The future does not look good.
The disappearance of well-paying jobs for the lesser educated (due to automation, globalization, etc.) combined with the high number of young people failing to get an adequate education means that many young people will not become highly productive members of society able to contribute to the costs of our society. In fact, it means that it is likely that a high % of these young people will add to the costs of the society that the others will have to pay for (either in the form of welfare, Medicaid or other social costs or in the form of greater crime and crime-prevention costs).
The baby-boomer generation switching from being productive contributors to society to becoming a cost factor via Social Security and Medicare, etc., means a further reduction in the number of people contributing to paying for the costs and another factor that will raise the costs of society.
The net result is that the costs related to an increasing number of people dependent on society will be increasing at the same time the number of Americans with well-paying jobs that will have to pay the lion’s share of these costs will be decreasing. The young will pay a big price in reduced living standards and quality of life and if the shrinking number of productive members of society cannot cover all the costs, everyone in society will suffer.
The bottom line is that we need to maximize the share of the population able to get high productivity jobs that will allow them to contribute to the costs of our society.
High productivity jobs generally require a good education.
A high % of the population is currently failing to get the education required to qualify for high productivity employment.
- More than 20% of the population fail to graduate from high school
- A significant % of high school graduates have an inadequate education (in NY, 70%+ of community college freshmen require remedial education to be able to do college level work which increases the cost of education as well as the college dropout rate.
- More than half the 4th grade students nationally are at full grade level in 4th grade.
- Less than 20% of 4th graders are at full grade level in many city school systems.
If we want to increase the share of the population in high productivity jobs that are able to contribute to the costs of society, we have to dramatically improve the educational results of those in the bottom half of the educational achievement spectrum.