Today, I got bombarded by emails, all from people wanting to know what I think of the CINC’s latest remark. Well, my view is simple. The CINC is playing politics in an area dominated by republicans – addressing machinists, tool workers, electricians, not engineers, doctors or programmers.
But if most in the field of art history and humanities in general see this as a personal jab, then I guess it is time to remind the NEA that one of its obligation is to familiarize Mr. Obama with an excerpt from a speech given by President John F. Kennedy on October 26, 1963 at Amherst College in Massachusetts, in honor of the poet Robert Frost.
We are witnessing a new age. It is much bigger than the industrial revolution and the best we could hope for is to set a way to properly address how to modify the ways and the means we have set up for turning out “technical illiterates”. Producing many TI’s got us through the industrial revolution age. But will the same get us through the current challenge we face? No. Learning to sign your name, earn a trade, join a union and have a job polishing tools for life is no longer it.
Employers who moved factories abroad for cheaper production costs are beginning to see this. And some jobs are coming back simply because of technical requirements, home grown resources and informed opinions provided by managers – most with humanities degree background. Ask countries like UK, Germany, Russia and ask why their ref. libraries and university archives are being raided for resources by some emerging economies.
China as of today, is getting the best out of German archives because Chinese managers think American technology is generic and they would rather have the best from the main source. India is beginning to do the same by shutting out Russia, UK, France, Israel and making overtures to Japanese defense contractors and engineers.
Time to stop beating up on college degrees in the USA while our allies are turning out PHD’s like crazy. Otherwise, we’ll always be turning out knuckle dusters – and guess what! They’ll be fighting other peoples war for ever.
Tell Mr. Obama, it is time to rebuild Capitalism and the Arts. Give those in the field of humanities at least one percent of the defense industry budget and see what they come up with.
Here’s a link to the site: arts.gov/about/Kennedy