The U.S. has a massive, productive population. It has the paramount military in the world. The Mississippi River farm areas produce enough food to feed the population twice over. Dollars, Hollywood movies, English language, and American TV shows are global phenomena. Manufacturing jobs have suffered lately, but U.S. manufacturers are still doing okay--they just use robots now, like how manual farmers were replaced by big tractors and machines.
America leads NATO, the most powerful alliance ever made. It also maintains a series of allies in Asia, the Middle East, and increasingly Africa. It has dominated Latin America for almost a century.
America has a debt problem, but still it's only at around 100% of GDP: many developed countries are worse off. Employment is a big problem, as is income inequality, but compared to other places even the poor in the U.S. are doing well compared to the poor in, say, India. The majority still have food, shelter, and basic education/health care.
Also, despite all the rhetoric, most Americans have little appetite for violence at home. This makes revolution and civil war--the things Americans love to yell about from the safety of their keyboards--a remote prospect. Americans have been luckily sheltered from massive losses of life compared to countries like Russia or China, and so it would take some massive catastrophe of epic proportions to actually make Americans slaughter each other.
The reason we talk about it so much is because we're sure it won't happen. We're just blowing off steam. So cheer up, America. Maybe we won't always be so powerful, but it's silly to think we're just going to disappear in 20 years.
Honestly, how many of you are actually stockpiling guns, ammo, and food for the coming overthrow of society? Almost none, right? Exactly. If you were serious, you'd have started preparing.
I doubt there is going to be any great catastrophic change. There will be social changes for the better and for the worse (and I try to be an optimist and assume they'll be mostly for the better). Economic policies may change, of course leaders will rise and fall. But overall, I see the fundamental structure of the United States remaining in place over that time period.
Whether you think change is a good thing or not, inertia is a powerful force. The only way significant change happens in twenty or thirty years is through violent revolution or foreign takeover, and I just don't see Americans as dissatisfied enough to give up their cable television and revolt, nor do I see any foreign nation willing to chance a coup against the United States.
Over a much longer period, we'll likely move toward an increasingly globalized society instead of remaining a world of nation-states, but none of that's going to happen within the coming few decades.
Very few regimes last for more than a couple hundred years. America is no exception. I think America's problems will only get worse and they will lead to civil war or revolution. Afterwards, a new regime will take power in America. This is just my prediction, and I don't know if this will happen.
Like the other guy said, it depends what you mean. I think that America as an independent nation is coming to an end unless something changes quickly. America is like a lion with alzhiemers; it's always just as bold, but becomes less unintelligent and capable with age. Obama is a huge contributor to this.
The country will be totally unrecognizable by 2021 if (and thats a tiny "if") the repugs win in 2016; let alone after 20 years of repugnican domination (and the repugs will use the 2020 census to secure a permanent lock).
The structures of government will prolly remain intact, but with their roles drastically altered. The new america could not correctly be called "fascism", but it will pass the walk-like-a-duck-talk-like-a-duck test.
The debt crisis, the recessions, this will eventually (it might be 10 years, or 100 years) wake the people out of their slumbers. The general population will rise. They will win and overthrow the states as we know it; or they will lose and a authoritarian regime will take its place.