I know the best way to fix it but sadly we are not dealing with Bold politicians and a time of great investment into the future.
But given current economics, I'd turn to space for the answer
This probably sounds farfetched but wouldn't cost what a Year in Iraq does, probably far less.
We would need, a small fleet of shuttles and a handful of specially designed craft.
But the concept would be to push small asteroids into Orbit around the Earth and shuttle up and down the materials
The better thought would be some sort of space ladder or...more ingenious method of slow dropping the cargo down to Earth... and using the Shuttles
purely for mineing purposes (would save alot of money)
I truely doubt a method of slow dropping a ton or 2 at a time would elude us as a society if the right minds went to work on it...
Probably better ideas than mine for how that would be done
Typical asteroid contains around Trillions, Billion tons of precious metals and ores...
One particular asteroid surveyed had 100,000 tons of Platinum, 10,000 tons of Gold and 10 Billion Tons of Iron and it was only 1.2 Miles long
a single haul after expenses even if the cost was 50% would correct the entire US debt
and then of course we have the Moon hanging over our heads...
The above article is a far better explanation of how the economics are profitable than i could personally give but this seems 100% sound to me.
Probably not the economic answer your looking for...
But, when markets dry up and competition is fierce and resources are low... as a business person my instinct says open a new door...
and I think this is by far the most viable long term solution to our economic woes. Unlimited wealth is floating over head