Monday, October 11, 2010

A couple of points to share with a teen...

I think we can all agree that teenagers aren't the sharpest tools in the drawer. However, these two data points might get their attention.

From Calculated risk we get this chart on unemployment....

While it's a little hard to read you can see that the difference between the red line - less than high school diploma and the blue line - bachelor's degree is huge and growing. In 2007 the unemployment rate for those with less than a high school diploma was 8% while the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's degree was around 2%. Today the unemployment rate for those with out a high school degree is pushing 16% (roughly 1 in 6) compared to just 4% for those with a bachelor's degree (roughly 1 in 25). I'm the first to point out the flaws in the college system in the US, but this should convince anyone on to buckle down when in high school.

What if the cost of a pack of cigarettes wasn't $9 but rather $150? This is the contention of researchers that added the cost of premature death to determine the "true cost" of smoking.

"Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) estimate that each pack of cigarettes really costs €107 ($150 US) for men and €75 ($105 US) for women, when premature death is taken into account. These figures confirm previous studies, and are of key importance in the cost-benefit analysis of smoking-prevention policies."

One of the conclusions of the article is that the price one pays for each pack of cigarettes at a newsstand is only a very small price of the true price that smokers pay for their habit", Ángel López Nicolás, co-author of the study.

Imagine telling a group of teenagers they could have 2 packs of cigarettes or an Iphone 4. It might sway some teens that are on the fence.


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