Of course, if people prefer to see themselves as victims of broader trends, instead of taking advantage of the many opportuntities they create, that's their choice. I believe there's an entire political party in this country built around that mentality.
Unfortunately, the Libertarian party hasn't a chance in this year's election, although I think they can probably make gains at the local level. Judging by the number of Ron Paul stickers I still see on bumpers, the Libertarians seem to have a good amount of enthusiastic supporters.
I don't think it's as simple as victim/opportunity. Auto workers in Michigan, for example, may be older and have financial obligations that impede their ability to adapt. How easy is it for an Auto worker to move or retrain, when he or she is 50 years old, has a kid or two in college, a mortgage, and other expenses?
So you tell them to pack up and move where there are jobs. Ok, but what about their house? It's not easy to get rid of a house when nobody is buying and banks aren't lending. Paying for retraining? Retrain for what? When much scientific and engineering work is outsourced, what is left? And where's the $ for tuition going to come from when you've already got a family to support?
A young person like me can easily adapt to the global economy. No jobs in my state, no problem! I pack up my car and move. I've got no kids, no mortgage, and no health issues. I can go where I please, work where I wish, and pretty much take any opportunity anywhere. I can easily reap the benefits of a global economy, but not everyone can.
Americans have to realize that there is collective as well as individual responsibility. The whole "ME ME ME" culture of narcissistic glorification of the individual over all else has degraded the sense of collective responsibility, but that is a topic for another thread.