Working in America is more than just a job. In an article by Amitai Etzoioni, “Working at McDonald’s,” the author explains what he thinks is happening to future America through the American youth because they choose to work at McDonald’s. He basically says that it is a waste of time and that it is degrading our country’s advancement by way of our youth workforce. He contends that our youth are settling for lower paying jobs in high school, which spirals them into the low paying job force because they don’t continue their higher educational path. In one manner, I agree with him. Yes, some of our youth are falling behind in the educational realm, but I don’t think that it is because of McDonald’s.

Etzioni states that “these jobs undermine school attendance and involvement, impart few skills that will be useful in later life, and simultaneously skew the values of a teen -agers- especially their ideas about the worth of a dollar.”  However, so many youth don’t have the ability to attend college directly out of high school; for these youth they choose a “McDonald’s” to pass the time and help them to reach their goal of attending higher education. There are lots of advantages to working at a low wage job as opposed to having a “lemonade stand.” Unlike your ”lemonade stand,” at McDonald’s you learn the art of working with other people, working for other people, and also having other people work for you; this is a great building block for future entrepreneurs.  

     Most Americans would like to think that their time spent working anywhere is more than just a job, and that they are not just spinning their wheels “doing something for nothing.” When you work at a job, it is always more than just that. It is always a learning experience whether you realize it at that moment or much later in life. You learn to hone your people skills, which is very productive later in life when you have that employee or employer that just doesn’t know how to communicate properly with their subordinates. It teaches you how to handle certain situations with your workers once you are placed in a managerial position. Just the little things such as being a cashier will teach you the mechanics of accounting and the responsibility of handling currency properly. These few skills are examples of future bankers, accountants and business entrepreneurs.

     Working in America is not just a job; it is also a way to help you become a better person, by allowing you to get ahead. American youth can work while still attending high school, and therefore can earn money to save for college tuition, or use the experience as a training program to pursue the American dream of owning and running a business. To work at McDonald’s is not a waste of time nor does it undermine our “American Dream.” I think that our life experiences support our vision for the future.