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GS, your description of local conditions sounds like your area is undergoing a significant economic disruption which is something that has happened in many places throughout history, not unlike the old mill towns in the Northeast and Upper MidWest when the factories closed, yet not even during the 1930’s depression could it be said that the country collapsed. Economic shifts are never even in depth or duration. There are still McMansions, new stores & restaurants, and new schools getting built in the suburban area my daughter lives in down in North Carolina but those are just local conditions which are good. Here where I live the population is slowly dropping but that is part of a larger national shift from rural areas to urban/suburban areas. Falling population does eventually trigger big changes but only in extreme cases such as Detroit does it trigger collapse.

Again, I am not saying a collapse is not possible. We are at greater risk than perhaps we’ve ever been in for one to happen. I’m just saying it hasn’t happened yet, nor are we seeing the kinds of widespread societal infrastructure breakdowns that would accompany it.