We’ve all heard about how important education is, how much more money high-school grads make compared to dropouts, how much more than that people with bachelor’s degrees make, and so on up the educational ladder. But it wasn’t until just last month that the federal government put two and two together and figured out that all that extra earning power could be taxed. The bottom line? High school dropouts cost us about $1.8 billion in lost tax revenues every year.
Eighty-six percent of American high-school students say that their classmates are doing drugs, drinking, and smoking during the school day, according to the 2012 National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
As a kid, I remember sneaking occasional sips from my parents’ bottles of Crème De Menthe and Bailey’s Irish Crème. I’m sure that goes a long way towards explain why I’m a beer drinker.
But for today’s kids, there’s no need to break into mom and dad’s liquor cabinet—or pay some 21-year old (or an irresponsible adult) to buy booze for them. And there’s certainly no need to chug cough syrup. Why bother? If you want to get drunk, all you have to do is pick up a bottle of hand sanitizer, which has alcohol as its active ingredient–and is about the cheapest high available.
Dear Mr. Dad: Help! Our son is a high school junior, but instead of planning for college, he says he wants to make a career out of playing drums in a band! He’s a talented musician, and he and his buddies play gigs at community events, but he can’t understand that he won’t make a living out of it. How do we persuade him to give college a chance?
A: There are really two issues here: First, can your son succeed as a musician? Second, should he skip going to college? Keep in mind that, at 16, he’s quite literally trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up and his desire to forgo college and play in a band may be just a flash in the pan.
Who says he won’t make a living playing music? Some people, either through hard work, sheer luck (or a combination of both), actually do make it, and some colleges do offer music scholarships. But in general, you’re right: most musicians—or artists in general—don’t. Far more creative people are unemployed or working as waiters or scooping gelato than those who are making a good living at it.