This is crony capitalism class warfare. It’s practiced by large companies that find ways to raise expenses for small businesses in ways that won’t affect them.
Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich is one of those “responsible” corporate executives. You know, the kind who give $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, and support a higher minimum wage. The Economist reported late last year:
Ron Shaich, the boss of Panera, a chain of 1,800 eateries, is an exception in the industry; he backs an increase in the minimum wage so long as it applies to everyone.
My question: Will Shaich pay $10.10 an hour to the kiosks he plans to install in every Panera in America? Businessweek tells that at the coffee and sandwich shop, you’ll soon be ordering through a touch-screen kiosk. Shaich insists this won’t lead to downsizing: Panera will have fewer cashiers but more employees running the food to customers’ tables.
Sure it will. Until there’s a downturn in profits or a slowdown in growth. And then those employees will be out on the street… with their higher minimum wage.
Larger chains are going with tablets and kiosks. They can absorb the hit and push for higher costs for smaller businesses. And there’s a pattern of this convergence of big business phony class warfare and automation.
Subway CEO Fred DeLuca announced that he is in full support of a minimum wage increase for his employees at the fast food chain. He stated that he did not think that it would be bad for his company or his workers, and thought the minimum wage should be adjusted so that wages would automatically increase with the rate of inflation.
Sure, there will be just be fewer workers as we move to a European economy with higher pay and few jobs.