Yesterday conservative writer and columnist Pat Buchanan summarized our growing national predicament in a piece for Townhall.com titled: “The Coming Age of Austerity.” With sobering certainty Mr. Buchanan advises America to take pause and consider a “rarely discussed” social development; the changing diversity and educational/social deficiencies of our future workforce and its effect on our nation’s ability to sustain a healthy U.S. economy.
In the past, some have labeled Mr. Buchanan a racist because of his honest analysis. Nothing could be further from the truth and it would behoove Americans to heed his warnings. Today American minorities make up almost a third of our population and without a solid social foundation many will never be able to advance educationally and become productive contributors to our economy. Without U.S. minority populations earning more income and making positive contributions to tax revenue, our nation’s budget will continue to run deficits , our national debt will grow, and the nation’s social safety net will dissolve.
What kind of economic contribution can we expect from a generation of American minority workers whose social decline has made them more suited for entitlement dependency than executive management? One example of minority social decline is high school dropout rates. According to Mr. Buchanan “minorities have high school dropout rates of up to 50% in many cities, and many who do graduate have math, reading, and science scores at seventh-, eight- and ninth-grade levels.” Another notable and expensive failure of our social system is our high school graduation statistics. In 2010, less than 64 % of the minority students (excluding dropouts) received a High School diploma in 4 years or less. Many argue that the U.S. doesn’t spend enough on education. Yet our education spending increases annually while our American student performance deteriorates. I would argue American social standards are to blame.
Some of you may be asking yourselves why I referred to poor graduation rates as a social rather than an educational system failure. The reason is that I believe that most kids who drop out of High School do so as a result of the failure of their families to support or provide the disciplined home environment necessary for educational success. As a result, many minorities are pushed through our education system without the benefit of learning. In this way they become burdens on our society, rather than valued members of our much-needed future workforce. In other words strong families make for a strong workforce and weak dependent families can destroy an economy.