The Imaginary STEM Crisis

George Leef

  • Article
  • May 21, 2014

Conventional wisdom has it that the U.S. needs to substantially increase our "production" of people with STEM degrees, lest we fall behind other countries and risk losing our "leadership."

As usual, the conventional wisdom is wrong and I explain why in this week's Pope Center Clarion Call.

Obama has said that for us to "win the future" we need to lead the world in college grads, many of whom should be trained in STEM. I think that's like the old mercantilistic view that a nation needed to amass the greatest amount of gold possible. Just have lots of gold didn't make a country prosperous, as Adam Smith pointed out. Neither does having lots of people with STEM training necessarily produce prosperity.

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