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On Feb. 26, The Day published a letter, "Minimum wage hike only rewards failure," in which the author argued that people over 25 who earn minimum wage are responsible for their own predicament. Maybe so, but that is not where the discussion ought to end.
Children who fail to gain skills during their developing years place an economic burden on society as adults, which is greater than the cost to train them in the first place. Placing blame does not solve the problem. It is in our economic self-interest to wrestle the problem of educational failure to the ground. As we do, we gain productive citizens while reducing the costs (safety net, charity, prisons) of carrying unproductive ones.
It will not be easy or cheap to improve education, but we can't afford not to. It will more than pay for itself in the future.