Will the United States end up like Greece? My guess is yes, and probably worse off than them or any other country that is currently going through financial turmoil. If you ask yourself, "how did we get here," the answer is quite clear. What costs us the most amount of money? That would most likely be entitlements and war. But war is inevitable, in most cases. (unless your us and want to invade everything that moves)
Entitlements are good in their purpose, and can even be good for the overall economy. It sure doesn't hurt the standard of living either. In fact, the entitlements we have are mainly for increasing and sustaining a minimal standard of living. Social Security is a paycheck for when you can't work or are retired. Medicare and Medicaid are just what they are, medical coverage. And then there are the smaller ones, like the food stamps and the low income benefits.
The problems with these entitlements are not that they are bad programs. It's that we are too used to them. We become sort of greedy and want more. And a bad thing about them is that once they are in place, they will never go away because that would be political suicide. No one will vote it out. And when they are put in place, no one thinks about how they will be paid for during an economic downfall.
Someone needs to take a poll to see if the entitlements we currently have are good or bad, between all people who are currently using the benefits, and all the people that just pay for the benefits. I think that we would be surprised at the results. I believe that, by a two-thirds margin, the people using the benefits would be the ones complaing the most. It just seems that whatever the benefit may be (food stamps, welfare, SSI, Social Security, etc.), most people aren't satisfied with basic necessities and coverage. They want more. I see it everyday. I hear it everyday. People complain constantly that the benefits they get are not good enough. So naturally, why would someone who doesn't use the benefits want to pay for them. All they hear is constant complaing. What's worse is if you get caught saying that we should get rid of entitlements, then you are labeled as the devil, when half of the ones using them hate them.
I will assume that by the time I retire, Social Security will be nearly wiped out, if not already. By then we won't be able to borrow to keep it going. Who will help me then. Maybe at that point our mentalities might change somewhat, and they will be telling me "you should have prepared." But as long as this sense of entitlement is around, people are going to think that they need more for less because they deserve it. They are Americans.