End the economy as we know it is of course a lofty statement with a yellow journalism tinge to it, but I'm quite serious.
Technology in this field has been making leaps and bounds, a profound effect of which is that the casual availability of 3D printers have been sky-rocketing. They've been getting cheaper, smaller, and faster in their operations, with no reason to assume that development is going to hit a dead end next year.
The potential value of 3D printers is awesome, almost hard to envision. In that fact lies to serious implications for our economy. How many people will lose manufacturing jobs to 3D Printers? How many businesses will lose profits to consumers who would prefer to just print their own products? How much innovation will be taken over by general consumers and how much further will intellectual property laws fall apart? The raw resources are a practical commodity, but in many ways 3D printers cause physical goods to take on the aspects of digital goods. If you had a fast working 3D printer which can work with many mediums (and you'd be amazed how many mediums they can already work with), you could basically just have a "kitchen" of production materials, download or design models on your computers, and print to your heart's desire.
In this sub-forum we talk a lot about economic policy, suggesting what we should do with taxes, funding, trade, regulations, and so on. But our suggestions are pretty limited to the past and present. Things like the 3D printing remind me that a complete invalidation of all our proposals could be lurking around the corner.
General overview of 3D printing if your aren't familiar.
And here are some examples of crazy things done with 3D printers.