The worldwide economic contraction is at hand, as first predicted on these boards (as far as I can ascertain) by JudgementDay in August-September 2008. In the past ca. 18 months, more than 4.5 million jobs have been lost in America. Within the next year, that number will roughly double. That means that about one out of five workers will be idle or severely underemployed. That level probably will be the broad, low plateau of the downturn. This American debacle is dragging the rest of the world down with it, as America is the "world's market". See, for instance, that Caterpillar is laying off thousands, because their heavy equipment is no longer selling to the contracting Chinese market.
So roughly one out of every five American families will be in fairly desperate financial straights, and extremely vulnerable. On the other hand, the agenda perpetrated by the conservative overlords during the Bush Administration has esentially bankrupted the Federal Government, and created a small class of plutocrats holding vast, private economic resources.
America will therefore comprise a small group of ultrapowerful plutocrats, a shrunken, stressed-out midle class, a large, relatively hopeless economic underclass, and an impotent Federal Government. Further, the bitter, recent political battle has pretty much destroyed any hope of generating any national consensus.
Taken together, these phenomena will almost certainly bring on an era of tyrany by the greedy plutocrats who, knowingly or not, pecipitated the events. These plutocrats will control the more-or-less desperate underclass, and overwhelm the sketchy middle class. America will descend into essentially a feudal society, run by financially powerful overlords with no allegiance to the country, and no entities capable of neutralizing their selfish will. It will be "small town politics" on a grand scale.