Check out that TV!

Ass Press:

Living on Minimum Wage: One Mother’s Story

Shaniqua Davis, a fast food worker in New York City, talks about the struggles she faces trying to raise a family on the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. She plans to participate in a nationwide strike scheduled for Thursday. (Aug. 29)


From Occupy America:

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.”

When I was still practicing criminal and family law and I had a client who was going to plead poverty to the judge I used to make sure they were not wearing expensive jewelry when they walked into court. Believe it or not it was a frequent issue.

I don’t know anything about the circumstances of Shaniqua Davis except what is presented in the video and article above. But if you want to convince me you are poor you should look poor or I’m likely to be skeptical. When you have a big-screen television and a laptop computer (neither of which I own) in your apartment it conflicts with your claim of impoverishment.

There are a couple other inconsistencies to this story as well. If Ms. Davis is working less than full time, why is she striking for higher wages instead of looking for full time employment? I know it’s politically incorrect to say this but I think it’s irresponsible to be getting pregnant when you are unmarried and unemployed.

The gist of this story is that Davis and her fast-food co-workers should be given raises because they need more money. But that’s not how the market works. Workers get paid according to their value, not their need or the employer’s ability to pay.

Yeah, I know it is coldblooded and heartless to say that, but you can’t legislate prosperity. If you could, why not just pass a law requiring that every employee be given 40 hours a week at $50 hour? Then we could eliminate unemployment by decreeing that every person who wants a job be hired.

There is an economic system that tried giving every able-bodied worker a job and basing their pay on need. It’s called communism. It didn’t work out so well in practice.

About Myiq2xu

If I had known this was the end of the world I would have brought refreshments.
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29 Responses to Check out that TV!

  1. helenk3 says:

    ever since that fool from SEIU made the comment about if the workers do not get a raise, you do not know what they will do to your food, I have not set foot in a fast food restaurant. I know that is kind of silly ,but I can not get it out of my mind.
    Not sure how many other people feel the same way. But putting that kind of image in the public’s mind about a company that you want more money from really is dumb.

    There are absolute needs and those things you want. from this story the lady does not seem to know the difference.
    been broke in my life and had to learn the difference real fast

    • 1539days says:

      Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the SEIU wants. They don’t care one crap about any fast food worker until the day they are part of the union. They’d rather 99% of fast food businesses close if they can unionize the other 1%.

      • DeniseVB says:

        If the media were honest they’d be reporting that. Also they’d probably find out the “protestors” are paid to carry those signs and have no clue what they’re, uhm, protesting. 🙂

  2. 1539days says:

    The living wage is an interesting counter point to the old need based employment argument. Remember a generation or two ago when employers would regularly give a job or a raise to a man because he had a family to support? The argument against that is if a business is handing out more money, the value of the employee’s work, and not their financial need, was the only consideration.

    I don’t know what the average fast food ticket is, but it’s probably close to $5. The revenue on sales is about 15%. At $15 an hour, each employee would need 20 sales to pay their salary. A McDonald’s will max out at around 60 sales per hour. But remember, most shifts have at least 6 employees and a $15/hr wage means $16/hr because of the employer contribution to social security plus whatever taxes are applied.

    If a store can get away with it, they will pay minimum wage. Other places have to pay more just to get applicants in the door. The result is higher food prices. Higher food prices mean fewer sales. Fewer sales mean smaller crews.

    If you don’t think higher prices affect consumption, go to a Subway this month during lunch when lines are out the door because of $5 foot longs. Then come back when the promotion ends.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Yes, but what you’ve said is all too rational. It is not fair to be rational. “Somebody” needs to make sure all the Shaniqua’s of the world get paid enough to make sure their boyfriends don’t have to work. That’s just not fair. And it’s hard to pay the cable bill, too.

      • elliesmom says:

        Whenever I hear “living wage”, I ask what’s a living wage? Her TV set is way more than you need to “live”. A TV like that probably has cable. She could sell it, cancel her cable service, and buy a lot of groceries. A “living wage” gives you a roof over your head, food in your tummy, heat in the cold, clothes on your back, and a way to get to work or school. Most people want more than that so they work hard to get it.

    • helenk3 says:

      companies used to use that excuse to pay men more than women. man were supporting families, women were working for extras. was not a good reason then and is not one now

      • The Klown says:

        This never made sense to me – if men and women were of equal value as employees but women were cheaper to hire then why would anyone hire men?

        • helenk3 says:

          the only place I ever worked were both were paid the same was the railroad. the pay rate was for the job who ever held it

        • elliesmom says:

          In some cases they don’t. There are a lot of job classifications that are populated mostly be women, and other than supermodel, the pay isn’t great. How many hotel maids are guys? While teachers and nurses are getting paid more than they used to, those jobs used to have very low wages for the amount of preparation and the level of professionalism needed to do them, and the fields were and still are predominantly female. Social workers are notoriously underpaid, and most of them are women. Women engineers are often paid less than their male counterparts, and most of them have no difficulty getting work.

  3. The Klown says:
  4. helenk3 says:

    do not usually listen to rush. but he schools backtrack and putin on American exceptionalism

    • driguana says:

      Missed your B’day…Happy birthday!

      There are a couple of conservative broadcasters that I can really only take small amounts of anymore…Rush and O’Reilly top the list. But I have to say that I listen to them because they bring up good topics and good points. It’s their demeanor that I dislike….that certain smug arrogance. Also I find that to really get to a kernel of understanding anything you have to pick some points on the far left and some points on the far right, work your way to the center and then decide what you want to research further. While this sounds fair and easy, it takes a couple of hours every day! What normal person has that time?? So you stick to your ideological comfort zone and that’s what you believe. Those that hate Rush or O’Reilly can’t get past their demeanor barrier and, therefore, hate them and their points of view. It’s a hard time to get facts straight these days.

      • The Klown says:

        I prefer written input because I can skim and skip and process more information faster than listening to someone talk. I can also stop and back-up if i want to study something more carefully.

        Not only that but I can play music while I read instead of having to sit and listen at the speaker’s pace. I like to multi-task.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Have you ever listened to Michael Savage ? I don’t know how he stays on the radio, he’s even been banned in England 🙂 That’s one angry guy, but I never hear a word about him from the left and he’s far more dangerous than Rush, O’Reilly or Hannity.

    • fif says:

      Isn’t that sad that Rush has to give a history lesson to Obama? Where is his response to Putin’s slap? He’s so lame.

  5. this anti-capitalism message that has been unleashed during the past 5 years is only getting worse. I listened to a college professor rail against capitalism and all of the income inequality in the US the other night and it was all I could do not to go after her. I mean she is probably in the top 120% of wage earners here in Ohio and if it weren’t for capitalism, she wouldn’t be making such a salary. It is a huge disconnect.

    And it is a piece of propaganda that is used to assuage upper middle class guilt and to manipulate the poor.

    just another outrage of the Obama years.

    • The Klown says:

      I’ve worked for minimum wage at lots of jobs. Minimum wage sucks. Most minimum wage jobs would still suck even if they paid $15 hour. But if we doubled or tripled the minimum wage it would trigger inflation and pretty soon that higher wage would buy just as little as the lower wage used to buy.

      I understand the urge to use government to make the world a better place. It’s so tempting and seems so easy, but it never works. Ever new regulation causes more problems which begets more regulations and more bureaucracy.

      Yes, we need some regulation. But too much is as bad or worse than too little. The system will never be perfect. Some people will get more than they deserve and some people will get less. But if you want the greatest good for the greatest number you have to let the market do its magic.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    Oh goody, I get to drag this video out again. This is for Shaniqua, meet my kid ……now shut up 😉

  7. driguana says:

    This whole thing throws my little mind into a huge tizzy. So if fast food places and liquor stores are some of the most prevalent employers in hardcore urban areas and you boycott the fast food places and they have less business, won’t they then have to scale down and have fewer employees and/or close? And aren’t a lot of McD’s locally owned franchises, not big bucks owners. I know some are corporate owned but how does this work? anyone know?

  8. The Klown says:
    • Lulu says:

      That makes no sense. Telling people to drink more water without any scientific study or basis to back up what she is advocating is simply stupid. What does black have to do with stupid? Medical professionals are alarmed at her ignorant new windmill to tilt for diversion which could actually harm children as their electrolytes can be thrown out of whack with too fucking much water. Thank goodness children will naturally resist drinking if they are not thirsty.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I don’t think the WH knows what to do with Michelle anymore and her message could be dangerous to the low infos, too much water is dangerous too. Especially if the subliminal message here is “helps you lose weight !”

  9. fif says:

    I have a couple of questions: is it true that McDonald’s doesn’t allow workers a 40 hour week? The other is: what is her boyfriend doing about looking for another job – he looks healthy in the video. And you’re right: the apartment looks nice and the TV is gigantic with a laptop (the most expensive computer) in the foreground. And of course, why didn’t the intrepid journalist ask any of these questions? Because most journalists suck at their jobs.

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