The Democrats and particularly President Barack Obama have been politicking overraising the minimum wage in a transparent attempt to attract low-income voters. While it is understood that it is difficult to exist on the meager sum provided by jobs such as Wal-Mart greeters and Whopper floppers, the opposite side of the argument is that government forced wage hikes will only result in higher prices that will be passed on to the customers. Not to appear insensitive but if working at one of America’s fast food chains or an emporium of made in China products does not provide a sufficient income then find another job. Get some education, vocational training or start a business but don’t depend on the government to offer a helping hand because the government cannot be trusted – ever.
Having found a winning issue that will resonate with people who normally couldn’t be bothered to get off of their lazy asses to go to the polls, look for more Democrat demagoguery over the minimum wage. It is a nice mix along with their bogus identity politics issues, the sudden interest in domestic violence now that two big name NFL players have been outed as wife and child beaters. There have already been strikes by fast food workers in several U.S. cities to demand higher wages but it is just more of the same false hope and chump change that Obama has been peddling to the suckers since he slithered into office on a carpet of lies.
Now the backlash is beginning as it inevitably would. Fast food and chain restaurants are beginning the process of going to automated systems which will eventually render the concept of a $15 per hour burger flipper obsolete and silly. Per a story that appeared in the Washington Post entitled “McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a machine”:
Battling the worst sales slump in a decade and competition from build-your-own upstarts like Chipotle and Smashburger, McDonald’s is expanding a test concept built around ordering via tablet. Just tap on a screen and watch as your burger’s toppings (and calories) pile on, then wait for an employee to bring it over. No human interaction necessary.
McDonald’s move towards dehumanization, launched as a pilot last winter and expanded across San Diego last week, is part of a larger trend of chain eateries turning tablets into your full-time restaurant buddy: equal parts menu, server and paycheck. Applebee’s, Panera Bread and even airport bars have installed tablets to allow diners to order food or booze without a wait.
Chili’s became the U.S. king of human-less ordering this summer when it installed more than 45,000 tabletop tablets nationwide. Marketing executives said the tablets can speed up service and operate like table-side billboards, encouraging impulse orders of appetizers and desserts. A spokesperson for Ziosk, which made the tablets, said guests who used them spent more money, finished quicker and paid better tips. (The future, as one professor predicts:“Robot baristas, robot Realtors and robot sales agents.”)
While the WAPO story specifically speaks of customers being able to place their own orders (no more getting the wrong food at the drive-thru) a more seismic shift is coming. Michael Krieger of the Liberty Blitzkrieg blog recently wrote of the next iteration of the dehumanizing of fast food jobs. The piece which is entitled “360 Burgers per Hour” – Meet the Burger Flipping Robot that Could Change Fast Food Forever”:
The main reason is that if employers are forced to pay these employee more, the employers in this industry are likely to move as quickly as possibly to fast-food preparing robots. This isn’t just some pie in the sky fantasy either, there’s a company called Momentum Machines that has already assembled a product that can make a burger in 10 seconds, or 360 burgers per hour.
Equally important, the entire argument of raising the minimum wage cannot be had without discussing the impact of technology. As I and many others have highlighted over the past several years, one of the most troubled segments of the U.S. economy consists of fast food workers. They simply cannot survive on the wages being paid to them by employers and need food stamps, disability and second jobs merely to make ends meet. In theory, raising the minimum wage will help these folks the most, but will it really? I think not.
As the saying goes, “be careful of what you ask for, you just may get it” and Democrat’s sudden concern for a working class that they shanked in the back decades ago is nothing more than political pandering. Big businesses are rapidly adapting to implement new technology in order to eliminate the positions altogether. There are self-service checkout stands appearing in stores across the nation now. My local Wal-Mart neighborhood grocery store has them and they are great. It saves time and the upside to having to bag your own groceries is that no dumb ass is putting the potatoes in the same bag with the bread. The Wal-Mart greeters will likely be the next to be jettisoned, they are annoying and only are really needed on Black Friday to hold back the amped-up mobs of shoppers looking to score the door buster items.
Once again another great Obama idea goes up like a flaming bag of dog crap and the ones who get screwed in the end are the suckers who bought into it. But there will be plenty of jobs soon enough with the brilliant idea of funneling more arms to the Syrian rebels which will quickly end up in the hands of ISIS. The future of America is war and as such there is no greater big government employment program than bringing back the draft to provide those displaced fast food workers with new gigs.