Unless you are a entrepreneur, no high school diploma dooms you (and has doomed you) to minimum wage jobs or joblessness. My wife's grandfather had no high school diploma -- and he was a manager for Diamond Match. No high school diploma now -- burger flipper at your favorite fast food restaurant.
This is pretty much true - if you don't have a high school or diploma or GED, there are not a lot of options open to you. I've been wondering if that's been changing though. It used to be that a high school diploma was what opened doors to new employers. Over the last 5 years or so, it seems to me that the ante has been raised to a college degree.
I only have a high school diploma. Over the last 5-7 years, the number of jobs I thought I had a reasonable chance of getting has been getting smaller and smaller. Jobs that I used to be able to walk into now have a degree requirement - employers won't even talk to you without one.
I used to think that a college degree was something I could work on if I ever had the time and money. Now I wonder if it may be necessary for survival.