Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I think, rather than lowering the tuition at schools, or spending taxpayer generated income on financial aid for prospective students, we should implement a mandatory two year "workforce" experience for new high school graduates.

Borrowing from (among others) the Swiss and Lebanese system of mandatory military service following high school graduation, a similarly mandatory workforce experience would do wonders to stimulate higher education enrollment as well as encourage students' success once admitted. I believe that by forcing students to find employment after graduation would stimulate the economy ten-fold:
  1. A fully staffed workforce for "menial" (lower-wage earning) jobs, rotating every year.
  2. A much higher enrollment in higher education
  3. An overall lower amount of student loan debt
    1. (This is due to the anticipated savings accrued during one's "workforce experience, perhaps an employer-paid wage-matching system involved)
These are just a handful of reasons supporting the success of the proposition. Mandating that EVERY high school student must spend two years washing dishes, laying tile, scrubbing toilets, painting houses or making fast-food ensures a higher probability of continuing one's education, that they may increase their odds of finding gainful employment.

I would argue that most people do not seek a life of uncertainty, where the job that pays the most at the time of their high school graduation is the job in which they want to plant themselves. I think that many people see college or any other system of higher education as an economic impossibility. The concept of student loans or applying for federal aid seems an insurmountable undertaking when taking into consideration the probable occurrence of typical obligations.

A student who gains a perspective on what the job outlook for newly-minted high school graduates is, is a well-prepared student. He/she would likely understand the pressures and their own squandered opportunity by participating in "grunt-work."

All-in-all my plan seems effective, and while none of this is supported by fact, I feel that it's a fairly accurate assessment of humanity.

Thank you.

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