Can we restructure the minimum wage to minimize the student dropout rate, creating greater minority employment?
Internet research tells me that black kids finish high school 17 percentage points behind white kids.
The high school diploma is an important step to successful adult life.
I suggest a graduated minimum wage.
The scale, whatever the minimum wage might be:
1. Dropouts, under the age, of 25 make wage ‘A’ (example, $9.00)
2. Minors in school, make wage ‘B”, $.50 above ‘A’, because they are staying in school. ($9.50)
3. 25 Year-old dropouts also make wage ‘B’, simply for the sake of adult human dignity. ($9.50)
4. High school graduates make Wage ‘C’, $1 over wage ‘B’, and $1.50 over wage ‘A’. (10.50)
5. No extra for 25 year-old high school graduates. It has to stop somewhere, and merit-based pay needs to kick in. ($10.50)
Why does the adult wage not engage until age 25?
Because 25 seems a lifetime away to a 16 year-old thinking about dropping out,
and Wage ‘B’ will help keep these vulnerable kids in school.
It might be that a dropout can earn Wage B, if they re-enroll in school and have two quarters of passing grades and acceptable attendance.
Eric J. Rose