Shaniqua Davis, it’s not McDonald’s fault that you chose to become an unmarried, teenage mother

Recently, McDonald’s employees have been going on strike to try to get paid $15 an hour. Associated Press reports:

Shaniqua Davis, 20, lives in the Bronx with her boyfriend, who is unemployed, and their 1-year-old daughter. Davis has worked at a McDonald’s a few blocks from her apartment for the past three months, earning $7.25 an hour. Her schedule varies, but she never gets close to 40 hours a week. “Forty? Never. They refuse to let you get to that (many) hours.”

Her weekly paycheck is $150 or much lower. “One of my paychecks, I only got $71 on there. So I wasn’t able to do much with that. My daughter needs stuff, I need to get stuff for my apartment,” said Davis, who plans to take part in the strike Thursday.

She pays the rent with public assistance but struggles to afford food, diapers, subway and taxi fares, cable TV and other expenses with her paycheck.

“It’s really hard,” she said. “If I didn’t have public assistance to help me out, I think I would have been out on the street already with the money I make at McDonald’s.”

So, Shaniqua Davis says that it’s “really hard” to take care of a baby on what McDonald’s pays.

She’s right.

So why did she try to do such a thing in the first place?

Why did she choose to become an unmarried teenage mother?

Whatever her reasons were, it’s not McDonald’s fault.

Of course you can’t raise a family on what McDonald’s pays its cashiers. But that kind of job was never intended to be for people who are trying to raise a family. Instead, that kind of job is supposed to be for a teenager trying to get money to pay for the prom, or for a student who is working their way through college.

And what is this nonsense of having a baby out of wedlock, and then being surprised as how hard it is? Of course it’s hard. That’s why the institution of marriage has existed, in every society, all over the world, for thousands of years.

The article also says that Ms. Davis “struggles” to pay for her cable TV. This just shows how much things have changed in this country. In the past, being poor meant that you couldn’t get 2,000 calories per day, or that you didn’t have indoor plumbing, or that your roof leaked. But now, being poor means that you have difficulty paying for cable TV. My, how things have changed.

Ms. Davis and the other strikers want to get paid $15 an hour, but they don’t want to acquire the education and job skills that would justify such a salary. McDonald’s already pays some of its employees more than $15 an hour, such as its accountants, lawyers, and computer programmers. Those employees didn’t get those higher wages by going on strike. Instead, they got those higher wages by putting in the time and effort to acquire the education and job skills that justify those higher wages. Ms. Davis and the other strikers want higher wages, but they don’t want to provide anything in exchange for the extra pay.

What would happen if the government did require McDonald’s to pay all of its employees $15 an hour? One possibility is that McDonald’s would only hire people who had a college degree. If that were to be the case, Ms. Davis would end up getting paid nothing. Another possibility is that McDonald’s would replace its human workers with robots and self-serve checkouts. And again, if that were to be the case, Ms. Davis would end up getting paid nothing.

August 29, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Education, Unions. 10 comments.