The Democratic party’s motley army of whining fast food workers is about to get a glimpse at the future and that future is automation. With both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders rousing the rabble of unskilled burger flippers to take to the streets they are leading the lemmings off the edge of a cliff. The calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage – while meeting with success in California and New York – will soon meet with a wall of resistance elsewhere. Not only is fifteen bucks an hour for a pack of unmotivated losers a mind boggling departure from reality but the ripple effects would be catastrophic to customers. Just say hasta la vista to those value menus and get ready to shell out ten bucks or more for your Big Mac and fries. However, McDonald’s is well ahead of those seeking to make a career out of low level fast food production instead of doing anything to actually work on self-improvement to get a better lot in life.
According to the website of the Illinois Policy Institute “McDonald’s Counters Fight for $15 With Automation”:
The Fight for $15 campaign plans to target McDonald’s on April 14 as part of a new pre-Tax Day tradition, led by the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU.
Chicago is one of 300 cities worldwide where strikes and protests are scheduled. SEIU has spent $70 million on its Fight for $15 campaign. The union’s Local 73 represents more than 28,000 government workers in Illinois and Indiana.
Protestors may want to stop by the McDonald’s at Adams and Wells to meet their replacement – an automated McCafé kiosk.
The store, which is anticipating Chicago’s minimum-wage increase to $13 an hour by 2019, is testing out coffee kiosks in the restaurant instead of having employees serve it. The kiosk features a touch-pad for ordering and paying. The screen also prompts customers to answer questions about their kiosk experience, giving the impression this is something that could be adopted as an alternative to hiring. This kind of automation, which replaces a human employee with technology, is one of the unintended consequences of Chicago’s minimum-wage increase.
It may not just be a coffee machine either. Other McDonald’s locations have used self-service kiosks with touch-screens for paying. And while self-serve kiosks don’t seem too unusual, San Francisco-based Momentum Machines has created a robotic hamburger-making machine the company claims can produce 400 high-quality burgers in an hour with minimal human supervision.
A robot making a hamburger sounds a bit absurd, but the desire to circumvent artificially set wages certainly isn’t.
California and New York are the next two states that could see a loss in low-wage jobs, with both states recently passing statewide minimum-wage laws. California’s minimum wage will increase to $15 over the next six years, while New York’s will increase to $15 by 2018. While this will mean that some workers will see an increase in their wages, many will lose their jobs altogether. California Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed his state’s minimum-wage hike into law April 4, admitted, “Economically, minimum wages may not make sense.” Yet Brown still caved to those pushing a policy that will cut young and inexperienced workers from his state’s workforce.
Young, inexperienced workers who rely on finding minimum-wage jobs are already having a hard time.
It’s highly doubtful that any of the $15 an hour warriors have bothered to think their doomed crusade through because their efforts today will ultimately be futile and victories fleeting. Hillary is a duplicitous liar who may be fighting for the cause now but once elected she would very quickly forget about the useful idiots marching on Mickey D’s. She brings to mind the words of the late, great gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson who once said of Nixon that “he could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time” and those secret Goldman Sachs speeches should say all that there is to say about whose side that she is really on. The are just useful idiots to her and will quickly be shit on, that’s just the way that career insiders roll.
The coming move towards automation is a big win for consumers, especially since machines will never botch a drive –thru order or drop black curlies in the French fries.