We know what our problems are (there is no mystery here), but the "forces of resistance" prevent those problems from being solved (or at least being brought under control). Those "forces" all have to do with big moneyed and special interests that act to maintain their influence and dominance over the issues and the process that prevents reform (or at least diminishes the impact of any reform measure constraining those interests). Look no further than the reform of health care as a perfect example of these "forces" at work to blunt any real reform that would diminish their dominance over health care in this country. As we have seen, these "forces" (the private corporate health care industry) are ruthless in their pursuit to retain their influence over the entire process, even to deepen and expand their power and control over it.
But of course it is not only health care that these "forces" dominate. There is no issue of any significance that is immune from the dominating influence of these interests.
Whether it is war and the bloated defense budget, regulation and oversight of the financial industry to the environment and global warming (or any of the myriad issues that currently plague us); there are no intractable problems or issues beyond our capability to manage and control and essentially solve.
Even seemingly intractable problems such as terrorism, drugs, organized crime, corruption, are all manageable and containable. Like disease they are not eradicable, but they can be brought under control as our knowledge and capability are there for that to happen.
Our real problem is in the dysfunction of our political process that allows these "forces" to dominate that process. Money and the power that it wields, is the cancer we have permitted to corrupt our system of government. Unless this cancer is excised from our political process, our problems and the issues we face will remain unchanged.
We tend to "kick the can down the road"(put off infrastructure repairs and build levees that would have prevented the devastation of a Hurricane Katrina), reform "around the edges" (our current attempts at solving our health care crisis), desire to "move on" and not look back, (Obama refusing to investigate those who authorized torture and holding them to account), extol the virtues of our capitalist system (while ignoring the need to contain the excesses of that system and those financial behemoths "too big to fail" that required a massive bailout of the "banksters" that created the financial meltdown and brought us to the brink of economic ruin). To continue the folly of building weapons systems against enemies that no longer exist (the cold war ended with the demise of the Soviet Union over 20 years ago) and to cast terrorists and terrorism as the imminent and formidable enemy (that requires our fighting endless undeclared and clandestine wars in Muslim countries that serve to exacerbate rather than diminish the terrorism and the terrorists aligned against us).
Meanwhile the people are saturated with 24/7 "news" of "balloon boy", the "gate crashers" at a White House dinner party, Tiger Woods "infidelities" and any number of other insignificant and mindless stories.
One imagines the ancient Roman spectators at the coliseum taking in the spectacle of gladiators and the lions fighting before them during the final years of the Roman Empire, the excitement of the "event" before them that distracted them from the "reality" of their impending fall. One wonders if this is not our time as "spectators" in our own "coliseum" of "reality" shows and gossip "news", distracting and pacifying us from facing the true reality before us.