TL;DR: It's a waste to try to make everyone into a programmer, but it's not a waste to teach everyone about programming.
I am the last person to argue against a well-rounded education, or to giving people the opportunity to learn whatever they want. But the idea that "we should teach everyone about programming" is, in my opinion, another example of the educational fad mindset that sweeps through society every few years, i.e. "subject XYZ is so important, that we should make everyone learn about it!"
Sorry, but I disagree. If you want better-rounded students, make them take more courses in science or mathematics. Make them learn a second language, or learn to play an instrument. Have them take classes in rhetoric, and learn to make presentations in front of an audience. There are dozens of different classical subjects that will do a better job of providing that broad base of experience and knowledge that you'll need as you go through life.
But programming is too specialized. Now many Slashdot readers will disagree, but most of them think of programming as something so familiar that they can't comprehend why anyone wouldn't see the value in learning about it. Let me provide a different example to illustrate my point.
Consider: Electronics is everywhere today, embedded in almost everything we use in our work or our entertainment. Since electronics is so incredibly important to modern society, we must encourage every student to learn about electronic circuits. Let's have them all design and build simple electronic circuits. At the very least, let's have them all work with Arduino boards and learn the fundamentals of hardware systems.
If one were to make that argument, it would be dismissed out of hand, as it would for any one of a hundred other topics that are absolutely integral to a high-tech civilization. Electronics is too complex and specialized; at best you could only provide a cursory experience to students. Would it still be valuable to some of them? No doubt. But does that mean we should make everyone take a class in electronics? Not at all.
Programming is no different. Learning to program requires learning a considerable amount of syntax to accomplish anything significant, and the "language-du-jour" (do you teach Basic? Fortran? Cobol? Java? C+? Swift?, etc.) changes constantly. So what you wind up with is a cursory exposure to the topic, in a language that may or may even be considered mainstream in five years. It might lead some people to learning more about programming, but does that mean it was the best use of society's limited educational resources, as opposed to a broader instruction in science or mathematics? I would argue "no".
In the ideal world, we'd all be Renaissance men and women, but in the real world people tend to focus strictly on what interests them, or on what makes money. Educational fads come and go, but they never make much traction against basic human nature. Saying "everyone should learn about programming" is no different.