Yep, this nation pretty much died in the early 70's when the greatest generation began to retire. They took with them national pride and the will to produce. Ive said it before on here, but we are living in the first time in human history that human progress is being limited by our monetary system. Up to this point, humans have built anything their brains and technology could produce. They did it on the spot, and as fast as possible. Everything from the pyramids, to the P51 to the space program was done in this fashion.
Being a former NASA employee, I tend to look at the space program as a guage. From the time we figured out how to put things into space until the time a man flew into space was a couple years and a few vehicles later. A couple more vehicles after that and a decade later, we were on the MOON!!! That is an incredible turn-around time as well!!
Today we "know" how to do many things, but we are sitting around waiting until we can afford to do it. Either that or the liability risk of working out the bugs of a new technology is to high that we dont want to risk the money, again being limited by our monetary system.