Some time ago, on this forum, Sackerson discussed the disdain that the ancient Greek philosophers had for those who actually made things, dismissing them as 'artisans', and noted that this attitude appeared to be alive and well in the UK, where engineers are treated much worse than their counterparts in Germany.
As early as 1959, C.P.Snow noted in 'The Two Cultures' that engineers and scientists were not considered 'real' academics at universities. That attitude is alive and well still, and the ranks of academic administrations are full of professors of education, philosophy and psychology.
The recent bailouts in the US add another data point. Wall Street, which produces nothing, was given over $350 billion with no conditions, yet the auto industry was raked over the coals for asking for $25 billion in loans.
I don't think that it is a coincidence that the amazing US Constitution was written by men who were not only were versed in the classics, but knew the science and mathematics of their day.
It is a fact that most of the ruling elite in China have engineering degrees, as do many of the business leaders in Japan. The CEO's of BMW and Volkswagon have always been doctors of engineering.
I am convinced that one of the reasons for our current problems is that our social and political structures have not adapted to the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions. While living in imagination may be more fun than being constrained by reality, we need leaders who can make the hard decisions.