To me the bigger question is, has America lost its edge? Have we been so straddled by government regulations and work rules where neither a small scale inventor or a mega-giant company can no longer produce anything due to regulations upon regulations that unelected government bureaucrats impose on a daily basis, not to mention
We no longer teach our children American history, geography, and civics, and instead teach touchy-feely things like social studies, that teaches nothing about American history, or our society as a special and unique civilization, but preaches that all cultures are equal. Devout Muslims will not agree. To them, reestablishing the caliphate and imposing Sharia Law, a 7th century code of law is foremost. Many of them walk amongst us. Leftists in our own country don't look at us as anything particularly exceptional, and routinely criticize the 18th century founding fathers for their failings, based on 21st century standards. Hey lefties, how about a few comments about your leftist heroes like Marx, Lenin, Mao, Stalin and most notably from t-shirts, Che? How many people did they murder.
Once we brainwash our children that America is not a special country, a constitutional republic, that limits what the government can not do, rather than one like the European Union that tells it's subjects exactly what rights they have, we are doomed as a country. The public school system is well on the way to doing just that thanks to the teachers' unions and politicians who enable them.
Getting back to Tina's piece, I think we lost a generation, with some notable exceptions. Both of my 20-something nephews have rejected liberalism (unlike their father) and have worked for their spending money since they were both 14 at McDonalds and other minimum wage jobs in high school, and even throughout their college years. They are products of a broken marriage, and neither parent has a lot of money, but these young men turned out well, because of their shear determination to do well and get a good education.
There is hope for America's youth, provided that they get back to the basics and learn about our history, learn subjects like science and engineering, and avoid useless degrees in a high tech society such as gay and lesbian studies, or literature from the Benin Kingdom. (look it up on your own).
I talk to young people all the time and I always encourage them to stay in school and get training in either a high tech job, some sort of business skill, or take up a trade where they can make more money than either of the 2. When your furnace goes out on a -10 degree night, how much good will a professor in Anastasi studies do for you? A HVAC technician, though not a sexy job, can make you very well to do, especially if you own your own business.
America can return to excellence, but not so long as we are just another unexceptional country, no better or worse than, Germany, Egypt, Iran or the oh so wonderful Democratic People's Republic of Korea.