I was just pointed to this article by my friend Erik Smykal. If it doesn't scare the ever-living piss out of you, you're not paying attention. Unless, that is, you're Iranian or Chinese or Indonesian or whatever and you're sitting there right now feeling smug.
A nation without productive capacity is a hot-house orchid and will not endure. A nation whose citizens don't understand the workings of its machines and homes and organizations is, well, 1990 Kuwait just waiting to get used, abused, and broken by the first people capable enough and self-justifying enough to do it.
And, oh by the way, programming and engineering and factories that make real salable goods are the keys to great buckets of money and them what don't know it or do it don't get that money.
If you have children, raise them to be competent. Raise them to be able to understand how wood shrinks when it gets dry and what makes a plant grow tall. Raise them to understand Boolean algebra and why languages are built the way they are. Raise them to understand their world.
Because our nation is wealthy and indolent and rude and has pissed a hell of a lot of people off on a regular basis for a couple of centuries now. Unless you want our future to look like that of French aristocrats circa right about 1760, then do your part.
And even if you don't have kids, you're not off the hook. Ask yourself, what have you done to make the next generation competent, honorable, and strong? If you don't a solid answer right on the tip of your tongue then it's time that you started doing your share.