The first world countries have been living beyond their means since the inception of credit and especially since leaving the gold standard. The central banks are complicit in the demise of the current economic system because the elite are incapable of managing the masses or the economic complexities. The middle class is where the innovators and critical mass exists to create wealth but also to consume it. The poor and needy will always exist to make men feel guilty about their pursuits of wealth and power. To assuage their conscience the well-to-do's are faced with philanthropy and the wanna-be's are conflicted by greed and need. Well meaning leaders and unscrupulous politicians plan and contrive for both means of power and taxation to take from the unsuspecting successful wanna-be's and give to the perpetual welfare class on the basis of fairness and compassion.
The solution is self-mastery. Living within one's means does not necessarily commit a person to poverty but does require prudence. Magnifying one's calling is not only for the socially conscious but for the socially able. Whatever we are capable of doing, whether it is consuming only that which sustains us or producing that which sustains many we as individuals, resident's of the world should have an obligation to exercise that talent on the behalf of others.
Not everyone is imbued with the knowledge or skills to understand or affect the outcomes of life. Those that can, need to educate those that can't. Those that can't, need to pay attention. A lack of leadership is responsible for the current failure of our fiscal and social order. A dearth of leadership in partnership with the arrogance of the unwise is the bane of this life.
Are we doomed to failure, condemned to a conflict and strife, confined by mediocracy, inspired to achievement, or destined to fulfillment? Some, each, and all.