I suppose you also regret giving up alchemy. Finding a cheap way to convert lead to gold is probably easier than flying to another star. Don't think of it as "giving up". Rather think of it as postponing until somebody happens to stumble on some breakthrough scientific discoveries.
Of course, as soon as we have a working antimatter drive, the poster may revise the stated opinion. Until then, it is perfectly reasonable.
And despite being at the center of innovation, the US has been running a trade deficit since the late sixties.