Social deterioration is occurring everywhere. The cause is power mongering by incompetent persons.
The planet could sustain 50 billion people easier than it is sustaining 7 billion, if resources were developed instead of squandered. Nonconstructive persons don't have a clue as to the production potential, because they have never been looking at the subject of production. So they are certain there is never enough of anything, and the corollary is that they assume someone is taking what belongs to them.
How do you define who owns the economy? Persons with wealth usually assume they own everything, and someone is trying to take it from them. Why endless tax give-aways for the rich? Because the rich supposedly own the money, and giving it back is justice. In various forms, they keep feeding us the Margaret Thatcher explanation that the thing wrong with socialism is that eventually you run out of someone else's money to spend. They have misconceptions on whose money it is. The illegal auslanders in the US pay more taxes than anyone else and cannot benefit from most of them. They pay somewhere between $35 and 50 billion per year in social security which they cannot benefit from plus all other taxes.
With the migrant workers in jail on their way back to Mexico, someone else is going to have to do the farm labor. It won't happen. It's another reason why agriculture is on its way out in the US. Import the food to improve the balance of trade conservative style. Do the rich own the food, or do the farm workers? The rich own everything by conservative criteria.
The production potential of society has been unlimited for decades. So why are there unmet needs? The reason because of restricted economy. Conservatives specialize in misdirecting the economy. Austerity is the first tactic. With austerity, the lower classes cannot afford necessities, which restricts the economy. The economy is limited to producing what people can buy.
Another major restriction on the economy is waste, fraud and abuse. Physics is a definitive example, as most of physics can be proven mathematically to be fraud. Fraud only exists where the frauds police themselves. The public not only avoids accountability for science, it fantasizes the results pretending to be living in an Alice in Wonderland world, which acts like a drug for replacing reality with pretense.
Fantasizing is major source of waste, fraud and abuse. A group of connected fantasies are being contrived around global warming, renewable energy, carbon free electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles and going to Mars.
One of the first things on the agenda of conservatives, regardless of their assumptions about global warming, is a carbon tax. No one assumes a carbon tax could influence the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, but there is no better way to tax the needy. The needy need the same amount of energy as the rich, until waste, fraud and abuse is added. So a carbon tax is a flat tax on the needy. The carbon tax will be tax neutral, which means taking it from the needy and giving it to the rich.
California pays about 18¢ per kwh for electricity, Washington pays 6¢. The difference is that California dabbles in renewables, Washington does not. Germany and England pay about 40-50¢ per kwh, because they have 25% renewables, and now they are building new coal and nuclear plants, because renewables are dragging down their energy systems. The fakery of global warming is provable, but fantasy replaces rationality.
These are the reasons why unlimited production potential does nothing to produce a constructive economy.