Is algebra for everyone? Absolutely not! Of course, neither is reading. There is nothing that everyone is capable of learning- some kids are born without brainstems for crying out loud. There are, however, pretty compelling reasons for trying to teach algebra to almost everyone. The basic algebraic concept of formulas, constants and variables is a very important way of looking at the world, even if you're not good at all the calculations. All public policy comes down, at some point, to crunching variables through formulas to see what is or is not affordable, what benefits justify what costs, etc. There's not much that is effected by economics or government legislation that doesn't have some algebra hidden in it somewhere, so it does certainly affect your life, even if you aren't the one doing the calculations. Understanding those calculations might help you make better choices about things, though.