Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Health Care, Liberalism, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Economic Ignoramuses, Replaced With A Robot, Unintended Consequences
Next year is an election year, so, as naturally as night follows day, Democrats are pushing for an increase in the minimum wage. Whole industries are cutting back the working hours of their employees by more than half because of the requirements of ObamaCare — because they cannot afford to be forced to pay for health insurance for their low-wage workers, and stay in business at all. It is not because these industries are mean — it’s because businesses actually have to pay their bills and earn enough to stay in business. Perhaps you have noticed, a lot of businesses have closed their doors?
Democrats’ obliviousness to the role of profit and loss might have something to do with the fact that few if any Democrat politicians have ever worked in the private sector, but only in government, where it is quite obvious that nobody worries about such things — there is never enough money to do all the things desired, and who worries about debt? You can always raise taxes on the rich and big corporations. Having cut back employee hours to be able to stay in business, companies are likely to double their salaries?
Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour and boost it annually to keep pace with inflation. Ten states make cost-of living adjustments including Washington state where the minimum wage is $9.19 an hour the highest in the country. Locally, there’s a demand to raise it to $15 an hour. Is the logic “Oh, the economy is bad, and more people are part time — so we have to raise the minimum wage?”
Every assumption Liberals make about the minimum wage is incorrect, as you can see from this quote from the Seattle Times:
Obama’s proposal is renewing the age-old debate between advocates who claim boosting the minimum wage pumps more money into the economy, helping to create new jobs, and business groups that complain it would unfairly burden employers and curb demand for new workers.
“Pumping more money into the economy” is discredited Keynesian economics. It does not help to create new jobs. •Only 2.9 percent of all workers work at the minimum wage. •More than half of minimum wage workers are between 16 and 24, work part-time and after school. •A hike in the minimum wage raises pay for suburban teenagers, not the working poor. •The average family income of a minimum wage worker is more than $53,000 a year. •Few are the primary earners in their families. •Two-thirds of minimum wage workers earn a raise within a year — as they gain skills. •An increase in the minimum wage simply eliminates beginner jobs for new workers.
When it became clear that beginners couldn’t adequately learn to manage a cash register and making change, that job was automated. There’s a lot to learn in a first job. It isn’t meant as a place to stay for a career. When people have skills, they don’t have to settle for a minimum wage job. A beginner who has to be trained to do a job isn’t worth anything to an employer until they learn to do the job..
Liberal compassion is, as usual, misplaced, and their remedies don’t work. Their belief that the minimum wage has to support a family is false. But they thought that forcing employers to offer health insurance to all their workers who worked at least 29 hours would mean that most low wage workers would get insurance from their employers. Instead they have managed to turn an enormous sector of America into part-time workers with no insurance. There are always consequences, intended or unintended.
A new robot, Alpha Machine, from Momentum Machines serves up 360 hamburgers per hour. And it does it with such quality and efficiency that it will produce “gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices..”
With a conveyor belt-type system the burgers are freshly ground, shaped and grilled to the customers’ liking. When the burger has finished cooking, Alpha Machine slices the tomatoes and pickles and places them on the burger, which it then wraps up for serving. Momentum Machines claims that Alpha Machine will save a restaurant enough money to pay for itself in a year, enabling the restaurant to spend about twice as much on ingredients as they normally would. Customers can just put in their order, pay and wait at a dispensing window.
The next generation will add a custom meat grinding feature that could mix different meats — 1/3 pork, 2/3 bison for example — and char the burger while retaining juiciness. The company is planning the first restaurant chain with a cook staff of entirely robots.
There are always consequences.
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