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.