Of course there is an easier way to settle this: get some economic data. Its not that hard, World bank, the links found in the sources part of a Wikipedia article and a subscription to Scientific Journals.
In the case of the argument it seems there are strong differences in opinion regarding having a job and actual ability. This points out a particular assumption: that High Skills means better pay. As with supply and demand: High Skills of a High Demand ability = High pay. High Skills of a Low demand (because of high supply, obsolescence or a very niche demand) would equal low pay.