Don Iannone’s Take: If there is any question of whether education pays off in terms of earnings, read this NY Times article. I hear the banter in Ashtabula County and elsewhere that not everybody needs or wants a college degree and there are plenty of good-paying jobs that don’t require a degree. This is only partially true today and in the future will be much less true. Get an education! Educate yourself. The range and quality of your career and life options will expand exponentially.
The Times article: Imagine if the United States government taxed the nation’s one-percenters so that their post-tax share of the nation’s income remained at 10 percent, roughly where it was in 1979. If the excess money were distributed equally among the rest of the population, in 2012 every family below that very top tier would have gotten a $7,105 check.
This is hardly trivial money. But it pales compared to the gap between the wages of a family of two college graduates and a family of high school graduates. Between 1979 and 2012, that gap grew by some $30,000, after inflation.
This clever calculation by Lawrence Katz, a labor economist from Harvard, amounts to a powerful counterargument to anybody who doubts the importance of education in the battle against the nation’s entrenched inequality.
But in the American education system, inequality is winning, gumming up the mobility that broad-based prosperity requires. On Tuesday, theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development released its annual collection of education statistics from around the industrialized world showing that the United States trails nearly all other industrialized nations when it comes to educational equality.