The 25-year debt-fueled boom of 1982-2007 ended, and it left the country with a stagnant economy, massive debts, high unemployment, huge wealth inequality, an enormous budget deficit, and a sense of entitlement engendered by a half-century of prosperity.

After decades of instant gratification, Americans have also come to believe that all problems can be solved instantly, if only the right leaders are put in charge and the right decisions are made. And so our government has devolved into a permanent election campaign, in which incumbents blame each other for the current mess, and challengers promise change.

Henry Blodgett, “Here’s What’s Wrong With The Economy And How To Fix It,” Business Insider, October 1, 2011