know that i have to survive for them..i want to enjoy life instead worrying about what is going or not going to happen..i am a little bit of skeptical about investing money into the stock market but i would rather put all of my money in a box so i can have peace for myself..right now i don't trust wall street because i am mainstreet and i never forget where i came from unlike paulson..

    November 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  63. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    Very worried! The world is changing faster than ever before. For the first time in the history of civilization we are in danger of wiping ourselves out via global warming. The United States, with its reistance to change, (we haven't even been able to convert to the metric system,) is losing its ability tp compete with the rest of the world. We seem to have forgotten how to make the products that provide the foundation for our econmy. Will we have the science to combat coming epidemic?.We need to rediscover that pioneer spirit that made us the great country we were and could be again!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  64. Pugas-AZ

    If you study history there has always been dark times. However, the world is still here. We all probably know too much wether it be truth or fiction. Good and bad times come and go. The worst thing we can do is loose our faith in the furure. Let's do the best as indivudals as we can and let the chips fall as they may. Eat, drink, and be merry.!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  65. Scott - Kansas

    Not very. The economy follows a 7 year cycle, so we're gonna hear more doom and gloom around 2015 and 2022. In 8 years(ish) the GOP will retake the House and Senate, and the Dems will retake it again about 10 years after that. There will be a Republican President elected in 2020 (at the latest) and a Democrat 8 years later. The US is a cyclical culture. Hasn't anyone noticed this yet?

    November 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  66. Dave in Saint Louis

    Jack I don't think you or I will need to worry about the next 20 years! I am worried about making it the next 4!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  67. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: "Worry "is only interest on trouble that hasn't happen." I, along with many Americans, will deal with the hand that presents itself each day–that is the best we can do–and the best we can hope for.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  68. Michael watching from Canada


    I am extremely worried. Studies have shown that the growth of industrialization of the world (with emphasis on China) is increasing the demand of oil and sources of energy well beyond that which the world can supply at a reasonable cost. This is going to inevitably lead to a fight for control of precious, diminishing oil/energy resources.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  69. Dennis North Carolina

    The next 20 yrs will be the most important years of this country since being founded. our country is in failure both in the economy and world standing so what we do in these years will mean if we will survive for our children's sake.so we should worry?????

    November 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  70. Charlie in New Mexico

    Worried ??? No. At 66 I just hope that I'm around to see it.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  71. Keith - Ohio

    Well Jack, we've just closed the last door on 'the good ole days'.

    I am very concerned because there are no visionaries, anywhere, leading our country... Whether it be in government, business, finance, or economics. Everyone is just reacting to the issues of today that have already warned us 30 years ago that they were coming.

    Just like the flag-bearers (wavers) in the Revolutionary War... They are the first ones to get shot.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  72. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I don't worry that much about 20 years from now. I'm 59 and who knows what will happen. I just want enough money to live on without mooching off of my children. Just let me live long enough to be a pain in the - to them, Jack!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  73. Jackie in Dallas

    Next 20? That I can't answer because there is no guarantee I'll live that long.

    Now, the next 10? I'm worried about the next 2-4 years. Not because I do not have faith in President Elect Obama, but because I do not have faith that a lot of people in this country will drop their petty dislikes and differences and work to solve the problems at hand. It is going to take ALL of us, not just the President and Congress to make things better.

    If we manage to get through the next 2-4 years, and re-elect President Elect Obama to finish the job, I have hope that we can see our country become great again.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  74. Doug - Dallas


    If the plan works out, sometime in the next 20 years we'll be living in another country shaking our heads and wondering why nothing has changed. For the sake of my kids and grandkids, I sincerely hope that some progress has been made on all the issues we face. However, based on our track record, I think they'll be dealing with many of the same issues.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  75. Simpliticus

    Things should start to look brighter after the eight years of diplomatic neglect by W. I think that it was fascinating to see the strength of Obama's world expectations against Al Qaida that prompts one to think that world opinion is very important. After W. has used terrorism to its terrible end, Obama can get world opinion on his side without much effort and perhaps bring normalcy back to a world ravaged with fear. The pen is mightier than the sword!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  76. Ray in Nashville


    The fact that our government has sold its soul to the financial interests of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class means that the next 20 years or so are going to be full of troubles for all of us. Much like a house that has seen its top floor remodeled and furnished with more and more luxury items to the extent that the weight is too much for the bottom floors to hold, our society is ready to crumble from the weight and greed of the wealthy.

    Yes, I'm worried.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  77. David in Granville, Ohio

    Worried for my son. He is an incredibly bright and mature 18 year old that fully understands the impact of global warming. We are very close to a "tipping point" that will leave mankind in food and water wars.

    The economic crisis pales into insignificance compared to that. What good is money when you do not have a planet to use it on?

    November 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  78. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    The beauty of living one day at a time eliminates a lot of the worry in life as it doesn't do any good to sit around and worry. Fear causes us to do things that create more problems in the long run.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  79. Kel in Auburn, AL

    That's complicated:

    I think we're going to be in great shape over the next 12 years. President Obama will do a great job during his first term, get re-elected, and a Democratic successor will ride his coattails into office in 2016.

    I'll bet you though, that after this a Republican may once again get into office in 2020, and maybe again in 2024. BY 2028, the GOP could manage to run our country into the ground.. Again. Then I'll be worried.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  80. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    How worried am I? I have been retired for 4 years and have just applied for a job again!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  81. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I just glad my health is deteriorating. The future looks very bleak,indeed.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  82. Karen McCullough

    If more isn't done to help the middle class, we might not have 20 years left to worry about. We have outsourced the jobs to foreign countries and sold or borrowed against most of our assets–there isn't much left to worry about.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  83. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I feel optimistic about our future, but if it doesn't go well I really feel sorry for the young people that are going to pay the price regardless of how things go. That's a big debt we are leaving to them. Hopefully, I won't live long enough to see republicans back in office to screw everything up again and flush us down the toilet like they have been.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  84. Richard Sternagel

    I'm concerned that my pension will still be there for my wife and I. I never dreamed of the havoc that George W Bush has reaped upon America. I just hope that we haven't witnessed the start of the demise of America! At least with Obama we have a chance to restore the American Dream.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  85. jim Toronto

    Jack in 20 years I could be dead, so i won't have to worry
    However...If I'm still alive? Ask me then.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  86. Allene --Leawood, Kansas

    I am extremely worried about the next 20 years–and beyond. Not for myself so much (I'm 79 years old) as for my children and grandchildren. This country has never been in such dire straits and I'm afraid people will expect too much, too soon from the Obama administration . It is going to take time, and a modicom of luck as well as extraordinary smarts and much hard work to get out of this hole Bush/Cheney and the Republicans have put us in.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  87. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, you have to enjoy each day as if it were your last. Hug your kids, kiss your wife, tell you that you love them, don’t eat too much, sleep in on Saturday morning now and again, don’t worry all the time…20 years will fly by.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  88. hugh ~ tracy, california

    Ask me in 8 years. America may suffer from memory loss and vote someone in the white house promising less govenment interference, less spending, less regulation, and–well you know where I'm going with this.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  89. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    Very. If we don't jettison the old failed way's of doing things, we are finished. The good old boy slap on the wrist for destroying a nation has got to stop. Country first, or you go to jail forever. In other words, voodoo math is now illegal. 2 plus 2 = 4 is now the law.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  90. circy in New Mexico

    I'm 68, so I no longer think that far ahead. I just hope I make it another 20 years, no matter which way the world spins.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  91. Eric Mattson

    I'm not worried at all. Eventually, we will all live in Hollywood, where entertainment will set us free. As long as there is something to go see, Hollywood will survive, and so will we. Star power, in someone's eyes, will always find an audience. We all just want to watch someone else act out our lives, don't we? We don't care if we ever find out what reality is. Fantasy will set us free! Hollywood, take me home!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  92. don in naples, florida

    we're in serious trouble. the future doesn't look good.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  93. Donna Wisconsin

    In one word, I have "HOPE". That's what Obama gave me and I will hold on to that.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  94. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Not really – if I make it 6 more months, everything will be OK. If I don't make it 6 more months, why worry?

    November 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  95. carol in Oregon

    I always worry when I'm in trouble. How secure is my pension, savings and social security...

    November 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  96. Jan from NW Iowa

    Right now I try not to worry about the next 20 years – but live each day doing the best I can for my family, myself, my country and the world. Meaning I walk or bike instead of drive, cut back to existing on less and saving more, and trying to use more sense and less cents. I've decided to try to pray more and let God handle more of the worrying for the next 20 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  97. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    I worry about our environment, mainly because not everyone is convinced that this is an issue. I worry that our children may not have the skills to compete in the global market with the education systems they have today. I also worry that medical science will make it possible for people to live longer on social security that doesn't afford them quailty of life now. Most of all is I worry that I live to see this.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  98. lynnej

    Very worried. I'm 42 years old and I haven't worked in 12 years because of bad hands. If it weren't for family, I'd be on the street given the fact that I can't get a job even though I'm college educated.

    So with President-Elect Obama's presidency, I have some hope, but I'm not counting on it. There is a 75% chance that I'll still be at home and broke five years from now if the Congress doesn't act for people like me fast.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  99. Joe

    Hopefully in 20years, I'll be retired comfortably, but in my opinion, this country needs a new way of thinking and doing business, these Wall Street people need to stop wrecking the economy as well as peoples lives, just for the sake of a buck.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  100. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Jack, human or dog years? Either way, 20 or 140 years from now, this old world will still be spinning. Worries come and go and so will I.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  101. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Not much worried about the next 20 years but I am about the next 5. It will take us about 5 years to see any real change with wall street and U.S. companies. Lets all hope Obama can at least start the change.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  102. George

    Jack, I'm too old to worry about the next twenty years, maybe the next twenty minutes is more like it. I stopped counting days, and started living every minute to the fullest as if it was my last. It only took me 73 years to realize that it doesn't do one good to worry except to make the blood pressure rise, Everyone is in too big of a hurry these days. Speed zones are a joke, and well as the ones who inforce them. Everyone is in a race to see how much money that they can amass, but if you will check with most Americans the only thing that they are amassing in a massive debt, and that leads to WORRY.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  103. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    In another two decades I'll be in my mid 40s, still working, still squinting at the television's lower-third to see whether or not the stock market will let me retire... but beyond that, I'm resigned to the fact that I will be homeless in my old age regardless.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  104. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    After surviving from a rear end collison caused by an unemployed uninsured driver I find myself very worried about how many more motorist are going to driving without insurance.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  105. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Not worried at all. Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  106. Earl - Reading, PA

    I just got finished watching " Back to the Future- Part 2. There is a scene in there where Michael J Fox goes back to 1955 and sees that it changed radically. It became a lawless society where gangs roamed the streets and prayed on anyone not heavily armed. Society was in turmoil as resources where scarce and everyone had to just fend for themselves. Then it hit me – this could be what America looks like in 20 years – God help us all

    November 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  107. sully,,,,,,,forest park ga

    no worried jack, because i have a Delorean time machine and can change it.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  108. Joe in VA

    I will probably be dead in 20 years but I have optimism and worry about my children and grandchildren. We have such huge potential for a wonderful future. For the first time in human history, we have it within our collective will the technology to eliminate poverty and disease around the world, develop sustainable food and energy sources and other technological marvels, However, we are now a nation in deep debt and it may take a generation to recover. Our country in now united but I fear it's temporary, and we lack any coherent national strategy for the future. We operate by crisis management and cannot solve obviously serious future problems because jump from one issue to another – whichever wheel is squeeking the loudest. My fear is that I've lived through America's best days – but I pray I am wrong.

    Chatham, VA

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  109. Marge in New Port Richey, Florida

    20 years? Do you really think it's going to take that long for things to turn around? I'm 57 and was sort of banking on more like 5 years for my IRAs and real estate (aka, my retirement) to regain their values. So, if it's going to take 20, I'm petrified. How come when things drop, it happens quickly but when they go up, it takes so long? Not fair.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  110. Joe, Yankee Lake, N.Y.

    Very worried. Lobbyist already breaking in our new legislators, the same faces in Washington just moving their chairs around, the economy in the tank and congress just printing money that we don't have. Don't see any real change on the horizon. It's not just our grandchildrens money, but now its becoming my great grandchildrens problem. The list goes on and on and on. Were on the fast track of becoming a third world country. Excuse my opptomism.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  111. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I’m not worried for myself at all – I may well be dead by then. I am much more concerned for my grandchildren, whom I would have been able to provide a life long safety net if the ever needed one with the growing threat from China. Now I’ll consider myself lucky to get out of this life debt free – all thanks to Bush and his band of fools and misanthopes.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  112. Tom, Bradenton

    In 20 year we will be like Somalia. No industry since it is outsourced to China, a military that can rival maybe that of Mexice, many homeless people and sick people. Broke and bancrupt like Argentina in 2001.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  113. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Now that we have new leadership on the way, I'm not really all that concerned about the long term prospects for the country. The next couple of years could be a horror show, but things will gradually settle down and the country will move forward again. My only real worry is how our kids are going to pay for all of this.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  114. G.P.

    In twenty years I will be retired, and hopefully, we will be living in another country. I am sick and tired of hearing about how bad the rich people have it. I don't care if these millionares lost everything

    That bailout money was to help the mortgage crisis, not auto makers, and everybody else who has their hand out.

    What about the rest of us??? Nobody talks about how to help the working people (or should I say NON-WORKING PEOPLE) Without us there is no ecomony. There won't be a middle class here anymore, the rich get richer, and everybody else is getting poorer.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  115. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i'm almost 70 now so i don't know if i'll be around in 20 years but regardless of wether i am or not the u.s. will still be here and still be the greatest country on earth.we will survive as a country because americans can do anything if they put their mind to it

    November 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  116. Jay in Texas

    I'm not worried at all about the next 20 years. I've have been preparing for this Depression for many years. As Hank Williams, Jr. sings: "A country boy can survive."
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  117. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    20 years, every day i wake up it feels like a bonus. worrying about tomorrow is a waist of time. i do feel sorry for my grand kids that are going to be stuck with the check my generation has stuck them with , threw the greed of a few. as for myself iam going to get a ice cream cone and watch the tourist spend there money in the slot machines today. that's how they pay for all the bright lites here in sin city .

    November 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  118. ingrid, new york

    worry, yes.
    excited, yes.
    apprehensive, yes.
    optimistic, yes.
    dread, yes.
    hope, yes.
    each time of crisis brings incredible opportunity for a shift to new ways of thinking and being– to paraphrase a famous quote- it is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  119. Anne from Vero Beach, FL

    We're all going to be fine, Jack. It wasn't that long ago that schools were drilling children to dive under their desks in case the Russians sent a nuclear bomb our way. Every generation has been tested and, perhaps, this is our test. We all needed a reality check after the gluttony of the 80's and 90's and, boy, now its here. We need strong leadership, which I believe is on the way and everyone of us needs to shift our perceptions of what we need in life. As I heard Suzy Ormand say on Larry King last night, teach your children this Christmas to be happy they have a house to live in and food to eat instead of swamping them with presents you cannot afford to buy and that they do not need. Change has been needed for a long time and not just within our government.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  120. Jolly Potter, NY


    how worried were we in 1988 ?
    US Navy shot down Iranian Air liner in Persian Gulf, George Bush became President – that was scary – the Cold War was still going on – AIDS was on the rise – still conflict in the Middle East, Benazir Bhutto first Islamic woman prime minister of Pakistan – Pan-Am 747 blown up by Terrorists and crashes in Lockerbie Scotland....and Life goes on..unless someone launches a nuke then we will I am sure have problems but lets hope the trend over the next 20 years is more towards Peace and not War.....but don't hold your breath

    November 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  121. Jay in Atlanta

    I'm mostly worried that the current fools in charge might mortally wound the monetary system. During my fourty five years of work, my salary was based on a certain valuation of the dollar. If that valuation changes significantly, for example if the government prints up dollars to pay off Social Security obligations, then all that I paid and sacrificed in terms of real work for the purposes of retirement will be stolen from me just when I need it most.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  122. Dan, Chantilly VA

    20 years ago, we feared the Russians. 20 years before that, we feared the Vietnamese. 20 years before that, we feared the Germans and Japanese. 20 years before that we feared a different set of Germans. 20 years before that we feared the Spanish. 20 years before that we feared native revolts in colonial lands. 20 years before that we feared ourselves. 20 years before that we feared the Mexicans. 20 years before that we feared the British. There always seems to be someone to fear and a war to fight.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |

    Do you remember the Roman empire, look at that history were on the same track.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  124. Steve C

    I never worry about things I have no control over.

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    November 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  125. Ed Reed

    Jack, 20 years is about all I have left and I'm becoming more worried with each new crisis as it appears our Representatives are unable to work together to solve them. Even after the election, there are still those who prefer ideology over pragmatism.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    November 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  126. Roy - Chicago IL

    Our potential and achievements give me great hope but our attitude towards each other gives me great concern regarding the next 20 years.

    The crux is that we currently have the technology to end hunger, stop most disease, end ignorance, preserve our natural resources, and raise the standard of living for the entire world.

    Will we set aside the political, religious, and economic differences as to how these technologies should be shared? Or will we continue to adhere to a 'me-first, give me the money' approach to new developments in medicine, education, and abating hunger?
    This choice will be the legacy of our generation to the future world if it still exists.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  127. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    I feel that something will happen. A small unit with a mission can do more harm than an army. They are undetected until they execute their mission. I just hope that everyone is prepared for whatever is coming our way. I hope that they slip up in some way so they can be stopped before they complete their mission.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  128. Alan


    The USA as we know it will become extinct within the next 25 years. I'm just lucky that I'm 64 years old.

    Northvale, NJ

    November 21, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  129. V from Amarillo, TX

    I'm not worried. America was not the world's only superpower until 1989 and we have made a pretty big mess of things while being in charge for the last 20 years. It's okay if another global player such as China, India or the EU takes the lead for awhile. They can spend all their money and political capital trying to be the world's police. Meanwhile, we should pour everything we have as a country into real education (not this No Child Left Behind farce) and emerge as a powerhouse again in science, technology, engineering, space and commerce.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  130. Robert Prescott

    I'm actually considerably more optimistic for the future of this great country. Throughout our entire history, when progress was needed most, it is we the American people who have invented, created, built and sold. I am confident that we will lead the way on renewable fuels, saving the environment, curing disease, and leading by example. We have come back from every single crisis we have ever faced.


    North Port, Florida

    November 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  131. Joe St Louis, MO


    Not worried at all. Once the CEOs start building castles and allow us to live outsides the walls in thatch huts all will be fine. We will have barbers to go to for medical care and joisting matches to entertain us. I think it will be the Camelot we've all been looking for.


    St Louis, MO

    November 21, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  132. Alabama Angel

    In today's economy, I'm worried about the next 20 minutes, Jack. Forget 20 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  133. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Honestly, I believe this is truly a great time to be alive. We are living in a transformative time that promises great change that will usher in a new era. No question that it will be a rough road. But there's a light and a new beginning at the end of that road we have not seen in a very long time. Life will be good.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  134. susan from Idaho

    Now that we have elected a person with a brain not as concerned as I was. My only grandchild is 18 and college bound and we can help if need be. As for me, at 65 I have been there done that and will get by no matter what.Heaven help those that are going to need help and won’t be able to get it. Thanks for nothing Mr. Bush.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  135. Sarah

    I'm a lot less worried now than I was on the 3rd November. Now I mostly feel hopeful because I think we will see the country take a positive turn, both domestically and internationally. I don't expect things to be fixed overnight but I see the election success of President-Elect Obama as the first sign of the country's recovery.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  136. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    We should not be so shocked at that bit of news. Our government and corporate CEOs have, in their impeccable wisdom, seen to it that their goal of dismantling the American Dream and replacing it with the "lowest common denominator" dream is a reality. Thanks a lot Heritage Foundation and all you other so-called "think tanks".

    November 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  137. just me

    We are just pawns for those consumed with power. Helpless, hopeless feeling.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  138. pat Green

    It's in our history to destroy ourselves. Live day to day and plan to have a good future...worrying never helps anything.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  139. Surafel Sacramento, CA

    Jack seriously why should I be worried!

    We know China is the world leader when it come to economy and military power as we speak. Didn't they make a weapon that destroy space satil. last summer? American barely introduce 3G network system they are planning to make 5G – they already finish 4G networking. We borrow money form China!

    You are right nation like Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, India are profiting from American failure leadership! We don't have to wait to see this by 2025! We are seeing it right now. Chain and India economy raise in two digests – Iran want to have a nuclear energy/weapon – N. Korea – India and Pakistan already have nuclear – Isereal announces last year they have a nuclear weapon. I think by 2025 the world will end because we don't have a leader in the world.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  140. Terry from North Carolina

    I am 65 and retired. How worried am I ? Today I put in an application at Harris Teeter our local supermarket, hopefully I can gather shopping carts in the parking lot.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  141. William Courtland

    The crisis will become a social devolution, and the standard of living will fall dramatically in most first world nations if a new method of ground based trade is not developed and implemented.

    Rail, not everywhere, vehicles must be independent at times...

    If such a plan is not started in the next little while, we will be to late to prevent the anthropoligical damnations expected from people who are put out and put down during the downfall of our current and many societies pre-civilization.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  142. Peter, Fern Park, Fla.

    I'm 65. I've never "worried" about anything.
    I've always believed that worry is a wasted emotion. If you have control of the issue that concerns you, don't waste energy worrying about it, do something about it.
    If the issue is out of your control you can't affect it so why bother wasting energy worrying. Instead focus your energies on an alternative plan that will get you past the issue.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  143. Conor in Chicago

    If I am alive in 2029 I will be 50 years old. I expect that my story from there will be that I will be a veteran of the Third World War since my options were either to submit to the draft and fight (helping the military industrial complex) or go to prison (helping the prison industrial complex), I opted for the draft as it would at least give me weapons training. Surviving the war I will have gone home (or stayed here as it might be fought here) to a fractured and destroyed country that has descended into civil war do to famine, lack of resources, and rampant regionalism and fundamentalist Christianity in the former United States. Surviving that I will likely be employed by one of the mega-corporations that will rule this country and most of the world with an iron fist in the name of "national security" as a security officer since my veteran status will make me a good candidate for their employment and given the desperate situation the world will be in I'll hardly care about the rights and wrongs of any of it. That might sound fanciful but I seriously think that is how it is going to be. Of course, this is if I live through the next 20 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  144. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Within the next twenty years, the "boomers" will be retiring and our society will be top heavy with retirees as opposed to people still in the workforce. We may just collapse under our own weight.......worried, you bet.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  145. karen-phoenix

    With Obama changing our image and diplomacy afoot–we have a chance of peace on earth for my grandchildren!!! God Bless the world!!
    Lets try and turn it GREEN!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  146. Perry

    How worried am I? Well, it all depends what sort of leadership the US has

    If it's mental neo con, trickle down economics, anti-regulation folks, then very worried

    If its folks like Barack Obama, then not too worried

    November 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  147. David


    November 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  148. Joe in Hawaii

    Looking forward to change for the better instead of looking behind and mourning about what happened.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  149. Bill from MI

    Deeply worried. If we do not shed our dependency on foreign oil and foreign manufacturing domestic and abroad, and start rebuilding America, we will not be a nation of freedom, wealth, and strength. The verdict is coming in right now. Our wealth has all but disappeared, our military is too small, and we have to beg for money from other nations.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  150. Jake, Oregon

    My worries for the next 4 at least, ended on Nov 5th, when I learned the voters finally woke up. If I need to, I will get a job at Jerry's Bar, helping to empty glasses and bottles at closing time.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  151. chris

    Potentially. The unilateral policies of the Bush Administration are never going to work in the global sphere. If we stay away from them, actually talk to other nations, and gain some level of energy independence we should be just fine. If at any point we get another bonehead in office we could have a lot to worry about.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  152. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    I wish I had five acres of land so I could grow my own food, have some chickens and a couple of pigs. Oh yeah, and enough ammo to defend it. I fear we are headed for a monumental melt-down. Thanks President Bush. I appreciate the sleepless nights.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  153. Nancy, Tennessee

    It's time for worry when you see what Americans have enjoyed for decades going down the tubes. If more people were worried about the economy, global warming, groups of people without jobs, children and adults without healthcare, and people who have lost their homes; then progress toward solutions might be made. With a nation full of greed and people only looking out for numero uno, we don't accomplish what needs to be done. "United we stand" has never meant more than it does right now on November 21st, 2008.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  154. Darren

    All China has to do is close the pursestrings and we are out of the Middle East with our tail between our legs and onto the road to recovery.

    How do you say "Déjà vu" in Russian?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  155. Katy

    I am not worry, Jack. American reap what they sowed. USA is in this situation, because of American. What ever the babyboomers have done in the past, their next generations will get the consequences.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  156. cassandra teaguewalker

    What–me worried? If we survived these past 8 years in Bushworld, I am absolutely positive that we have nowhere to go but up.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  157. Janet, Canada


    This is the best question I've ever heard you ask. Please, let's never stop this topic from arising. The world needs to know these things.

    I am terrified. We all should be. But this doesn't mean we can't do anything. The people need to realize that they have the final say. We need to act together in order to prevent big corporations and government from merging and expanding their empire.

    I ask you to keep these kind of questions in the Cafferty File, expanding on these issues like corporate control, environmental destruction, and government transparency.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  158. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    The next twenty years will be very different from the last twenty. If you are trying to live in the 1950's you should be really worried. Look how it worked for the Republicans. The next twenty years will be great for people who learn and think, no matter where they live. It is the internet age, look where you ask your questions.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  159. arlene in iowa

    I worry for my children and grand-children..In 20 years i'll be dead and won't have to worry about it anymore..we are handing them a pretty messed up world..it took generations to do this and it will take generations to fix..

    November 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  160. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    If I'm around in the next 20 years.I expect to see China and India as the two major world powers. The USA and Russia will join the club of former great powers like France and the UK. A war will be fought for control of the middle eastern oil fields as stock deplete. Who will win this war? If we do, we'll have depleted our strength like the Brits did in WW2. India and China will face each other like the USA and USSR did during the cold war.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  161. Ron from SF

    I’m terrified, as I don’t think we can recover from the damage Bush has done, let alone do what we must to survive. Our biggest potential rival owns a huge portion of our debt and that will tie our hands at the worst possible time. What happens when we can’t pay it and the world runs out of oil? Instead of driving around in gas guzzling SUV’s, we should have been investing in ways to get off oil. Don’t kid yourself, what we have in Alaska will only last 6 months and the war on terror is just a front for an oil war. Thanks to Iraq, our military is likely to be in shambles for decades. The clock is ticking and if we’re not ready when oil runs out, the die off is going to make the Bubonic Plague look like a picnic.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  162. Anna

    In 20 years we will have Chinese type of economy which means that we will work for bread crums and China will learn to spend all of the money we send them.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  163. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, America today has the same symptoms the Roman Empire had 20 years before it fell: internal divisions, unsecured borders, and a faltering economy. You could say that the 1930's were worse than now, and we pulled ourselves out of that, but it took a decade and WWII. We have the capacity to turn this around, but only if we work together.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  164. Daniel, Indiana

    Worried? No. I am rather concerned about the amount of hate in this world. We, all citizens of the world, must work towards putting an end to this hatred. We see hate being spread here in America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Congo and other places around this world. Hate will not create peace. It is an obsticle to peace and love. Our world is in a war and hate mode and we must turn this around.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  165. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Well let's see; we consume three times more than we produce, we have nearly destroyed our military, pollution is enormous and global warming is about to overcome us. The tropical rain forests are being cut at an alarming rate and the oceans are just about fished out. Our infant mortality rate is growing and our children are less educated. We are entering a recession which may last for the next twenty years but I won't be alive then so I won't have to suffer. Good luck to those of you who will have to deal with all of it.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  166. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Why worry about things over which we have no control? Besides, in 20 years, I expect to be dead. You all can worry to your hearts' content.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  167. Jasmine in Germany

    Sorry, Jack, it's not "will decline", it's "has declined". On the subjects of democracy, environment, education, law, morality, etc., the U. S. hasn't been at the top of the lists for quite a few years. Before we look into the future, we should please analyse the past and present. And why should China be our biggest "rival"? Why can't we be allies and civilized freinds?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  168. Quinton

    Yes, Jack, twenty years is about how long it will take us to pay off that ten trillion that Bush wrote a check to China and other countries.( for a war that has no purpose but creating more terrorism). Thanks a lot buddy !!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  169. L.M.,Arizona

    I believe in leadership we and when I say we I speaking of the whole world, have had a total lack of leadership for eight years. I think with eight years of intelligent leadership we will be laughing at this question.


    November 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  170. BG, Seattle WA

    I believe we are sticking our heads in the sand over China. They already have a superior military in headcount, recently unveiled a 100% homegrown military aircraft, and consistently advance their technology to the point of being able to hack our intelligence agencies. If we don't focus on our problems we don't have to worry about 20 years from now because within the next decade they will be the most power nation. How can all of these reports conclude that we will stay on top when everyone else is outperforming us in critical areas? Are we foolish or simply arrogant?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  171. Thom Richer

    More worried than I have ever been. Because of the gross misjudgement of the Bush presidency, the world sees America in a very negative light. We have become a nation building country while ignoring the rights of others for our own greed and need for power. All the while ignoring the needs of our own people. Governing for a few has taken its toll on America and if not changed quickly will destroy not just the working/middle class but all of us. It will take not just a change in the White House but the cooperative governing by the Congress. Congress is our real chace for change and fixing of the one man government we have been saddled with for the past eight years. If we haven't learned this country must be led by our Congress and not the White House we will sink deeper and deeper into collapse. An honest, cooperative and all encompassing Congress dedicated to ALL the people is our only salvation as a nation.

    Negaunee, MI

    November 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  172. Jennifer, Minnesota

    America is behind on everything: education, environment, healthcare, energy, military, economics, etc We are involved in two wars, a recession, and we are having perhaps the most destructive and corrupt leaders ever leave office come January. We have enormous work to do. Those who aren't worried are just whistling past the graveyard...

    November 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  173. seah5

    Extremely worried.

    By the end of Next Year, I fear we will have terrorist attacks.

    The way the Country is divided and the Democrats continue to Attack all others, That will only make it worse.

    Divided we fail

    But the Democrats are stuck in the election, name calling and smearing and attacking other Americans, which is not right.

    The People need to United for America, Regardless of the Politicians.

    We the People Must always reign

    The Politicians and Public Officials are to work for us, not us for them.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  174. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    With the Obama team controlling the deficit and bank bailout, if the auto makers can get their act together, and the use of diplomacy over a show of force, I am not too concerned about the next four years. Or even, the next eight, because I believe that Obama will be a two term president and will lead our country to more stability.

    What concerns me the most is that when (not if) our country becomes economically stable, Americans may once again become complacent and allow the Republicans to slip into power again. This happened in 2000, after eight good Clinton years, and could happen again. I literally have nightmares about Republicans taking over again!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  175. Tom Sherwood

    Despite being incredibly outnumbered on this planet, I have no doubt that our true talent and intellect for devising and developing far greater and ever more destructive military capabilities will keep our nation secure forever, ....
    Developing nations worldwide was the goal to create fertile markets for greater business and economic opportunity.
    Why is it, now that it is happening, we suddenly grow fearful?

    If world domination was our goal all along, well, ....... we missed the opportunity!

    Middletown, DE

    November 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  176. meg ulmes

    After the disappointments and anger of the last eight years, I can't imagine that the next 20 could be a whole lot worse. I'm sure that we'll have challenges, but hopefully administrations like Bush's will be a thing of the past, and responsible men and women will be elected president. I hate to worry right now, when I feel like there is hope on the horizon–at least for the next four years.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  177. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Jack, manufacturing and military are the keys to our future. Why don't our lawmakers pass legislation like some other countries to require manufacturing companies to manufacture products here in the U.S. if they want to sell it here. That is the case in Japan. Military, require people to serve for at least two years after high school or if someone drops out they go in at the age of 18. It sure wouldn't hurt the young people.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  178. Rob CA

    We are watching "The Tragedy of the Commons" play out in front of our eyes. It is essential we find a way to cooperate in the face of what is to come.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  179. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Jack, we don't need to worry about China, they won't be able to breath the air within 5 years. They'll quickly destroy themselves.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  180. john .... marlton nj

    I am not worried about world changing, I am worried about us not

    November 21, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  181. earle,florida

    No, I'm not a bit worried,just reminensing,Segar&Evans song,"In the Year 2525, If Man is Still Alive",makes me laugh at the doomsayers,Ha,Ha.....

    November 21, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  182. Terry in Hanover County

    Why worry? I hope and pray President Obama can rescue our economy from Bush's bottomless pit. Until then, I'll continue to pinch pennies and take on extra jobs to make ends meet. Come to think of it, I really don't have time to sleep much less worry.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  183. Bruce St Paul MN

    Unless we make some revolutionary changes, I will be retiring to a refrigerator box. The class warfare in this country has been waged by one side only. Now we have to turn the tables or slowly slide into mediocrity. Socialism or not, we have to restore some income equity. We should move to universal health coverage without compromise. None of this hybrid private insurance crap. Go all the way. Make it work. Embrace the future and invest in it. If other countries can provide health coverage and education, then we can too. If we want our society to thrive, it's a no-brainer. I hope change comes through political action. Otherwise, it's time to storm the Bastille.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  184. Joel

    America may have to tap into new resources we can use at home, such as corn or sugar cane for automotive fuel and solar, wind, and wave energy. We may have to give up some of our conveniences. But it may be important if our status as a super power is being compromised.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  185. Dana

    Jack, I have spend 5 years in Nursing school, so I could leave the US, I love being an American, but I am scared to live here because for so long America has been telling other nations what and how to do things and sticking there nose where it doesn't belong, and soon someone will be doing this to us!


    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  186. Tom Hawks

    Isn't it a little too late to pose this question, Jack? The President Elect just gained victory based on unrealistic and chronically repeated promises to fix everything that passed before his eyes. This classic political palaver was well-butressed by the mainstream press. A wooden and rigid character like McCain didn't stand a chance.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  187. Ryan (Toronto)

    I'm less worried about the transfer of wealth as we in the Western world are spoiled. I am more worried about the constant attack by our own governments on our civil liberties, the de-powering of the common man, the alligning of Russia, China, Iran etc. Regardless it will be a long torturous 20 years, but we can't sit back and wait for things to happen, we as a people have to make things happen.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  188. Karen - Missouri

    Eventually China and some of those other nations will get as cocky as Bush and ideological Republicans and they too will fall. It's a cycle. History always repeats itself.

    I don't pretend to have a crystal ball, so why would I worry about 2025 when we have enough to be concerned about now. I guess it depends on how the world handles the next 8 years to be able to tell.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  189. Karine

    Why worry- worrying isn't action if you don't like something do what you can to change it.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  190. frannie, mansfield, ohio

    The future hasn't happened yet, it is what we all create. I believe we have elected a President who can have a steady and thoughtful influence on events in this world.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  191. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    I realize that the American standard of living might not be as so far above the rest of the world's in 20 years, but not everyone in the USA enjoys that standard now. So, I'm not worried, but I know that many others will be.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  192. TB Pittaburgh Pa

    2012 it is said it is all over anyway. hmmmm .. Let's concentrate on Now. We do that and 20 years are going to pass as faster than the last 20 and that was a blur Dubya and all.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  193. Gip, FL

    20 years form now, we would be past Dec 21, 2012 and closer to getting hit by the big rock!

    So it may be a mute point !!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  194. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Let's just say that the last eight years resulting in all of the crises of the last year, has been a real kick in our complacency. Yes, I am concerned but I realize that I, among many others, have sat quietly by expecting that our government was doing its job. I would like to think I have learned a serious lesson and I will no longer assume on faith that the Administration & Congress is doing what they have been elected to do. We will be watching closely and engaged from now on. We all have a stake in our country's success. So, we all need to be more responsible for it.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  195. Randy from Salt Lake City

    20 years?! I don't want to rain or your parade, Jack, but this country will be lucky to be around in 20 weeks! The US is broke. We owe money to the entire planet. We're burning through billions a day that we don't have to wage illegal wars, enriching filty rich people and to keep the DOW from it's march to zero (the TARP money is proping up the markets). Our greedy corporations are systematically dismantling our economy and destroying millions of lives for profit and George W. Bush will exit on January 20, 2009 to his 93,000 acre ranch in Paraguay (a non-extradtion country) and there's nothing we can do about it. We're doomed!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  196. Ed

    Productiviy, profits and natural resources are no problems a banking scam can't solve. I expect more of the same in the next 20 years, more blatant, more boastful but nothing to worry about. Life's to short "Fear not those who can take your mortal life, rather fear him who can take your eternal one"

    November 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  197. David in San Diego

    I am not worried. I am in fact optimistic. There will be setbacks and changes we will need to work hard to incorporate, but the future looks brighter for the world (and hence for people in the US) than it has for the past eight years.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  198. Sid...Texas

    I am not worried about the next 20 years so much as I am about the next 59 days. Let's just hope that Bush doesn't push the wrong button to turn the lights off when he leaves the Oval office for the last time. The USA will still be here long past the next 20 years..

    November 21, 2008 at 5:38 pm |

    We have lost so much manufactoring jobs to China, Mexico etc. that is what worries me amoung other things. This last eight years we have gone downhill drastically with this administration. we can't dwell on these things as it is too late. I guess all we can do is live day to day and Pray a lot.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  200. STAN - IL.

    Our Great Country is all messed up. We have lost so much manufactoring jobs to China, Mexico etc. that is what worries me amoung other things. This last eight years we have gone downhill drastically with this administration. we can't dwell on these things as it is too late. I guess all we can do is live day to day and Pray a lot. Leave it in the Lords hands.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  201. Miguel Ceballos

    In the 7th grade I had a teacher that when teaching us about the Soviet Union would always warn us about China. She said what our gereration had to worry about was communist China. She was right. China has become a great powerful financial giant that only cares about feeding its hunger. I guess now in this country we know what it feels like to be a citizen of a third world country, looking on in disbelief as China is rapidly replacing us as THE world power. We run the danger of becoming like much European counties today, relatively powerless and past their prime. We need to by all means use China's success against itself, spreading capitalism and American culture in that proud traditonal country to make them consume Americanism. That is our ideas of democracy, freedom of speech, woman's rights, and consumption.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  202. pete at the beach

    Maybe it will get better if we stop wagging our moralistic fingers at everyone and reembrace the constitution

    November 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm |

    Our present leaders have the USA in bad shape. We are an embarressment to the rest of the world. Here's hoping starting Jan. 20th. we can begin seeing the light of day. Manufactoring has gone to China, Mexico, etc. We can't sit around worring. We can't police the world, that is what we have the UN for. We can only Pray and have hope.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  204. Michael S. Kenney

    Not worried at all. I think it's downright un-American to live in fear.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  205. OC

    For my two kids, very.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  206. John Newlin

    What, me worry? I'm 82, Jack!

    November 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  207. michael , Las Vegas

    Very worried. A depression doomed to come. 2 wars and the Congress
    throwing away tax paying money on dumb bailouts.

    Heck by the time I reach your age Jack , social security will be completely
    gone and we all will be eating is Top Ramen & Spam.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  208. larry fulkerson

    We will all be speaking Chinese by 2050.

    from Tucson, AZ

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  209. Kristen Ingram

    Since I'm almost 78 years old, I have only one emotion toward the next 20 years: hope.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  210. Terrylee

    More worried than about anything I have ever been worried about.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  211. Gloria

    I'm not worried at all about it. I think we always rise to the task at hand. This is a slow change over 20 years. Such predictions are shaky at best. Economic predicitions are rarely accurate for more than a year or two if that. Technology changes. Goals change. Politics change. We will change and adapt and we will be fin in 2025.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  212. Susan, Roswell GA

    Worried? Not at all, why worry, what a waste of energy. I'll just take care of being a good person and living my day to day life, and let come what may.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  213. Mike, Pittsburgh

    Why do we assume this is inherently something to be worried about? The human race did alright for thousands of years without America running the show, and the idea that someone else having a bigger economy than us will somehow diminish us is simplistic and offensive.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  214. Owen McCracken

    China becomming an economical supperpower is enevible. America has been slowly declining for a long time now. All I can say is learn Mandarin, and start making friends America, and stop making enemies.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  215. Sky in Glendale, AZ

    Me? Worry? Luckily I should be quite DEAD by 2025. I just hope Americans can speak fluent Chinese by then, so at least they will be able to communicate with their captors.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  216. Erica Jorgensen

    The United States has encouraged capitalism and democracy across the globe, I don't understand why we are so upset that our nations economies are flourishing. Isn't this what we were trying to endorse in other nations?

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  217. Thomas Baxter from Alaska

    I live in Alaska so after shoing all the Russians away I then go to class to learn Chinese. Either way in twenty years at the rate we are going we may all need a second language!

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  218. Sterling

    Well, I'm 57 and I wonder in 20 years when I'm 77 if I'll be able to learn Chineese. I'll probably be in a nursing home, staffed by workers from China because ALL the jobs will have gone overseas by then.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  219. George Florida

    I'm only worried if the country fails to recognize that the days of global domination are over, and the age of cooperation has begun. Nothing will change the shift in the worlds economy and the reorganization of economic power. We simply need to regroup, reestablish respect for the U.S. in the world, and work together for the betterment of the world as a whole. We are not the be all end all. It's time we got used to it.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  220. Mark Diver

    i am very excited for the coming years. It seems foolish to be scared on the brink of this grand new era.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  221. Jason

    I'd be a lot less worried about the next 20 years, if the U.S. hadn't completely undermined the power and authority of the United Nations. Now that America knows we won't always be able to decide what's right, perhaps it is time we use our waning influence to supporting a body that will. I trust the UN more than China.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  222. Gus, Arizona

    I am not very worried. Our focus should be on improving our economic prosperity, but not relative to that of another country. While China may pose a threat to us in the future, we can prevent this through cooperation and mutually-beneficial policies.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  223. ken morris

    The next two will determine the next ten. Twenty is a long time if we don't get good leadership and some regulations to protect the middle class.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  224. Emma

    Well, Now that we have a more experienced Presiedant, We have nothing to worry about.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  225. Jacquelina Burke

    I am not so worried for myself now that i am older,but I worry for my children and their children what kind of life they will have.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  226. Barbara Ruff

    Very worried. In a country where the people in charge of setting policy seldom think farther ahead than 20 minutes, we will be lucky if we have a country in 20 years. The Chinese are buying in bits and pieces.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  227. David

    I'm not worried Jack, my life is in God's hands.
    Abuja, Nigeria

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  228. Larry

    We can't remain number one in the world forever. What this shows is that we have to get on the ball. We have to market ourselves better in the world in terms of selling american products. We also need to strengthen our military. Other countries like China and Indonesia are starting to catch up with us.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  229. Justin

    As far as America's power on a global stance goes, I feel pretty confident. I believe that with Obama as our president, America can become a influential power in the world once more. It may take some time, but I have faith that things will get better.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  230. Ujjwal

    Its only just to presume that a third of the world's population in India and China will demand a better style of living over the coming years. The question is – given the fractured nature of world politics today, are there sufficient resources for everyone to lead an American lifestyle? As Mahatma Gandhi had said – 'There is enough in the world for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed".

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  231. Sam C.

    I think the US really needs to get its act together. If we let china take over the economic world then the power of the US will diminish. We cannot let this happen. The government shouldve given the bailout to the big three, but now since they didnt my own city of detroit is going to have some makor problems.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  232. Andre

    I feel a lot better about the next 20 years now that Obama will be our next President. However, I am praying that the Republicans don't take a majority in Congress again during his tenure because we don't need to take a chance at a Republican Congress that is out to get a Democratic President in any way possible. We all know the embarrassment this nation suffered when we last had that.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  233. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    to be more specific...I am worried if we do not engage in the next obvious step of demilitarizing our world.,,military ewapons is real big business but the balance is changing soon enough for the US to coonsider doing just like we did to banning nuclear proliferation.

    Yes, the US influence is changing and it is the time to grab that opportunity to learn from our mistakes and accomplishments and start demilitarizing and truly do humanitarian aid and free and fair trade with more options that are sustainable development at home and abroad!

    Sounds long and painful...but it should be more peaceful in 20 years if we start now!

    Take very good care,
    Diane Dagenais Turbide

    November 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  234. Jon Hall

    To those of us who used to work in the Engineering and Manufacturing industries the next 20 years will be no different than the last 20 ... we will just have more company

    However, we will have clean air, lots of critters running free, and more trees to hug than you can shake a stick at

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  235. Dee in Florida


    I am 65. I am pretty worried about the next 20 years, because I am getting too old to have to fend for myself if the whole darn world goes crazy! Although I am a pretty good shot!

    What bothers me about the next 20 years is what we are leaving to our kids. I think we should all (at least those of us who got us into this mess) just look our kids and grandkids in the face and say, "I am truly sorry to leave you in this situation".

    When I look at the faces of the little kids with their lives ahead of them, I am truly sorry.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  236. Ryan

    In twenty years, we'll all be enslaved to the Chinese. Or perhaps simply owned by them.
    While we're busy tripping over all our lines of bureaucracy, the Chinese are busy getting things done.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  237. Kendall Hewitt

    At first thought I was going to say extremely worried. But on further reflection I believe things will improve for the U.S. Our new president has a very positive attitude along with brains and the ability to communicate with all people of the world. It will take time, but it will be a better place for our grand children and great grand children.

    Kendall Hewitt

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  238. Dan

    My biggest concern over the next 20 years is the global shifts in power which seem inevitable. At some point the US will no longer be the economic superpower of the world but will likely remain the military superpower of the world. At that point it will be like a wild animal backed into a corner and may strike out as such. The threat to US dominance, real or perceived, will be China, and that, aside from some regional conflicts along the way, will be the confrontation that determines the ultimate survival of our planet.

    Victoria, Canada

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  239. dennis boychuk

    the next 20 years really worry me, as a country we are buying gas from our enemies rather than friendly nations where we can, and if the big 3 go down, I guess we can buy our personal vehicles and military vehicles can be bought from China, which could also be our enemy. I remember having to go to our enemy to buy parts for our training equipment. the best security is doing things in your own country, and true patriotism is buying north american products.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  240. Kaga, Vallejo CA

    Obama has the vision to invest and develop new jobs and market in other source of technology and energy like Solar, Wind and Biofuels. If we stay on track, we will stay ahead of the game. America leads and others follow.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  241. Molliey

    In the next 20 years the economy will just get worse. I am worried about the next generation, if this generation is struggling, what will they do? People will lose their jobs and homes. Lets just try to make it to January 20th 2009.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  242. Laurent iadeluca

    I'm worried! ...But I predicted this was going to happen back in 2000 when George W. Bush was elected president. My Best friend, a college professor, who passed away back in 2004, knew it also but he attached this decline in global dominance to the decline in advanced education in America for the middle class and lower masses at little or no costs. For those wanting to advance personally, education became inaccessible once a financial burden was placed on them before they received it.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  243. Giovanni in San Diego, Ca

    I'm not terribly scared because throughout history there have been shifts of power from East to West and now it might shift back to East. It's just a cycle that has to happen, the question is how will prepare for this shift and will be able to adapt to a new world? It is evident that those who reject change will not survive but those who adapt to new world orders are capable of maintaining their culture and power. What we now must do is be more open and adapt to the new world cultures and not be so arrogant and have an "our way or the highway" attitude.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  244. Eric Hedberg

    We're over the hill, but things will be OK. Spain, France, and England were all once the big superpower over the last 500 years. Our turn at the wheel wasn't going to last forever. Too bad that it wasn't an Armada defeat, a Waterloo, or world war that turned our page, but our own President Bush. The big shift is not from the US to another nation, but from West to East, that will hurt a little. But, remember, they were once in charge too, after the Romans, before we took over. This stuff works in cycles. Calm down.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  245. John in Sacramento

    I'm extremely worried about the massive debt my child will inherit. As a country, our answer to almost every problem for the past decade has been to borrow against our future and only now are we seeing the awful results: and this is just the beginning. Our future is here NOW and the only answer our leaders have is to borrow even more furiously and rack up historic debt.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  246. Dean, Delmar NY

    No worries at all Jack. We have some of the best farmland and agricultural technology in the world. We grow more than enough food to feed the country every year. There is a global food crisis looming on the horizon. Think living without oil is tough – try living without bread.

    We'll b just fine once the ding dongs in the white house are gone

    November 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  247. Julian

    A lot, it took FDR 10 years to get us out of the last Great "ression" (Depression) and that took a World War. Since we are already in 2 wars, I don;t know what the next recovery will be.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  248. Linda

    As a nineteen year old student I am extremely concerned about the state of the nation and its future. I want to know why our government ignores such problems as our nations growing debt, failing school systems, and the growing military and economic powers of other nations! Problems that will shape my adulthood and the future status of the United States

    November 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  249. Michael, Memphis TN

    Yes, I am worried about our influence in the world in the future. Although our power and influence will decrease, we can build relationships with other nations to succeed together in the future. But we should do everything in our power to make sure that the U.S is still competetive and that our economy is vibrant. One of the main things that we should focus on to assure this is our education system and we must make sure that our children are able to compete in the future globalized economy. We must also fix our economy and re-examine the way we do things. History has showed that no superpower has lasted without a competent economy to uphold it. As the old adage goes, " those who fail to learn from history are bound to repeat it."

    November 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  250. Kieron, Dublin, Ireland

    Jack, As my wife keeps telling me, it's quality not quantity. Yes, the U.S. might find itself being challenged by China both in economic and military terms, but if you stay true to yourselves and to the dream that defines you, none of this will matter. And besides, when was the last Chinese president who could trace his roots back to Ireland? If there was one I missed it.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  251. Jackson

    I don't think it benefits anyone to sit around and worry about the future, but we're kidding ourselves if we can't admit that there have to be some serious fundamental changes in every aspect of our society if we're going to remain the America we've come to know. This involves reworking our justice system, energy policy, education, economic policy, and the influence of corporate lobbyists. I think anyone who pays attention to the news understands that the government works for those who have power and money. It's a rigged game.I'm in college and a really don't have a good outlook of the job market or even retaining my parents standard of living.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  252. Greg (Virginia)

    I'm less worried about the next 20 years than hopeful that humanity will seize opportunities to improve its condition. The 2025 report worries are over resources, balance of power, terrorist, etc... What about Space? If we simultaneously committed to new energy sources, putting people back into Space, and with exploring the resources on the heavenly bodies... then we'd create millions of jobs, adopt new technologies, gain resources, and be able to revisit those benefits back on Earth.
    Instead of simply competing with the Asian nations like China, Japan or the mid-East powers of Iran... why not work with them to accelerate the advancement of the entire world. If their governments are unwilling, then seek out their people. I know many think of these ideas as sci-fi and fantasy... but I'm sure if you described the 20th century to someone from the 19th they'd think the same thing. Let's stop shooting rockets at each other and point them in a more useful direction... Up.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  253. Mark T.

    Our failed government has spent us into so much debt, to the tune of at least 150,000 dollars for a family of four. There is no way this country will ever be able to pay back this enormous debt. We have no choice but to watch the standard of living go down in the USA and watch the standard of living go up in all of the other major counties.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  254. Jim

    I am not worried at all. I think its time that we get back to our roots which have been forgotten. Prior to WW1 we were backwards yet happy and prosperous. After that particular war we were fooled into another and subsequently our ego led us to where we are today.

    I look forward to the future, growing my food and riding a horse to work!

    November 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  255. Alex

    Don't even think about the next 20 years, ok? Let's just focus on trying to make it to January 20, 2009. Hopefully we won't blow up by then.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  256. John

    A continued push to cheaper and cheaper goods by such American icons as Walmart really makes you wonder who's greater good that they are after. I think that the East is only going to experience the same devastation that the almightly bottom line and greed has created here in the US.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  257. Kirk & Sue

    The next 20 years? Jack, we're more worried about the next 20 months... Obama has come in at a time when our country is a lump of clay (albeit shabby lump at that), and the time is now to re-establish our country as country that looks after it's own first and foremost. We need to do that now more than any other time in our history. We don't need to be the greatest and best and richest and strongest, rather we need to be the healthiest, most educated and most balanced country economically in the world. That's what we're hoping for.

    Kirk and Sue, SC

    November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  258. jani

    great job u are doing,but 20 yrs we can not win afganistan.just like russia we leave everything there and walk-out.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  259. jordan

    The U.S are the most powerfull country in the world and we will stay one nation.
    people who hates us or doesn't like us they do that cause we have freedom we are united.

    let's work as one team (AMERICAN) white or black or any race.we still american love our country.this country gave us every thing,so we need to stand to fix some gaps.that is it lil gaps.

    god bless america and the world

    November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  260. Edward, Texas

    Jack, I'm worried about 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days, 20 weeks and 20 months from now. Lets get through them without major disasters and maybe we won't have to worry about 20 years from now.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  261. Nan, Houston, Tx

    Just as worried as my parents were and their parents were and their parents were. You get the picture. We always face tough times and fear the future. All I want to really know is when do I get the flying car I was led to believe would be available in the 21st century?

    November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  262. Phil B

    I am a 20 year old college student and I am scared for the future. I hope change comes.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  263. Stefanie

    It worries me that China, a country with little regard to human rights, the environment and the future of the world as we know it, will be the biggest economic and military rival to the United States. I see lots of problems arising concerning China's ties to Africa, as well as China's relations with Taiwan and the role of the US in all of this.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  264. Jay Wardyn Ottawa, Il.

    I am very worried about the future of the U.S. History has taught us what happens to empires when they become fat and lazy. The romans are the bast example of this. There the rich and powerful became increasingly disconnected with reality till the barbarians came banging on the door. The economy of wealth allways has winners and loosers. I hope the U.S. people won't be among the loosers.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  265. VK RAMAN

    As a 65 year old, worries will only affect my health and expedite my extinction; my kids and wife need me, so I do not worry but keep my hopes positve and alive, give input and support our President elect in his efforts to boost the economic development , reduction in employment, ensure health insurance for the havenots, bring about meaningful enegy conservation; get out of ill conceived war and wish good luck for U.S.A to be the World Ambassador for Peace.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  266. Evelyn Rivera

    If Obama accomplishes what he said and brings jobs and manufacturing back to the US, plus we buy american products, we should be fine. Obama will also be in power for only 8 years at most, so others have to continue his good example. We as americans must take care of our USA. I believe that this has to be a concerted effort by not only the President, but by the citizens also. We are all in this together! We must get our great USA back!

    Stamford, CT

    November 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  267. Dan in S. Plainfield, NJ

    Worried? A little, because we can still screw things up worse than they already are. But I am hopeful that with new leadership in DC, that we can right the ship.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  268. James from Halifax


    We're at the end of an age. Power, wealth, science and influence has bounced back between the East and the West many times in the past. This is just another one of those times. Our own time is no more immune to the eventuality of becoming history. Since I have no kids, I'm at peace with this.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  269. Joseph

    I am so worried about the next twenty days than the next twenty years give the economic crisis we are in.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  270. Ed

    In 20 years nothing will really matter, at least for us middle class in the US. My investments are in the toilet. Seems stupidity, corruption, and greed get the rewards and bailouts. I thought I was living the American dream by saving money, investing in my future, paying my bills on time, and not over extending on credit. Oh well, had I been irresponsible and overextended myself and spent to the point I live paycheck to paycheck I would get part of the bailout? I now know that I won't be putting as much faith in the system as i did the last 20 years, that's a promise.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  271. J0 Ann DANIELS

    Twenty years is a long time. But I would like to think that Obama's administration would have cleaned up things in his years in the white house and whoever succeeds him would have an easier time. We can not predict the future,but I pray it's a much better world. Jo Ann... Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  272. Linda

    For all those who expect Obama to be the savior of this nation will face a rude awakening. The problems that our nation face surpass the leadership of one individual. I voted for Obama in the hope for change but as an educated American I know that the problems we face as a nation,such as the trade deficit, and economic rise of other nations will take much more than a charismatic leader

    November 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  273. Maurice

    Jack why are you so worried about what happens in 20 years? During the 8 past years the Bush administration tried to turn the US into a fascist state and declare Martial law with he so called war on terror. Luckily enough he failed miserably. The biggest problem of the US is not Russia , China or India, but the Federal Reserve System. Get rid of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which is at the root of the financial collapse of the US, and then you can dream about the future again!


    November 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  274. Gloria - Seattle, Washington

    I am very concerned with the next 20 years. We owe China so much money I fear they will end up owning a great deal of our country and hold too much power thereby diminshing our very independance. Any solutions must be all encompassing addresses the issues of the financial, housing/mortgage, manufacturing, retail sales, and health care. These issues are a threat to our national security and any changes must be done entirely – not "piece meal" as we've done with the financial bail out. This bail out has amounted to putting a bandaid on a cancer patient and hoping for a cure – without also addressing the cause and enacting laws to prevent it from occuring in other areas. Enter the auto industry....

    November 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  275. Jord, The Netherlands

    Jack, What especially concerns me is the absolute lack of democracy in China. The Chinese political elite will continue to do anything to stay in power over the next 20 years which makes that country extremely dangerous to the security of the West. I think the solution is to have the US and Europe jointly adopt a policy to deal with them. This is the only way to put pressure on Chinese workers to over time overthrow their own government and make this world a better place for all of us! It is exactly like gray wise man once said: "they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years"

    November 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  276. Jeff Tautges

    For the very reason you stated, growing competition for world resources combined with ever increasing world population along with the transition from a uni-polar world to a multi-polar world, it is extremely likely that there will be another world war long before 20 years from now. It was hard enough to maintain relative peace when there was a bi-polar world with the US and the former Soviet Union pretty much keeping all in check. Russia wants to rise again to its former Soviet Union status. China is every bit a Communist as it has been and is using capitalism as a weapon....only the elite are making a lot of money. Most work for slave wages in China. The same can be said about India to a degree. Iran will be squashed like a bug if it tries to flex too much muscle. The heck with the next 20 years. Worry about the next 4 years! War will be right on the heels of world wide economic collapse and it won't be small wars like Iraq and Afgahanistan.
    Jeff (Montana)

    November 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  277. Mustafa

    For me, there is no need for panic. We've already seen what happened when money became a tool in hands of limited number of people. I assume that when money is shared among developing countries it will most probably contribute to lessen the fear of terrorism. Politics should help coordinate how it should be used instead of creating walls between nations.

    Ankara, Turkey

    November 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  278. Bert, Berkeley CA

    If we choose, within the next 20 years, a leader with the intellect and governing ability of George W. Bush and then keep him for 8 years, I fear the worst for our country.Our adversaries will again take advantage of the situation and our friends, whats left of them, will desert us for good. It will economically finish us and truly and successfully make us a third world country. So I am really worried that after four or eight years of Obama we may just think it's time again to have a compationate conservative who leads us into two wars and wrecks our economy as President again.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  279. Jim

    No worries about the future. We will get through this even though people will loose their jobs, their houses, their savings and everything they have worked so hard for.

    I feel that we should, the people, put our newly elected leader and his well thought out team in office right now before more damage is done by the criminals in power.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  280. Chuck, Ohio

    It will take at least 20 years to get us out of the mess this administration and prior ones have gotten us into. I wish Obama all the luck and our country too, however we have a long road ahead..

    November 21, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  281. Bonnie

    The U.S. will continue its slide unless we, as a society, get back to the fundamentals of what made this country great – importance on education, a willingness to work together toward a greater goal, and being honest and respectful to others. We don't have that right now – look at pop culture, the demands of consumers, etc. I hope that with the new administration we'll start getting back on track.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  282. Patty in the CA mountains

    Not worried at all......I have HOPE again.....

    November 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  283. Joe Sharp

    I am very worried abothe future. The reason is that I was VERY suspicious that the economy tanked in the middle of an election. Could someone have fiddled with the Stock Market? I thought hard about the and I believe Iran has enough influence and finances to damage our economy through the stock market. Their motive was to force US conciliation on nuclear weapons. My first thought was that maybe Red China was tampering with our economy, after all they are a bigger country. But I can't see what they would gain. As it stands now, China will not have a Christmas either. They're too married to Walmart. I am very worried about the future. Joe Sharp, Orange VA

    November 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  284. Carl D

    This great nation will be just fine in the year 2025. As a member of our military I take great offense to the previous comments on this forum. The American people should never doubt the military’s ability to protect them. Will we be challenged, sure, but there is no challenge too great for the United States of America.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  285. Jake- Canada

    Americans need to learn to live within their means, both in terms of individual finances, and in their global ambition. Easy money from the developing economies pays for all of America's fancy new military equipment, as well as the your neighbor's (now foreclosed) vacation condo in Florida. It should come as no surprise that the leaders of China and the resource rich Middle East will start to use the power that Americans have recklessly given over themselves to further their own interests. The US has enjoyed an incredible position of power since the end of WWII, but its citizens must realize it has been an exception, not the rule. The rest of the world is certainly looking forward to a more humble United States, one which better reflects the vision of its founders.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  286. anthony m. west orange,nj

    The next twenty years should be looked at as a clean slate.We can design our own destiny

    November 21, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  287. Tyler

    I'm 23 years old and, yes, I am worried about the next twenty years. Why wouldn't I be? When we walk into a store almost all we see is "Made in China" labels. Anybody my age doesn't know or remember the world without that label either. What will that do for us in the next twenty years? American cities need more industry and the country needs to remain agricultural because depending on other countries for it all and expecting everybody here to be able to take desk and technical jobs will befall us.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  288. Elaine Hunt

    Worried about the next twenty years? No not at all. Americans are very resourceful and creative. Getting through tough times will just make us stronger and more determined, like our parents generation. So quit fretting and looking for boogies.. live within your means and help others! That's what living is all about not cowering under the covers!

    November 21, 2008 at 6:38 pm |