America is a knowledge economy, meaning that we benefit from thoughts, ideas, and education. The amount of creativity and ideas there are can determine the extent of markets, competition, and businesses. Creative industries also create new jobs. In America, if you have an idea, you can capitalize on it, expand the marketplace, introduce a new product/idea and share it with others, who in turn, also benefit from those ideas. The US K-12 school system needs to do more to teach creativity and allow for the free exchange of ideas, so that kids can grow up to expand the marketplace with their thoughts and ideas. “As Stanford University economist Paul Romer has long argued, great advances have always come from ideas. Ideas do not fall from the sky; they come from people. People write the software. People design the products. People start new businesses. Every new thing that gives us pleasure or productivity or convenience, be it an iPod or the tweaks that make a chemical plant more efficient, is the result of human ingenuity” (Harvard Business Review). Some examples of how the US K-12 system is failing in regards to supporting creative thinking includes overcrowding, so there’s a lack of individual experience in schools. Furthermore, there is a lack of equity, so one student may get a better education than another student, depending on ability, money, ect.
American economic strength is built on innovation and creativity, which is why a creative education curriculum matters for the economy; more new ideas introduced to the marketplace means more benefits to be gained. The Hamilton Project, a project for promoting economic growth, wrote an article about innovation and how it affects our economy. There were many examples and supporting evidence that innovation helps the standard of living in the US, for example, innovation can drive economic growth and wage raises and improve life expectancy (such as technological innovations in filtration and chlorination of water). To quote the site on how important innovation is: “Innovation has transformed the American economy through the development of automobiles and highways, airplanes, telecommunications, and the internet, all of which have made it progressively easier for businesses to market their products globally and connect their best workers to one another.”
Another reason the introduction of creativity would benefit students is that it’s been proven that arts and music classes improve cognitive development. There should be more variety of classes students can choose from, as it’s important to have a diverse selection because it can help students prepare for their future, it can make them more eager to learn the material, and it won’t “universalize” courses and give students more opportunities to do better in school.
In the United States, that innovation is coming to a standstill. With about 38 million creative workers in the US, we still don’t break the top ten in the percentage of workers in the creative class when compared with other countries. An article by the Harvard Business Review provides more information and evidence to the loss of the competitive edge of innovation in America. This is further supported by a more recent article that also addresses the concerns of the pandemic. “The coronavirus pandemic and the administration’s botched response to it are damaging the engine of American innovation in three major ways: The flow of talented people from overseas is slowing; the university hubs that produce basic research and development are in financial turmoil; and the circulation of people and ideas in high-productivity industrial clusters, such as Silicon Valley, has been impeded.” However, in contrast to the US, the European Union’s creative industries has had a very positive influential economic impact, as shown in a passage by two economic professors from the book Drones and the Creative Industry in pages 19-36. Going just off of innovative infrastructure, the US is very far behind in creativeness and efficiency. For example, the US only has one high speed rail track, Amtrak Acela, which reaches 150mph, while other countries, like Japan have nine tracks that reach 275mph.
Teaching creativity and giving students more opportunities to explore themselves is very important to a country’s economy. The future business and technology will be led by present day students, so why not aid them in finding their passions and developing their identities so that the country’s future is in stable, innovative hands.