EDITOR: It was discouraging to read the Forum article on July 21 about the small number of young people in the U.S. who go into the science and engineering fields ("Why so few science majors?"). I would like to propose an idea that might encourage more young people to enter those fields.
Our government has a history of using financial rewards, special taxes, tax refunds, government subsidies and so forth to try to influence some businesses or people into doing what the government thinks is good for the country. So, following the governments former and present efforts to "shape" some part of American life to its vision of what we need, I propose that we use the interest rate of student loans to influence more young people into the science/engineering fields that we so badly need.
As an example, let's say that the government student loan interest rate was set at 4 percent, I would then propose that the interest rate for anyone going into any of science/engineering, including the medical field, have a rate of 2 percent.
And if we really wanted to do some good for the country, I propose that the loan interest rate for anyone going into law would be 8 percent.