The financial crisis has brought reality crashing down again.

As America was forced to de-leverage, the credit-car corporations were caught flat-footed. In today’s climate, the product, not just the deal, once again matters.

And so now Detroit is faced with the daunting task of having to build cars that people want to drive and can actually afford, rather than offering deals they just can’t refuse.

The government and the people cannot try to stop the clock and remake the American economy of the 21st century in the nostalgic image of the post-World War II economy. Americans as individuals must educate and train themselves to be nimble so they can adapt to this changing economic world.

The government needs to provide individuals with the proper incentives to adapt to change. It should not attempt to recreate a mythical economy of Lake Woebegone where all the women are good-looking and the students are above-average.

While wistful memories of our past glory may be fondly held, they have no place in our positive future.

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