time for a change in approach
We hear alot of talk about jobs programs but very little has come to fruition. What is the problem ? Perhaps any "government job" should not be considered a real job when surveying job numbers as they are payed for with tax dollars provided by others working and producing income in the private sector. Still, the government might be able to play a role in providing some form of entry level employment. To do this, a program needs to be in place that is a bit contrary to our long standing beliefs in freedom of choice. Some countries have similar programs already in place. Presently, any American child is provided a free education and other benefits provided by living in this country at no cost. Unfortunately, when something is "free" it has less value in the eyes of the recipient. Although charging for an education is not likely to happen unless attending a private school funded by parents (or scholarship), any education should have a value. What if at the time of graduation, a 17-19 year-old were required to serve 2 years in the military at current military wage,or serve 1 year public service in programs like the Peace Corp at 2/3 the minimum wage (plus housing if away from home). This would be required of every high school graduate regardless of plans for advanced education. Imagine the inner city gang member being required to clean-up graffiti or repair buildings damaged by their peer group. One would think that they just might not be so quick to allow younger people to damage those properties in the future. If young adults were on highway cleanup crews, future litter would likely decrease. Imagine the skills kids could learn on highway construction crews. I know I learned how to run heavy equipment as well as how to work with a wide range of people in various socio-economic groups. To gain life experiences one must live them. How could we fund this ? A National 1/2 cent sales tax with the funds dedicated to this program would go a long way to making it happen, but imagine the number of youngsters that would be hired by the private sector at 2/3 minimum wage for completion of local road construction projects and more.