"A service economy that doesn't produce anything will circle the drain until it has spent all of it's savings (wealth)."
A productive economy produces wealth because they have something to sell that the rest of the world wants. When a country no longer produces anything, and simply spends money feeding one-another at fast food places, buying foriegn oil and toys, they are only spending savings until it's all gone and the economy will circle the drain. Spending money on bullets doesn't help either, but mostly a failing economy can be characterized by asking if any money is flowing into the country. If the answer is no, down we go.