The kiosk made its debut in our McDonald’s this week, or at least I saw and used it for the first time. It’s almost, but not quite, idiot-proof. There were no cashiers up front, but a type assistant manager came out from behind the counter and talked me through the navigation.
The big takeaway is that McDonald’s and other fast food chains are almost, but not quite, in the mercy of pandering Progressives who impose their will to enact a higher minimum wage. It seemed that no more than four or five workers were running the entire operation when we visited during the lunch rush.
Thank goodness workers have valiant Democrats protecting us from greedy companies. Unfortunately, that needs protecting a number people from employment itself.
It’s a sad story when a young person never gets that first job, never gets an opportunity to demonstrate a strong work ethic and punctuality. It corrodes their self-image, and often leads to substance abuse and criminal lifestyles. It’s hard on families and relationships.
As Allie Beth Stuckey has stated, work is not a necessary evil. It is a necessary good. Not having honorable work creates a vacuum, and that vacuum will be filled by something. If not offense, maybe political extremism. Or maybe both.
Somebody will pay for creating a class of unemployed and unemployable young people, but it will not be the cynical Progressive politicians. Unemployed, unskilled young people are unlikely to diagnose the cause of their unemployment unless they have taken some upper-level economics in college, and this is the genius of the Democrats’ position.
They’ll demand and get lavish praise from the beneficiaries of a higher minimum wage, but they’ll never be held liable for the devastating impact of their laws on new, unskilled workers and their families and communities. That will be attributed to racism, underfunded public education or the ever-popular”greedy corporations.”
There was a 2012 fast food strike in nyc, but it got limited traction in the time. I would say the minimum wage groundswell started in the Progressive precincts of the Pacific Northwest a few years later. Ballot initiatives imposed a number of the minimum wage increases, and a few were enforced by city councils.
My job took me through Seattle frequently during this period. In the months following Seattle enacted a stout minimum wage increase, I noticed that several small family-owned restaurants had closed. Kiosks can not wash dishes and bus tables yet.
But down the shore in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, smart engineers and coders were devising the technology that would save the restaurant industry from unsustainable high wages. Good for them, good for the restaurant owners, disastrous for young, inexperienced employees.
Think about the benefits to a owner: no payroll, no social security contribution, no scheduling drama, no training, no slip-and-fall or back injuries, no embarrassing racial accusations, and no #MeToo claims of sexual harassment. The kiosk offers the employer peace of mind, not just financial benefits.
Of course, the remaining back-of-the-house workers can’t be replaced by a machine. Yet.
The Democratic platform advocates increasing the current $7.25 federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. The majority of Congressional Democrats have committed to the $15 figure, but some have advocated an intermediate $12 wage before transitioning to the higher wage.
Rep. Keith Ellison and Sen. Bernie Sanders have introduced laws to automatically boost the federal minimum wage from that $15, according to median national wage growth. Ellison’s measure would also outlaw the practice of paying tip workers less than the minimum wage.
Even President Donald Trump has said he favors an increase to $10 per hour. So that the handwriting is on the wall. The fast food chain executives are not paranoid, just logical. They don’t want to go broke. They don’t want to get fired by stockholders. There’ll be far more kiosks, and a whole lot fewer employees.