I agree with this (well some, not all), but I've looked at the German model, and there could be lessons here. They've created a global brand for their country as producing premium good. The US once had that, but not so much any more. And we definitely need more vocationally oriented education. The concept that every US student should go to college is not feasible or necessary, but a standard HS diploma doesn't mean anything.
One issue is that Germany is a lot smaller than the US. You may be able to sell enough premium exports to keep it's population going, but we may be too big for that trick.