Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*Wages paid to employees at fast-food restaurants never were meant to sustain a family. The pay is for entry-level jobs; the kind of jobs meant to teach people new to the work force customer service skills and good work habits. Fast food work is not the best place for adults trying to raise a family. That’s why mostly teenagers work there.

Yet for some reason more adults are finding themselves working alongside teenagers at the local fast food joint, because they can’t find a better-paying job to cover their household expenses. Instead of holding franchise owners responsible for their poor life choices that keep them unemployable in other industries which pay more, adult fast food workers should go (back) to college or a trade school to elevate their employable skill set. Don’t focus on the minimum wage and how to get more out if. That’s akin to a sports team playing not to lose instead of playing to win.

When I hear politicians such as Donald Trump blame rising unemployment and other societal woes on certain segments of the population, tout themselves as saviors of all that is good and holy, while building businesses to ensure generational wealth for their families it’s obvious they don’t practice what they preach.

Meanwhile most people are so busy paying for a lifestyle, they have little to no resources to create net worth. Some people have plenty of money to buy televisions the size of movie theater screens, designer clothes and the latest smart phones every six months, but tell them to start a real estate company and they swear they don’t have any extra money.

For the same reason you can’t get mad at a dog for barking or a baby for crying, don’t blame a politician for saying what he must to get votes: That’s how politics works. It’s up to voters to decide whom to support.

While I agree the minimum wage should keep up with the cost of living, the best way to succeed in a free enterprise system is to choose an emerging industry then position yourself in front of the growth. Donald Trump’s father didn’t just happen to choose real estate for his family business then pass it to his heir. Real estate is one of the most lucrative of industries in the world. Shopping malls will expand, office space will be rented and people must pay to live somewhere. That’s how it works.

The unemployment rate has skyrocketed – in part – because people chose a dying industry in which to work. Or they are unwilling to acquire new skills in an emerging market. It’s poor planning to go to college, stack up student loan debt and then have no viable work options to pay it off and make a decent wage. Yet, that’s what millions of people do.Then they want to blame ‘illegal immigrants’ for taking their jobs.

If money is important to you – probably it is if you pay bills – choose a college curriculum that leads to a lucrative job or business in a fast-growing industry. Don’t pick a major, such as horticulture, that leaves you at the bottom of the pay scale after graduation. You can learn to plant a garden in your spare time. But if you’re planting marijuana to supply retailers in Colorado and Washington State, you might be headed in the right direction. This message isn’t just for young adults about to graduate from college or adult fast food workers. People on the verge of second careers should take heed as well.

If you pick the right industry, spend less money than you earn and build your net worth pretty soon you’ll be able to purchase your own fast food franchise (also known as real estate). Then we’ll see how quick you are to give away all your profits to employees who bitch and complain about a minimum wage increase instead of using their skills to build their own businesses.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Email her at [email protected] for comments, questions and speaking inquiries.