We in the UK and US, have now long since passed being a predominantly tertiary economy. A large proportion of many western economies have drifted into being quaternary economies.
What do I mean? Quaternary? "Tertiary is as far as you can go" right? No, we have passed basing our economic principle on services and intellectual property to being an economy based on a different set of principles than what is still hard, honest work you find in services and IPR. We now base much of our value creation on belief, opportunism and misrepresentation.
In other words we all bull shit each other about value in order to create and maintain value. The sub prime was a symptom of this, not the cause of the sickness. But like in leprosy, the disease eats slowly at your nervous system but you die from the infections to the injuries you do don't pay attention to. That is what the banking crash has been about.
Republicans in the USA accuse Obama of being a Socialist, while it is they themselves who have placed their bets on non democratic communist commanded economics. From production of iPads to maintaining oil over $100 usd / barrel, the owners of US big business have been dancing with their devil for two decades: State ownership, state intervention, protectionism, price-maintainance, imperialism, anti-western-sentiment, five-year-plans.
The Chinese have surpassed just making stuff to western design and quality commands. They now lead for example in Windows oriented PC and laptops. In fact we sent a paradoxial trojan horse into China with all our technologies thinking they were just automatons, forgetting this was a nation which still sneaks around after our Trident submarines. Now they have a fifth of many technology markets, soon to be a quarter. Now they "own" low cost, high qaulity production, they can call the tune for the whole global market in making a product for Eastern Asia.
Like I say on some tech' gadget forums when US and EU citizens bemoan the stupidity of some flippant features, or loss of well loved widgets: " it is not just our production companies who are leaving behind now, it is our suppliers as well"