The Romans figured this out - they had the idea of "bread and circuses." This meant that the people were provided with bread and beer/wine and the Colosseum, where they were kept entertained with rather brutal life-and-death "games," while the Emperors got on with demolishing their empire through greed and corruption.
Hmm ... has anything really changed?
While our government wastes our money in a deadlocked Congress who pay themselves to go on endless vacations, we are kept entertained by "reality" TV and other such non-informative, non-educative programming, and given a seemingly bottomless supply of non-food to eat, which makes us fat and unhealthy, puts an increasing burden on our national economy and probably makes us stupid as a bonus. But god forbid we should tell the food corporations they have to actually feed people, as opposed to poison us all for profit.
Just my opinion, but I think the thing that will finally put an end to the non-food issue is that our military, who are the biggest recipients of public funds, after all, are going to be faced with a populace that can't provide them with enough "boots-on-the-ground" to cover their basic needs.
But that just the food and health issue. What about the scare tactics that are employed to keep us all completely freaked out about [whoever is designated to be the "enemy" at the moment?] Is this the only news that's out there? Will it get to the point where we're all in such terror of each other that we all end up living in personalized, self-made tombs of self-protection? Will it be worth living at that point?
I hate to sound like a conspiracy-theorist, but I'm obviously not alone - look at the popularity of movies and books like "The Hunger Games." This stuff resonates for a reason.