Going into Election Day, both candidates recognize how vital education is and the role it plays in the growth of the U.S. economy. The funding for education has to be increased, but money may not be the answer all of the time.
Every so often, kids get tempted with the dream of quick money and stuff that seems easy. Like the misconception that business degrees mean flashy cars. Government and the media plays a big role in this. Kids can usually name several movie stars and musicians, but almost no physicists. Herein lies the problem. Talking about physicists, let's look at a STEM field like physics, for example.
I abandoned my dream of becoming a physicist to focus on something that would supposedly prepare me for a lucrative career. After graduating college, I hear about a guy in my graduating class (physics major) making $250K in California. With tears in my eyes, I consoled myself in the hope of becoming a 'rocket scientist' on Wall Street or write for sites like this as a 'cough cough' lay person.
Michio Kaku and Carl Sagan inspired me along with Einstein who inspired generations. The problem was it made me a nerd in high school to study up E=MC2 as opposed to catching passes from the star high school quarterback. The Obama administration needs to provide money to make stuff like physics popular. Trust me, Michelle Obama and Ann Romney can make anything seem glamorous.
More physicists should go on David Letterman to make it cool. Shows like 'Big Bang Theory' should have existed when I was in high school! At the end of the day, a famous physicist remarked that it was curiosity and drive that is more important rather than any mathematical genius.
Studying hard sciences like this sparks innovation. A lot of technology that is responsible for much of the globe's GDP was invented by physicists like the Internet for example. It'll make us competitive and we don't have to rely on foreign workers. Although I agree how immigrants are important to this country as they bring diverse perspective and unique ways of thinking that can create the Googles of the world.
What I want to highlight here is best exemplified by the life of Michael Faraday. He did not let the lack of money and 'formal education' deter him from creating electric motors and dynamos that have transformed modern civilization.