Programming, along with critical thinking skills, should be taught in K-12 along side reading, writing and arithmetic. Douglas Rushkoff has been making the case, not for jobs, or for just economic concerns, but for a healthy society.
Webvisions 2011: “Douglas Rushkoff: Program or be Programmed”:
If you have a child in Kindergarten, up to grade 12, who has never experienced programming, download MIT’s Scratch. It is free and it opens the gate.