That's all well and good, I suppose. These are useful skills to have; I do not argue that point. I do take issue, however, with the be-all end-all status that they seem to have taken within our society.
We all know the saying that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. when the only tool you have is problem solving... suddenly everything looks like a problem. With critical thinking, it looks like something that needs to be deliberated. Something to be analyzed. Something to argue about.
Yes, it's good to have these skills when you need them. When there is a problem, I like being able to solve it. But maybe if we didn't see everything through these lenses we wouldn't have to solve quite so many problems.
Example: One of my roommates happens to be an engineering student and therefore all about the problem solving. This girl can turn anything into a problem. Like, you know in A Charlie Brown Christmas, when Linus says "Charlie Brown, you are the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem!" ? Yeah, she makes me feel like that. Cookies are a problem because if you bake a number not divisible by three we can't divide them evenly. No friend, cookies are never a problem.
Another example: As anyone who knows me is well aware, I have the worst kind of trouble with making decisions. Because I always way overthink the issue, and see the pros and cons of both sides of the matter. I could (and sometimes do) deliberate what to make for dinner forever. This is what your critical thinking skills have done for me, education system. Thanks a lot.
If only university would teach us kindness and love and compassion instead...