The tragedy is there's nothing technologically or physically unfeasible about saving civilization. It's not too expensive to start paying down the debt. Putting men in space is not easier than shutting down immigration and beginning a slow repatriation. Phasing out public schools a few percent at a time is by definition easier than keeping them around.Mathematical Law time: The body count required to turn things around is directly proportional to the idiocy investing the status quo. ...— Outsideness (@Outsideness) March 22, 2016
I'll start by saying the problem is political will. I will then thoroughly muddy the waters, but it's a good starting point. There's no political will because those in charge are still profiting from the system, and paying down the debt would cost them. Coercive power structures have been selecting against generosity in their controllers since forever; they're not going to do it voluntarily.
Voters could give a mandate to a Trump-like figure, who could force the interests to take a haircut. Goes down easier if all your friends have to take one too, right? While it wouldn't be strictly legal, the power of the vote isn't purely about legality. However, this requires voters to know radical change is required. Voters are average folk, meaning they're on average cowardly and stupid, and those in power have their brains by the balls. They cannot know change is required, and they'd be scared to say so even if they could.
Voters are in fact another plank of the obstacle. It's possible to formalize. Could pay all the interests off with explicit ownership of shares and such. E.g. shut down every school, but keep all the administrators on the payroll. Teacher can be immediately brought back to run a grandfathered-in daycare system to avoid dumping tens of millions of children in the laps of the like of dual-incomes all of a sudden. Doing this would utterly outrage the voters - there is a negative zero percent chance of them accepting the power structure as it actually is. Luckily, while voters are scared of fixing the system, they're not scared of breaking it further. The strategy of giving the entrenched interests no material reason to object inherently creates a voveo-social reason to object. Salving the social reason inherently re-creates the material reason.
Could violently rebel. ~Nobody knows who is actually in power, so this would be guaranteed to be misaimed. The cape would be gored, not the matador. Further, it seems sensible folk stay far, far away from violent rebellions, meaning their administration, no matter how bad the previous administration, will be a step down.
Could delegitimize the system by making it common knowledge that not only does democracy not uphold the commonwealth, it cannot ever uphold the commonwealth. Also, excuse me, I have a possibly-fatal attack of the giggles. Hopefully it passes.