Nice article, ("STEM Education—We Get What We Deserve,"), but the line from the Emerson guy really ticks me off. Years ago, many kids went to engineering school and were greeted with no jobs or dismal pay. Once that happens, the word spreads. Kids and their parents then spend money on business and finance [degrees], so they get return for their time and money. Now every corporate fat cat whines about not getting qualified candidates.
They abused the H1-B visa program and want to pay next to nothing for a "rocket scientist." In the corporate culture, engineering is placed well below sales, marketing and finance.
If there is a stable employment base, this country will produce great engineers to fill those positions. However, our MBA pals have created plenty of quick exits and golden parachutes for themselves and their companies while dumping the engineering workforce. I worked for a small company for 15 years and in the end left because the controls group was dumped. Now I work for a larger company, but we have a niche. Otherwise we'd be dead too.
I want manufacturing to continue to build, but in the end we've seen the best already. It will never be the same. The problem is all those smaller companies—the ones that take care of the overflow and give young folks a shot—will never return, and it's sad.