Should we bribe students to be "moral"?
What if we provide a real incentive for kids to foreswear sex, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other specified "vices" provided they are rewarded?
Suppose we tell every middleschooler (older kids we'll have to make adjustments). If you pass a facial recognition test when you graduate that you have never used tobacco, marijuana, engaged in any mind-alterating activity clearly spelled out, that you have never used alcohol or engaged in sex (clearly defined) when you walk across the podium to receive your degree, you will get a check for $10,000.
This is a strong incentive to get students to be "moral".
By putting money into the hands of the young we get a great stimulus package at relatively low costs. Some kids might be "grinds" and apply it to their freshman year in college. But what I really hope is that some kids will pool their resources, chip into buying a van, and spend a year seeing America. Others might spend a summer living in hostels in Europe.
Some might buy a car, others a big-screen TV. Rampant consumerism seems likely---just what the economy needs.
But think of the ancillary benetits! More kids graduate from high school, lower drug and alcohol abuse, lower teenage pregnancies---and the reduction of a large number of societal ills. It empowers teachers. Threats to flunk a student have real consequences and troublemakers will feel the wrath of their peers who want to graduate.