Guest editorial: Statistics show education pays off

By Tristan Perkins

Currently, a wide income gap has low wage American workers battling with the richest Americans for their share of the wealth.  There’s a gaping hole in America’s wage distribution known as Income Inequality, which is the difference between what employers and employees make.

The minimum wage is $7.50/hour. Meanwhile, the CEO of a major corporation makes roughly $9,200/hour. Fair wage distribution has been an escalating problem in America since the 1900s.

The difference between a worker’s measly $300 checks and his/her boss’s million dollar checks is education.  The logical way to close the gap is to keep Americans in school longer.

The income of high school drop-outs fell 17% since 2011, 2% for graduates, and 11% for people with some

college but no degree.  People with a degree experienced

a 1% increase in income since 2011. Numbers like this create a huge income gap, with salaries on the bottom 10% short of $10,500 and those on the top 10% that are grazing multi-millions. Consider where you’d rather be on this scale and let the facts speak for themselves.

Why should you care? Because you flip burgers. You bag groceries. You work in retail. If you are working a part-time job in high school, YOU’RE the low income workers. Nobody plans on working in fast food or retail their entire life, but believe-it-or-not, 25% of workers will. Granted, 75% of teenage part-time workers go on to better paying careers, but only 3% of them will reach the top 10% wage bracket.

How to avoid being in that 25% of dead-end-job workers? Get a college degree! Go further in your education to ensure that you don’t end up on the low end of our economy’s paycheck.

Do you want to make millions—or do you want to dress burgers?