If there is a country we should imitate, I think it would be Israel. Now that's ambition, dedication, and of course, resilience. I think Tel Aviv has the highest concentration of tech startups in the world also.
Why would you think French people only work ten hours per week? My French roommate never understood sarcasm either. He also kept putting the damn eggs in the cupboard even after I told him he would get sick.
I don't think Israel's economy should be of any particular interest to the U.S, it's like a huge elephant trying to imitate a nimble rat. However, maybe if the U.S stopped giving away billions to Israel every year, it could put more of its own people to work.