These are good points and philosophically I agree but I don't think deep dives can be allowed to happen if the US wants to maintain its world leadership role (and I hear President Obama saying that it will). There is just too much at stake.
Our political leadership and top executives, all over the western world not just in the US, will not allow the dive to be too deep if they can help it. Short term political interests, careers and other narrow interests are at stake. Our political and economic system does not reward those who are in power (in public or private sector) when deep dives occur.
On a national interest level, particularly for the US, a weakening economy (a deep dive) is a strategic question and a question of national security. From an oil perspective, I think Phillips does a great job of discussing this point in chapter 5 and I think he also demonstrates the fate of those nations who reach the pinnacle of economic achievement, perhaps represented by global dominance, and then decline.
As its economy shrinks in a deep dive and its tax base shrinks and its borrowings grow, how does America maintain its massive military might, its intelligence network and its subsidizing/aiding of friendly countries and pseudo colonies? America has plenty of foes out there who are just itching to see the country decline economically and will seize on any sign of weakness and try to exploit it. And as the US declines, the jackals will move in and pick over whatever is left.
Perhaps I am overstating the case here (sounding almost paranoid), but I feel that we must be realistic about the vulnerability of the US and its allies to the spin off effects of a deep dive in the economy. I think the bailouts will continue.