Algebra helps develop the ability to reason, calculate, and figure things out through various logical means. Aside from it's direct applications, Algebra simply helps improve the mind.
Back when I went to school (20 some years ago), I recall completing basic Algebra in the 7th grade...yes the algebra they now often teach in college. Back then I did calculus in my senior year at the school I attended. It really does seem like America is being dumbed down.
I mean this whole terrorist thing, in what equation are the ones doing the most killing and bombings the good guys, and the ones being bombed and killed are the bad guys? Guess you have to have a dumbed down society to sell lies such as those. Oh, and that glowing brainwashing box in everyone's living room helps perpetuate such a massive deception.