#157 Where Did the Creativity Go? (2006)

All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

The nation's head doofus, G.W. Bush, and his band of merry Mayberry conservatives have suddenly discovered that the nation is short on "nerds and geeks."  After thirty years of ridiculing anyone with a talent for math, science, and engineering, the crazy right is in a panic because this nation is producing an economy-stifling, constantly-shrinking minimum of youth with skills in math, science, and engineering.  Again we hear the plaintive cry of the double-breasted conservative pundit, "nobody knew this would happen!"

While they've put some effort into turning education institutions into centers of superstitious and political fantasies, conservatives been blindsided by the fact that those concepts are in opposition to the needs of a technical and scientific nation and world.  It even seems to be something of a surprise to these folks that importing a plentiful supply of menial labor has not produced intellectual stimulus to the nation's "melting pot."  The best and brightest of the immigration class are going elsewhere; where their talents will be appreciated, rewarded, and utilized.  All the sleaziest Republicrat and Demolican efforts have produced a nation that is poised on the edge of technical collapse.  Still, they wonder why.

For three generations, the Bush family has labored under the unfounded delusion that pampering the nation's elite class would produce creativity, economic stability, and national brilliance.  Yeah, that's worked out really well for the Family, hasn't it?  Can anyone in that pack of inbred mutants say "nuclear" without a lisp?  The Bush family is an established gang of dysfunctional, dyslexic, hedonistic, technically challenged, intellectual midgets who desperately rely on mommy's money, daddy's connections, and a long history of corruption and nepotism for their survival and success.  Now that is an inspirational role model, don't you think?  I'm sure every Rockefeller wants to grow up to be a Bush, but that model doesn't do much for the children of the productive working class.

The foolishness behind this sudden movement toward encouraging practical technical skills is a textbook example of "do what I say, not what I do."  The dumbest folks in the nation think they can con the smartest folks into working harder for no apparent reason.  If the most powerful, richest people in the country earned their golden spoons through inheritance and/or corruption, why would anyone pick a different route? 

Most working class kids are not that stupid.  When minimal skills will provide a doorway to corporate success, very few of us have chosen the more demanding math, science, and engineering path.  Trust fund  babies, lawyers, MBAs, economists, politicians, actors, and pro athletes are the most successful, most powerful people in the country.  The are also the least technically competent.  Why would an enterprising, creative, intelligent student pick a different career (especially one steeped in difficult concepts and long, mostly unsuccessful, hours of study followed by a career of hardship and instability) when there are so many easier ways to succeed? 

Reagan was the watermark for the latest phase in the decline of the United States' technical base.  Reagan, the ignorant Hollywood conservative, ridiculed Carter, the engineering "egghead," publicly and often for "overcomplicating" the nation and world's problems.  Reagan simply represented the lowest common denominator's belief that "somewhere there is a simple solution to every complicated problem."  There usually is, but that solution rarely works. 

Reagan's simpleminded "trickle down" economics didn't work and we suffered twelve years of recession while he and his goofy elitists proved and re-proved that point.  In the meantime, Reagan and Bush I cut back funding for education, scientific research on everything from alternative energy to medicine.  They promoted the export of technical jobs, manufacturing, and skills while obsolescing those skills in the USA by exporting industry to Asia.  After a brief revival of a few of those critical proficiencies during the Clinton years, Bush II is back in the export business with the single-minded focus of someone who is serious about the damage he wants to do to this nation.

Let's face it, a country governed and managed by characters like Ken Lay, G.H.W. and G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Carl Rove might as well skip the pretense and nominate, appoint, and promote Tony Soprano and his family.  With mobsters like ours in charge of the country's present and future, we're as bound for decadence and humiliation as were Great Britain, Spain, France, Rome, Greece, and every other fallen nation in human history. 

A system designed to reject and neglect the best and the brightest is bound to be limited by the worst and the least capable.  This country's nerd and geek shortage is just beginning.  While colleges are building stadiums and cranking out bushels of useless lawyers and MBAs, the rest of the world is producing the future scientists who will drive the world economy for the rest of this century and beyond.  But we'll be prepared ask them if they "want fries with that."

May 2006

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