That all sounds wonderful. But tell these things to a 25 year old with a bachelor’s degree, $40,000 in student loan debt and no job, and ask how good that makes them feel.
Nobody wants to see an increase in “drop outs.” But there are grave fiscal and social costs awaiting our country for having produced a generation of Americans who are well educated, yet can’t find a productive place in our economy. Like Mrs. Obama’s vacuous “you don’t have to major in a certain subject” rhetoric, far too many American educational institutions have failed to concern themselves adequately with determining which courses of study can prepare a student to contribute to the economy - and which of them will not. A degree in petroleum engineering makes one more employable than a degree in gender studies – but admitting this is taboo in contemporary academia.
What if American high schools produced graduates who were both college-ready and equipped with a marketable skill? What if high schoolers had to master HTML as a foreign-language requirement? America would be in a much better place if these and other practical ideas were our reality.
The rest of the industrialized world is leaving America behind: As America drapes itself in lofty dreams of “green energy” and climate change taxes, the other industrialized nations of the world are running in the opposite direction from the U.S. Australia is set to lead the world this year with timber and iron ore production, while Canada and New Zealand are expanding their nations’ oil output. Even the nations of the European Union have abandoned most of their so-called “climate change regulations” so as to enable more manufacturing and natural resource development.
As a result, these nations are getting out of debt and creating new prosperity. Australia finished 2013 by eliminating their national debt. Canada is on-track for zero government debt by 2015. And Europe, while riddled in debt, is finally correcting course with fiscal and environmental policies – something the U.S. doesn’t seem prepared to do.
If today’s unemployed American youth can find their way individually while at the same time demanding more rational policies from government, business, and academia, they just might save themselves, and our country, in the process.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.