Mediocre Education as a threat to the US Economy
It is no secret that the US education system is not as good as that in most other industrialized nations. This represents a real threat to the economy. A skilled and highly educated work force is essential to compete in the global economy, without this the US is in trouble. While there is no immediate crisis looming the fact is that we will slowly see the dominance of the US economy eroded by the mediocre education system that we have.
The main threat that mediocre education poses to the US economy is the fact that it means that having a skilled workforce is going to be a problem. The economy is now in what is known as a post industrial state which means that most of the jobs that are created will require a high level of skill. Without an adequate education system there will won't be the employees to fill these jobs. Inevitably that means that many of these jobs will have to go overseas where skilled employees can be found. Obviously having jobs shipped overseas would be a real threat to the economy.
The other great threat that a mediocre education system poses to the US economy is that it will make it hard for American companies to be innovators. This is especially true because of the poor quality education that is being provided in math and science. In order for American companies to remain competitive in global economy they need to be able to innovate and create new products. In most cases that is going to require that they have skilled scientists and engineers. If the education system can't produce these skilled employees than it will be necessary for companies to go overseas and find them. Or even worse they may find that they can't compete with foreign companies who are now more innovative than they are. Either way it will have a serious impact on the US economy when American scientists and engineers are not as good as their overseas rivals.
Possibly the biggest problem with a mediocre education system is the high level of unemployment that it is likely to cause. There is no value to creating new jobs if the skilled workers required to fill them are not available to take them. In all likelihood we will wind up in a situation where there will be jobs that can't be filled and get sent overseas while at the same time we have a high level of unemployment. Long term the result could be that the unskilled jobs that we sent overseas years ago come back to America. While this may sound good to some people it would actually be a disaster. We would actually be losing skilled jobs and replacing them with unskilled jobs. This will drive wages down and shrink the economy. It will also leave the US in the position of no longer being the dominant player in the global economy.