WASHINGTON – How high is the quality of America’s “Human Capital”? On average, not high at all. In fact it is depressingly low, and getting worse.
Most young Americans unfit for military service
We are bound to reach this rather frightening conclusion when reading in a WSJ article, (Uncle Sam Wants You –Unless You’re 71% of Youths, June 28-29, 2014), that more than 70% of young Americans would not meet the basic, (thus not exceedingly high), standards of US Armed Forces recruiters. Yes, that is 70%!
Although this percentage is an approximation, it is based on the number of applicants rejected by the various services. Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that most young Americans are unfit to be recruits. Mind you, we are talking recruits, not officers or elite troops, such as Navy Seals.
Obese and uneducated
And the reasons? Usually a combination of lack of minimum physical fitness, (most would-be recruits are either obese or overweight), and the inability to pass basic math and literacy tests.
So, there you have it. Most young Americans are (sadly) both overweight and uneducated. We should add that smaller numbers are rejected for other reasons, such as too many tattoos and drug use. But the majority of applicants are rejected because of their poor intellectual and physical conditions.
It would seem that, for the moment, the US Armed Forces can still get enough recruits from the remaining 30% of applicants who meet basic standards, and so do qualify for service.
America’s future looks dark
But what about America? What is the future of a leading “knowledge economy”, whose strength and vitality will depend more and more on having a large number of highly educated workers, in which the overwhelming majority (70%) of young people are unlikely to get high paying, or just decent jobs because they lack basic intellectual skills?
And what about the future cost of medical services in a society in which most adults are likely to become a major burden on account of obesity related chronic diseases?