A lack of competence afflicts our society, and may yet destroy it.
Most people might not connect the problems of the Space industry with that of the car industry, but in both cases we are seeing the same problem. we aren't as smart as we need to be. We aren't able to do the things, as a culture, that we must. The Space Shuttle is the most advanced piece of technology in existance. It must function within exact tolerances. When it doesn't, when the O rings are not maintained properly, or the foam not applied, shuttles crash. A bad piece of equipment is made, then not checked properly, and as a result, a probe crashes.
Driving a car doesn't require as much competence as rocket science - most times, that car in front of you is NOT going to stop suddenly. But, if it does, your brakes better work.
We have allowed too many people to graduate with a D average. We have hired too many people who only know about 50% of what they need to know. As a result, 50% of what needs to be done is being done wrong.
We are seeing the fallout of Jock culture. In hundreds of movies and TV shows, nerds are the comic relief, while slackers and tough guys are the role models. Now, we get technicians who either talk, or bully their way out of messes, just like in the movies.
Except in real life there is no happy ending. The Shuttle crashes. The car flips, killing the passengers. No amount of "ah, shucks!" and cute grins bring the dead back.
It's time we stopped passing people with D averages, stopped letting them go through college, stopped issuing them licences - and stopped making those damn movies.