With all the liberal criticism of the Bush economic boom about wage inequality, what’s being overlooked is education inequality and its impact on wages:
As I pointed out in my column today, within our historically low 4.5 percent unemployment rate, there’s a 7.5 percent unemployment rate for those with less than a high-school diploma; a 4.5 percent rate for high-school grads, and a mere 1.8 percent rate for those with college degrees or better.
- Americans who don’t finish high school earn roughly $429 a week.
- Individuals finishing high school pocket $602 a week.
- Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher take home $1,030 a week.
So it clearly makes financial sense to stay in school. What makes no sense at all is trying to solve wage inequality by penalizing our most successful earners and thereby hindering economic growth.