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I agree with Becker that lowering dropout rates would be helpful, and that programs like school vouchers and rewarding successful teachers would help lower dropout rates. The effects of these programs, however, may not be strongly felt by those most likely to drop out of high school or college and fall under poverty line. Getting these people to graduate high school (instead of joining local gang, for example) may require a holistic approach, improving the economic environment, institutions and social norms at the same time. Perhaps coming up with such a solution involves prohibitive costs because it would require combining expertise in several different fields. As for the 'breeding' comment above, I've talked to several highly educated women about their decision to 'breed' or not. The main concern seems to be whether they will be able to maintain their career once they have children. The natural solution, according to them, is affordable and reliable child care institutions, which America insufficiently provides. Communist states (at least in their early stages) provided excellent child care to all their working women; there's no reason why American cannot do the same. I'm sure with some ingenuity, a good market solution can be found.
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Aug 13, 2013