2014 January 22 Wednesday
The Signaling Value Of Youthful Unemployment

Steve points to Tyler on minimum wage and youth unemployment. My hope: The California voters won't care what economists think about minimum wages and the voters will support Ron Unz's ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour.

Yet another potential side effect of high minimum wages has just dawned on me. Picture yourself a teenager and suppose you know you can't get a job and once you graduate from high school you still won't be able to get a job. What to do?

If teens can not get jobs doesn’t that send them a signal that alters their sense the relative value of different ways to spend their time? Isn't their uselessness a useful signal? Do you see where I'm going with this?

Unemployment sends some teens the very useful signal that they are worthless with their current skill set. Therefore they have a desperate need to come up with a game plan for how to become more productive and capable of creating more value.

What we ought to tell teens: You are going to be a total loser unless you try very hard to get useful skills.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 January 22 08:21 PM 


Comments
black_rose said at January 22, 2014 9:49 PM:

For some teens does unemployment must send them the very useful signal that they are so worthless with their current skill set that they have a desperate need to come up with a game plan for how to become more productive and capable of creating more value.

The alternative is despair, and that can lead to idleness, criminality, and dependency.

PeterDownUnder said at January 23, 2014 7:59 AM:

Reform or revolt, that is the question...

We were such hopeful teens eager to learn about the world, to explore, take a gap year, do some liberal arts courses, take any course that sounds abit interesting.

Should we all read the top ten employable jobs at the end of highschool and study those top 10 courses. Should we all become Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, Quants....


Tertiary education leaves a bitter after taste...too dumb to be elite, too smart to become proletariat

CamelCaseRob said at January 23, 2014 6:30 PM:

Would you correct the last sentence please? It's hard to know what you are saying (or asking).


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