Some parts of the world haven't seen any economic progress in 1,000 years. That's frightening. The biggest obstacle? Bad laws messing up property rights. Because if you can't prove that you own what you paid for, you can't sell it or borrow against it, and if you can't do that, then you just can't get out of poverty. We have it really good in the USA, and that's why we have a special obligation to call out our government when it screws up.
And on a related note: People need to stop whining about the "commercialization of everything." The commercial is beautiful, and Americans have always thought so.