Cider, i had that conversation with my BIL. he and my sister live in your neighborhood. he said that his parents generation doesn't care that GB isn't so great anymore because they get everything from food to housing pretty much given to them. his generation doesn't care because they don't know any different.
the thing that surprised him most about our family and other Americans is that they are always thinking about doing something. something else, something better, something different. just as an example, until he met and married my sister, he had not thought about owning his own home. it seems a small thing, but he never pictured himself as a "land owner". that was an adventure to far for him. :-D His brother has a business and owns a home, but his great goal each year is just to make enough to take a vacation somewhere.
don't know if i am explaining this to well, but i think that's what we are losing; our sense of adventure and the sense that we can do, or be, anything. in another generation it won't matter. no one will remember. that's sad.
i used to read stories of British adventurers exploring the world and doing great things. soon American adventures will only be in books.