Yes, the challenges we face are large. Many take comfort that America has always responded to large problems with waves of creative people who chart new and unexpected paths to revitalization.
However, others note we're trying to solve 21st century problems with a workforce that is educated in a 20th century fashion. Our K-12 system is set up to crush innovative and creative thinking....which bodes ill for our future economy. Sir Ken Robinson has a fascinating 20 minute talk looking at the American education system and prompting ideas for change.