(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)

Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.

A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;

poetry http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/poetry.htm;

quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and

essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,

all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.

My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.

Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)

When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play

No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye

- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins

MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm

For a larger image click on the photograph.

In the future, learning will be even more important to the nation's economic success. We will live and work in an increasingly knowledge-based, global economy. Competition will intensify and the pace of change will quicken, requiring workers to continually upgrade their skills. Our jobs and living standards will depend on becoming even better at lifetime learning.

The benefits of education and experience really show up over the long term. Working 40 years, high school graduates earn an average of $1.5 million. The long-term payoff rises to $2.6 million for finishing college, making a bachelor's degree a four-year investment worth $1.1 million. Gains continue to rise with more education—to $3 million for a master's, $4 million for a doctorate and $5.3 million for a professional degree.

Unemployment data confirm the advantages of education and experience. Jobless rates are lower for workers with more years of schooling, largely because they're more in demand. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, for example, only 3 percent of Americans with bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degrees were unemployed in 2003—about half the rate for the overall economy.

Knowledge didn't fuel America's economy in the past. The Industrial Age thrived on man's mastery over machine. Most work required steady hands to operate factory equipment and minds geared to such repetitive tasks as measuring and counting.

A basic education—the three R's of reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic—sufficed for most jobs. Over the course of workers' careers, jobs changed little, so talents acquired in youth often served until retirement. Lifetime learning didn't matter all that much.

America has left the Industrial Age behind. Factory work is increasingly being performed in other countries; much of what remains in the United States is highly technical, relying more on sharp minds than nimble hands.

Today, services dominate the U.S. workplace, providing 80 percent of the nation's jobs. Some of the work requires only basic skills, but many other jobs require an ability to handle complex tasks in marketing, finance, sales, law, research and business consulting. The skills of the Industrial Age aren't a good fit for these jobs. Only by upgrading their talents will Americans be ready to make the most of what our economy offers in the Information Age and beyond.

The challenge starts with our schools. For decades, studies have shown American students trailing their overseas counterparts academically. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's latest study of 29 countries, released in 2003, ranked American 15-year-olds 24th in math, 24th in problem solving, 19th in science and 15th in reading.

Perhaps more alarming, American students fare worse the more time they spend in school. Fourth-grade students rank close to the top on international tests. By eighth grade, students have slipped into the middle of the pack, but they at least score above the international average in math and science. By the 12th grade, U.S. students' performance has dropped off sharply, falling well below the international average in the two subjects.

The payoff for knowledge in the United States has been on the upswing, giving Americans more reason than ever to learn. As individuals, we've got plenty of opportunities to improve ourselves in a nation well endowed with ways to gain knowledge.

The most important tool we have to achieve the American Dream isn't the computer, the Internet or any of the other innovations sure to dazzle us in the future. It is the brain—weighing, on average, just 3 pounds. America will create more good jobs as students and workers build proficiency with this 3-pound tool. Its development through lifetime learning is the key to opportunity, upward mobility and rising living standards.

- "What D'Ya Know? Lifetime Learning in Pursuit of the American Dream," W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas http://www.dallasfed.org/index.html, 2004 Annual Report

Directory: http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/monthly_articles/

Complete Report URL here: http://www.dallasfed.org/fed/annual/index.html#2004

Post Date: May 25, 2005 at 5:50 PM CDT; 2250 GMT