We have the largest workforce in the world - close to 500 million strong - more than the population of every major country except China. This kind of opportunity doesn't come along often and we are squandering it. People don't stay young forever. We have maybe 25 years to capitalize on this and I know if we do we'll shoot straight to the top. I'm not suggesting it's an easy job but I truly believe we are capable enough to lift ourselves to the top.
In my opinion there are two factors that disproportionately affect our ability to generate value.
First, our people are not skilled enough, thanks to archaic and utterly pointless educational curricula. Bad education is the root cause of our suffering. Just ask the millions of jobless engineers. We're spending a paltry 3-4% of our GDP on education in comparison to the 6-8% of other developing nations. I strongly believe that solving the education problem will solve most other issues.
Second, policy changes and passing of bills take way too long. That's a result of the democratic process and I respect that, but again, people don't stay young forever. There are a lot of policies and rules that need an overhaul and the sooner we change them, the faster we can grow.