The astonishing thing isn’t that this was allowed to happen. We all know why it happened. The astonishing thing is that there are still Boomers who sincerely believe that the USA of 2023 is essentially the same thing as the USA of 1973. But it isn’t.
This doesn’t merely have significant implications for one’s quality of life or the political demographics or the societal infrastructure, it has massive implications for the military capabilities of the US armed forces. As the US no longer has a European military or a powerful manufacturing industry, it no longer possesses the comparative advantages it previously had.
Exactly how much its performance has been degraded is not possible to say, but the demographic changes indicate that the 2020s US military will probably not perform as well as the 1970s US military did. And the early evidence out of Afghanistan and Ukraine tends to support that hypothesis.
With regards to the fate of the country and its population, there are three possible outcomes. And none of them can be reasonably described as either positive or pleasant.