"... 65 percent of Americans believe their nation is now in decline, according to this week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. And it is true: Today’s economic problems are structural, not cyclical. We are in the middle of yet another jobless recovery. Wages have been lagging for decades. Our labor market woes are deep and intractable. The first lesson from the economic historians is that we should try to understand our situation by looking for shifts in ideas and values, not just material changes. Furthermore, most fundamental economic pivot points are poorly understood by people at the time."