Being a libertarian, there is a lot to be pessimistic about. The federal government is running a 1.5 trillion dollar yearly deficit. This would have been unheard of even 3 years ago. The unfunded liabilities (mainly Medicare and Social Security) are in the neighborhood of 100 trillion dollars, an amount so ridiculous there is no point on thinking about it. The Fed more than doubled the monetary base in late 2008 and early 2009. Politicians are as crooked as ever and government keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Understanding Austrian economics is an advantage in that we can understand that there is a lot more trouble on the horizon. The economy tried to correct itself in 2008 by flushing out all of the bad investment that had previously occurred due to Fed policy and big government. Instead of allowing the correction, the Fed and government have provided massive stimulus with bailouts and fresh money. This not only prolongs the problem, but it makes it much worse. The next correction, if allowed to happen, will be even worse. Sometimes it seems that ignorance is bliss.
With all that said, there is reason for hope. The biggest threat to the politicians and big government is the truth. The truth shall set you free. With today's communication technology, particularly the internet, the truth is getting out there more and more. Politicians can't get away with as much as they did in the past. People are starting to understand economics. Not everyone believes the Keynesian lies. Not everyone believes that more government spending and more debt will solve our problems. In fact, we are almost at a point where even a majority of Americans don't really believe it anymore.
There is going to be a lot of pain and turmoil in the coming years. But there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the long-term. It is hard to think that we will be worse off 20 years from now than we are today. There are no guarantees, but human beings generally want to be free. Get rid of the propaganda (which the internet is helping to do) and the seductiveness of socialism fades away. People want to be able to own their own property and control it how they want. People want to be able to keep the fruits of their labor. If enough people feel this way, big government will not continue. There are only 535 congressmen and 1 president. There are over 300 million people living in the U.S. If enough of those 300 million plus people feel strongly enough about freedom, then it won't matter who is elected or how they try to govern.