Dropouts are the Real Problem

"Give a man a fish and he'll eat today.  Teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever."

That old saying is one of the favorites of conservatives who see education as a path to a better future. But that saying assumes that the proverbial "man" is willing to learn. Therein lies the rub. Too many men (and women) are content to "eat today" rather than "eat forever."

There are two indications that bear this out.

First, let's use high school dropouts as an indicator of not being willing to learn.  About 1 in 4 high school students does not graduate from high school with his or her class.  Nearly 4 in 10 minority students do not graduate with their class.  The total number of high-school dropouts annually is presently about 3,030,000, or about 8,300 per day.

Among dropouts:  [two sources]

  • U.S. jobs a high school dropout is not eligible for is presently about 90%
  • High school dropouts commit about 75 percent of crimes in the U.S.
  • Among adults over 25 without a high-school diploma in 2011, the unemployment rate is 14.1%, versus 9.4% for those who did not drop out.
  • Average amount of money a high school graduate will earn more than a dropout in a lifetime is $260,000.
  • Median earnings for full time workers age 25 and older who did not have a high school diploma in 2008 was $24,300, versus $33,800 for those who did not drop out.
  • Getting just one student to not drop out would mean an average of more than $200,000 in higher tax revenues and lower government expenditures over his or her lifetime.
  • If half of the 1.3 million dropouts from the Class of 2010 had graduated from high school, they could have generated:
  • $5.3 billion in increased earnings
  • $4.2 billion in increased spending
  • $6.7 billion in increased Gross National Product (GDP)
  • $499 million in increased state tax revenue

It's clear that the life of a dropout is not going to be as good as a person who is willing to get educated.

Second, the number of people receiving food stamps has, since 2009, increased from about 28 million to over 47 million, a 70% increase from 2009 to 2013.  Why is this important?  Because high school dropouts, those not willing to "learn to fish," make up nearly half the heads of households on welfare. 

Consider this conclusion reached by Levin, Belfield, Muenning, and Rouse from their 2006 study:

If the number of high school dropouts in each age cohort was cut in half, the government would reap $45 billion via extra tax revenues and reduced costs of public health, of crime and justice, and in welfare payments.

The report gives the expected savings average of $3,000 for each welfare recipient that doesn't drop out (Table 11 on page 16).

Regarding lifetime earnings and taxes paid, it is clear that dropouts don't do as well, and their tax payments are much lower (Charts 1 and 2 on page 8).

Regarding crime, in all major crime categories, the percentages are lower for those who did not drop out (Table 8 on page 13).

Quite a bit more is spent on Medicare and Medicaid coverage for dropouts (Tables 3 and 4 on pages 10 and 11).

Let's cut to the chase. None of the information presented here is secret. Source URLs are provided so that even a dropout can find them (the most brain dead liberal as well). Dropouts don't have as bright a future as those willing to get educated.  Liberals will provide lots of emotion, but they can't refute facts.

But... dropouts who are confined (by their own choice -- they weren't forced to drop out) to a "less than stellar" life can still vote. So politicians (of both parties, but especially Democrats) buy their votes, thus perpetuating dropping out of school, give-away programs, and warrantless wage increases. The politicians thus make it possible for dropouts to avoid the consequences of their voluntary choices.  The dropouts are coddled by us taxpayers because, in the view of liberals, it would be too harsh for them to "reap what they sew." And they vote.

This vote buying permits dropouts, those who will not get an education so they can take care of themselves, to avoid the consequences of their actions. They, through federal give-away programs, sponge off us taxpayers who worked and got educated. The avoidance will continue as long as politicians make it possible -- or until we taxpayer say "enough!"

So what does Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama propose? Another give-away program. Obama said, "Put simply, what I'd like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for anybody who's willing to work for it," [emphasis mine] Once again Obama has chosen the "easy way out" rather than address the real problem. I'll bet that nothing will change if Obama gets his way.

But, hey, Obama (or his Teleprompter) is the master of "sound bite" politics. After all, those who provide information to oppose Obama's latest proposal will be castigated in the MSM as "against education."  The MSM will ignore all the information that demonstrates that Obama's latest scheme does not support education at all, that it is just another vote buying opportunity.

But that's just my opinion.

Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.  He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making.  He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired.  Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years.  He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.

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