The War on Poverty

Will never be won.



This chart from the BLS article Spending patterns of families receiving means-tested government assistance show why the war on poverty will never be won until the challenge of equality in education is won.  From left to right. The first set of of bar graphs shows the complete educational demographics of the BLS data set. The next comparison of Families receiving No Assistance v Assistance shows what needs to be said. Those citizens who completed a bachelor degree required no assistance v those who did not complete high school, graduated from high school and those that attended college. The results are glaringly obvious. The jobs economy has shifted from basic production jobs to jobs that require significant intellectual capability.

What is being done about this disparity?

Today’s MPBN radio series Maine Calling discussed School Absenteeism:

the link between elementary school attendance and high school graduation rates, and what is being done to keep kids in school, to combat chronic absenteeism

As the graph illustrated above, attendance & completion are the paths to middle class success. Failure to attend, complete and graduate are the paths to government assistance.

I wanted to listen to today’s broadcast, but was already scheduled to facilitate a leadership lunch’n’learn seminar.  I’m glad I did because those that voluntarily attended are true champions and aspiring leaders.

But I wanted to add my voice to the Maine Calling conversation. I have long said that for entry level employees, all I want to see is their high school attendance records. This is an indicator for reliable attendance. Entry level employees with reliable primary school attendance records, to me, will be those employees who show up early, stay late, and remain engaged throughout the full work shift.

Bottom line, reliable attendance creates reliable work ethic.  I propose that we the people start teaching, rewarding & paying students to complete school.

  • High School Seniors: $4/hour
  • High School Juniors: $3/hour
  • High School Sophomores: $2/hour
  • High School Freshman: $1/hour

The early they start receiving the economic benefit for showing up and staying on task, the better work ethic they will develop.


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