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Sunday, January 4, 2009


TEMPERANTIA (sophrosyne)

This is how I introduce practical economics to my high school students. I tell them that two of the most important decisions in their lives will be 1) whom they choose to love 2) and what educational and job paths they choose to follow. I emphasize that education is for personal improvement and happiness but also to a large degree for utilitarian reasons particularly in this age of credentialiasm. I have great sympathy for the poor and most of my students are poor but I believe in this life" if you sweat you get and if you snooze you lose." I believe as much as possible young people must take charge of their lives and their education. It is my duty to help them make good decisions but ultimately it is up to them to make choices. They have to choose to study. Whatever the qualifications of their teachers their improvement must chiefly depend on themselves. I cannot think or study for my students. I can only help put them on the best way to think and study that I know. They have to decide how they are going to spend their lives and what purpose if any their lives will have.



…. I thought of an excellent topic for the event: how not to be poor.
Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science.
First, graduate from high school.
Second, get married before you have children, and stay married.
Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage.
And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.
If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there's a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills.
Most jobs start with wages higher than the federal minimum wage , which is currently $5.15. {NOTE: the California minimum wage is $8.00}A man and his wife, even earning the minimum wage, would earn $21,000 annually. According to the Bureau of Census, in 2003, the poverty threshold for one person was $9,393, for a two-person household it was $12,015, and for a family of four it was $18,810. Taking a minimum-wage job is no great shakes, but it produces an income higher than the Bureau of Census' poverty threshold. Plus, having a job in the first place increases one's prospects for a better job.
The civil rights struggle is over, and it has been won. At one time, black Americans did not have the same constitutional protections as whites. Now, we do. Because the civil rights struggle is over and won is not the same as saying that there are not major problems for a large segment of the black community. What it does say is that they're not civil rights problems, and to act as if they are leads to a serious misallocation of resources.
-- Walter Williams, syndicated columnist and Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.


Like the Federal wage and hour law, State law often exempts particular occupations or industries from the minimum labor standard generally applied to covered employment. Particular exemptions are not identified in this table. Users are encouraged to consult the laws of particular States in determining whether the State's minimum wage applies to a particular employment. Check the minimum wage laws state to state.

See also

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