As usual, my friend George Gilder gets it right
and points the way out of tough times:
The crucial conflict in every economy, however, goes on. It is not between rich and poor, Main Street and Wall Street, or even government and the private sector. It is between the established system and the new forms of wealth rising up to displace it--all the entrenched knowledge of the past and the insurrections of futuristic enterprise and invention.
The real source of all growth is human creativity and entrepreneurship, which always comes as a surprise to us, especially in the worst of times, as Rich Karlgaard notes. No amount of knowledge about the present can predict the specific profile and provenance of innovation. From the pits of the crash of 2000, when the Internet and the dot.com siege were famously dismissed as a barren "bubble," came Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) and MySpace to rise up and take all the chips and establish a new Internet economy. If creativity was not unexpected, governments could plan it and socialism would work. But creativity is intrinsically surprising and the source of all real profit and growth.
Because the U.S. remains the world's largest economy and still leads the world in business and technological creativity, the current crisis is mostly confined to boondoggles of finance. It will pass rapidly and evolve into a new boom. Emerging is a parallel unregulated financial system based on entrepreneurial creativity and invention.