Minimum wage hike is part of planned jobsolescence

Matt Vespa writes, at Townhall

In 2013, over 700,000 jobs were lost due to minimum wage hikes. The American Action Forum found that every $1 increase accounted for a 1.48 percent spike in the unemployment rate. That’s quite a steep butcher’s bill. Moreover, some establishments are simply transitioning to electronic kiosks for orders to help blunt the inevitable rise in overhead costs due to these increases. Still, Democrats will push for these economically deficient policy proposals because they sound good, it looks good, and people buy into it hook, line, and sinker. If you’re against it, prepare to be painted as anti-poor and heartless—which is exactly how Democrats want to portray Republicans during an election year.More.

Reality check: Let’s look beyond the polemics.

Robotics, like the internet, changes everything. Progressives grasp that much better than traditionalists do. Trust me, they know exactly what they are doing.

Fifty years ago, workers versus management was a battle fought without any expectation that management could just obviate workers. The greedy management cusses were accused of “milking” the workers – but that meant that the workers were a source of profit. And they knew it.

As a source of profit, workers were comparatively difficult for progressives to represent. Progressives had to respect workers’ usually traditional values.

The dawn of robotics means that, increasingly, progressives will represent dependents who can just be told what their values had better be. That’s important if one has utopian plans for society, plans that most people do not even support. But if people contribute little except needs, that hardly matters.

It doesn’t even matter if the customers prefer to be served by fellow human beings. They do prefer that. At my local superstore, customers avoid the automated checkouts as if they were the entrances to snake pits.

But if a fast food chain, for example, can’t afford to offer food at prices customers can afford to pay, customers must settle for the robotics. The customers’ own jobs may be threatened; they can’t just go to an upscale diner.

I wish people like Matt Vespa would quit writing as if the progressives “should see” that huge increases in minimum wages will cause job loss. THey do indeed see that. They intend to benefit from it.

It would be nice to be able to explain the problem to voters, but they’ll find out sooner or later anyway.

See also: Sure you can have $15/hr serving fast food. But your job no longer exists.

  • I am not often in McDonald’s but last week had reason to attend 3 separate locations, all had touch screen order taking. It is a huge savings, you could see how much fewer staff were required.

    • Automation has been less effective in grocery stores. The thing is, when staff were teens and grannies who didn’t need a living wage, it would not be worth investing in huge high tech because then you re investing in expensive Smart People [TM]. And maybe the customers won’t like the change. But if they must pay a living wage, that change will happen anyway.

      • terrence22

        Here in the Lower Mainland of BC, the automated checkouts are always busy, and often have line ups, even when the few cashiers are not busy and have very short lines. I prefer the humans to the machines; but, I use them if I am in a hurry and do not have much to process.

    • Hard Little Machine

      Have you ever seen a Sheetz? They’re all like that.

    • Exile1981

      I find the automated touchscreens are better for special orders. Withthe human staff at mcdonalds they often get “no pickles” wrong. With gaggle of kids its a nightmare. When i use the touch screen you can add or delete toppings and the errors in orders is zero. That means less food wastage for the location as well.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      When I first started working as a kid there was a differential minimum wage.
      They could pay kids $2.90 and adults $3.35.

  • Ron MacDonald

    Can’t wait for Timmy’s to have touch screen order taking, their not so bright employees get my order wrong seventy percent of the time.

    • Clausewitz

      Yeah, I’m thinking the phrase “Original Blend” does not translate well into Pashtun.

  • Hard Little Machine

    The funny thing is that cost dynamics have destroyed traditional media and traditional journalism and they really haven’t fully accepted that yet. Most media jobs are already done by machines and the ones that aren’t are backfilled by young amateurs on twitter. The left wing media can scream about higher wages all they like but in a few years none of THEM will have jobs.

  • simus1

    When you see how something as enormously complicated and expensive as a Boeing 787 can make money flying smaller batches of passengers directly to “smaller” very large cities with minimal downtime ……………………..

  • People might pay $15 an hour for specialised service but not for a hamburger.

    Couple that with rising costs and carbon taxes and one could be looking at $10 for a hamburger.

    It’s like people want the economy to fail.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    Switzerland has a living wage and training starting as early as high school. Why can’t that exist in the G7 countries. This is not socialism but capitalism with better allocation and better management. Even Trump is proposing a $10 minimum wage, but even the $15 minimum wage launched by the Democrats is just to appease the democratic socialists in the US and just a bandaid solution.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    Direct democracy should be extended to monetary policy, the economy, foreign policy and trade.

    • FactsWillOut

      Anarcho-Syndicalists are just commies pretending to be libertarians.
      You either adhere to the NAP, or you don’t.

  • FactsWillOut

    Industrialization created the middle class. Before industrialization, there were slaves. Post-industrial will be something else altogether, neither dystopic nor utopic, just different.
    Griping about it will change nothing.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      There used to be a lot more horses around in the early nineteenth century.
      Now, we are the new horses.