I say teaching kids to drive stick makes them better drivers- less cocky, more attentive to the vehicle and conditions around it, less likely to do something stupid. It also offers better vehicle control in poor conditions.
Automatics, pushbutton parking assist, backup sensors, anti-lock brakes, traction control... Hell even automatic headights... All these systems designed to take control away from the driver and give them a false sense of knowing what they are doing.
I think they should pass a law requiring a refresher road test when renewing licenses- i mean my license gets renewed every like 4-7 years so i dont think one day off of work to take a driving test is a big deal. Its a good trafeoff for increased safety on the roadways. I live a stones throw from a major interstate and my family has been in the towing business for like 50yrs ive seen some ugly **** out here-- then again im in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, so you could certainly say ppl here have more money than brains.