I'm late to the party about Fareed Zakaria's piece in the Washington Post titled "Why America's Obsession with STEM Education is Dangerous". Zakaria is a smart guy, and I recognize that he has a book to sell, but this article is rhetorically frustrating: He demolishes a serious straw man. He wants people to be aware of the importance of a broad-based education, and he is apparently worried (or claiming to be for the sake of getting attention) that the US is culturally too focused on STEM and not enough on the other things, like creativity, the arts, and teaching people how to write well.
He is absolutely right that a broad-based education is generally a good idea, and that teaching people actual critical thinking and writing skills and an appreciation for things beyond math and science is also good. However, I don't think you'll find any reasonable person advocating for purely technical educations with no cultural appreciation and ignoring teaching people how to communicate. It's easy to demolish an argument that no one is making. I could write 500 words about how it's crazy for people to drive themselves into crushing debt to get degrees that fail to teach them anything beyond rudimentary writing skills, but that would not be an assault on liberal education.
In two key respects, Zakaria has missed the boat. First, while there is basically zero chance that we are going to abandon broad-based education in the US, it does seem like there is a far more real danger that we are trending away from science and rationality (c.f. vaccines, evolution, climate science). Second, and here he was much closer to right, there is a danger in viewing absolutely all public investment in people (via education) and research purely in terms of short-term economic benefit - essentially eschewing basic research or basic education in favor purely of applied research and vocational training of obvious economic benefit to the country. Frankly, there are people out there who truly do not believe in public education, period, and that's much scarier to me than an imagined attack on the value of the humanities as a component of an education.