One of my father's at-the-ready quips to whipper snappers was "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"
It was pure Depression era rhetoric that embedded the common American axiom that brains were meant for making money that wasn't even there after the 1929 Crash (when the smart guys went bust). It was an ironic comment, of course.
Likewise, I wonder why the American higher education system, touted widely as the world's best, isn't solving our gravest national crises and quite possibly adding to them?
Take a gander at college and university websites and you'll witness a parallel universe where "excellence" is celebrated and everything's coming up roses. Prof. X is conquering the world of gooless glue, student Y has become one of the foremost experts in Peru and the math club has returned triumphant from a tournament in New Zealand.
This is all well and good for college publicity and for the well-being of the individuals serving up these accomplishments. But what are they doing to help us as a nation go down the tubes?
Two reasons come first to mind.