The One Lesson from High School Econ That Actually Matters to Your Income

I don’t remember much about my economics class in High School. I do remember my teacher, Mr. Carstensen, we locked him in a closet. I liked economics (still do), but I’m not a fan how we teach it to our students. We don’t teach them the rules of the financial sandbox. We don’t teach the most proven methods of escaping poverty–entrepreneurial activity. Most of our high-school graduates have no idea how to participate fully in the economy. Many work hard but struggle with low income and grope in the dark searching for the rules of the game.

Some people are great budgeters. They clip coupons, they pay their bills but they cannot get ahead. They give all they can, but they still struggle financially. There are many factors to a person’s wage but one needs to start with that most valuable of lessons in economics class (the one most people slept through): supply and demand.

Increasing Income

If you’re not making enough money you only have a couple of options. First, you can learn to solve harder, more in-demand problems. The harder the problem, the more people get paid to solve it. The harder the problem, the fewer the people who can solve it thus the increased demand.

Or, if you’re not a brilliant super genius, you can learn to solve easier problems for more people. Leverage your talents by creating systems (usually business systems) to serve more people. McDonalds doesn’t make the best burger, but they have the best systems. They solve an easy problem—making a hamburger—for billions of people (not an easy problem). It’s their systems of production, logistics and training that make the difference for them. Unfortunately, many students will graduate this year with degrees that did not prepare them to solve in-demand problems. Many will carry crushing loads of student debt into their future.

According to Forbes magazine, employers are now seeking graduates with degrees in, economics, electrical engineering, logistics/supply chain management, information sciences and systems, management information systems, mechanical engineering, computer sciences, business administration, accounting and finance. If God has wired you for any of these areas, money spent on this kind of education will tend to pay you higher wages.

College May not be for Everyone

However, learning a trade may be a quicker route to financial freedom. If you can leverage that trade into your own business, you can leverage the talent of other people to help your vision flourish. Or, you can invest that surplus into financial investments or some real estate. Don’t eat all your seeds every month, save some to plant into good investing soil.

A friend of mine works at Walmart. He has a high-school diploma and has more in his 401k than the vast majority of Americans. He lives beneath his means, invests in smart mutual funds and employs all those dollars each day. They work for him and have returned a handsome profit.

The quickest way to making more money is not to lobby congress for a higher minimum wage. It is to take ownership of the kinds of problems you can solve and increase the amount of value you bring to every transaction.

The More you Learn the More You Earn

Motivated people can learn almost any skill today. The internet has opened the doors to learning like never before. You can even learn chemistry, computer programming, artificial intelligence, micro-economics from MIT free! https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/most-visited-courses/

Cindy worked in an office as a secretary for a number of years at a local car dealership. In her spare time, she taught herself to code websites. When the dealership needed someone to help with their website, Cindy was ready. Her boss told me if he had to start laying off people, she would be the last to go. She made herself so valuable to the company. Never stop learning. The job you have today, may be replaced by a robot or kiosk tomorrow. Skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s at.

I created the Christians Guide to Wealth Creation to help people grow their salaries. It contains 27 lessons, all focused on increasing your income. We address all four facets of generating wealth—culture conditions, personal characteristics, the three wealth creation methods and the world of investing. The first investment you should make is in yourself.
To learn more about the Christians Guide to Wealth Creation, click here: www.wealthcreation.careywaldie.com

2 thoughts on “The One Lesson from High School Econ That Actually Matters to Your Income

  1. I was thinking of this a while ago. I think a progression that makes sense to me is this:
    1. Make yourself worth what they are paying you. Chances are when you start a job you’re being paid more than you deserve. You don’t know how to use the register or log your time or where the bathroom is.
    2. Make yourself more than worth what they are paying you. Now that you know your way around, do things that are beyond what you’re paid. It’s a way to advance.
    3. Make yourself irreplaceable. Without you the business is somewhat crippled. No one but you understands certain aspects of the job.
    4. Make yourself replaceable. Teach others what you know. It’s time to move on or up. I have seen too many times when people stop at step 3 and can never take a decent vacation or retire.

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