Education! Education! Education! I cannot emphasize this word too strongly. One of the worst problems afflicting our country is its lack of an adequately educated people who can do the jobs that pay the best. At this time how this happened is not important. Of greater importance is what should be done about it.
This lack of education would not be so bad if our people merely lacked a knowledge of history or geography. This would be bad enough. But when the lack is in the ability to do simple arithmetic or the ability to express themselves, then the deficiency has reached a critical point.
Many countries around the world surpass us in general education. More importantly, the inhabitants of these countries make education a priority while we languish on the sidelines. The young people in China and India strive to rise to the top in such crucial areas as technology and math. I dare say, many of them can even speak and write English better than we can.
Several of these countries have larger populations than we do. If they also have more interest in education than we do, and they do, then inevitably, there will be far more technological progress in those countries than in ours. Contemplating what this might mean for the United State for the short and long terms is not pleasant. Imagine losing our dominance in the control of land, sea, and space! It’s not impossible.
Is it too late for us? Have we let ourselves slide so far downward in education that recovery is not possible? I don’t think so. We are a resilient and inventive people. By recognizing the problem and understanding what needs to be done, we can reverse the trend.
We need to begin with the first graders. We need to instill in them an appreciation for the importance and enjoyment that comes from learning. We need to encourage the kinds of creativity that will enable our people to invent and manufacture the products that will help protect the freedoms we enjoy. We need to begin yesterday.