Good questions, here's my thoughts...
1. What Country do you live in (and what city or metropolitan area would also be greatly appreciated)
US: Minnesota (Winona)
2. Why do you think there are so many news and magazine articles detailing a shortage of programmers in the United States?
Because there is a shortage of "skilled" and "experienced" programmers. No doubt there are a lot of part-time programmers working on WordPress customizations, but the Enterprise usually isn't looking for a WordPress guru, they're looking for a data architect, system engineer and developer - those are hard skills to aquire.
3. Can you describe your experience getting a Job as a programmer throughout your career?
The irony I have found is this: The older and more experienced I've become, the easier it has been for me to find a job. When I first started out, getting a job was difficult because I had virtually no experience, and little in the way of degrees (I had a 2 year degree and 2 tech certifications). However, as I went through my 20s and 30s, and gathered more and more experience, getting a job was more based on experience than education.
4. What is your position on the movement to adding computer programming to the high school curriculum as a non-elective course?
I would not support adding a programming class as part of the required curriculum, but rather support higher requirements for math and science in general. In the state I live in, students are required to take 2 years of math and 2 years of science. I would rather add an extra year to those fields, with elective choices by the students.
5. How do you feel that the scholarly and experience requirements for most programming positions in the U.S. has affected the abilities for citizens of the U.S. to aquire programming jobs and contracts vs. outsourced programmers?
Not really. I feel that too many companies set unreasonable expectations. Too many jobs positions look for an expert in Java, .Net, PHP, Ruby, etc all in one job. The reality is, the position will most likely focus on only one of these technologies, and the posting should be commensurate with the position. I think all too often, HR employees are simply too lazy to really understand the position and requirements, and just "check all". Then they have the odasity to complain there are no qualified candidates.
6. What is/are your favorite programming language(s) and why?
PHP for many reasons - it's free, the online documentation is fantastic, and it's easy to find work in the field.
Hope this helps.