Since World War II, and especially since 1971 when the link between the dollar and gold was broken, governments around the world have accepted the Keynesian theory of economics, which boils down to a belief that printing money can stimulate the economy and create prosperity. The result has been to create huge amounts of individual and government debt. It has become insupportable. All it has done is purchase a few extra years of artificial prosperity, and we're heading deeper into a very real depression as a result.
Let me define the word "depression." It's a period of time when most people's standard of living declines significantly. It can also be defined as a time when distortions and misallocations of capital – things usually caused by government intervention – are liquidated.
We have been consuming more than we have been producing and living above our means. This has been made possible by: 1) borrowing against projected future revenues and 2) using the savings of other people. The whole thing is going to fall apart. A new monetary system of some type is going to have to necessarily rise from the ashes.