This isn’t just about minimum wage. It’s a philosophical microcosm of everything wrong with the Obama economy.
Here’s a piece by the former CEO of McDs on the end of entry level jobs at the fast food giant.
As minimum wage levels approach or surpass $15 nationwide, restaurant customers expecting to be greeted by a smiling face will instead be welcomed by a glowing LED screen.
As of 2020, self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented at all U.S. McDonald’s locations. Other chains, including fast-casual brands like Panera and casual-dining brands like Chili’s, have already embraced this trend. Some restaurant concepts have even automated the food-preparation process; earlier this year, NBC News profiled “Flippy,“ a robot hamburger flipper. Other upcoming concepts include virtual restaurants which eliminate the need for full-service restaurants (and staff) by only offering home delivery.
Some of this was inevitable.
Why wait on a line when you can order online? Apps also bake in customer loyalty. And make it easier for chains. More chains will go virtual in areas where they largely depend on customers who live locally to drop in. Big data makes a lot of this cheaper and easier. And the internet has trained people to order online and to be very intolerant of delays.
But minimum wage lubricated and expanded the scope of this trend.
Pricing young job seekers out of the market and a weekly paycheck is just one immediate effect of an increasing minimum wage. A study by University of Virginia and Middle Tennessee State University economists found that teenagers who held part-time jobs in school had annual earnings that were 20 percent higher than their counterparts without experience six to nine years after graduation.
These entry level jobs such as flipping burgers or taking customers orders teach teens valuable jobs skills such as customer service and applying basic math skills. Skills that could ultimately lead to the career stepping stones for a working teenager to become an engineer or accountant.
Entry level jobs are meant to be temporary. Except in some specific cases. But in some areas and among some demographics, they became permanent. And at that point, unionization, wage protests and all the rest followed.
The destruction of entry level jobs isn’t really a loss. It’s a win-win for Dems.
Wipe out half the jobs and those who survive will thank you for giving them benefits and a higher salary, while the other half will thank you for giving them welfare. It doesn’t always work out that way, but for the key Dem demos it does. So expect lots more of it. There’s a reason you’re hearing a lot more about guaranteed minimum income or welfare-for-all. It’s the next big Dem idea and it will be the 2020 default. Destroy enough jobs and then keep as much of the population in the welfare state as you can. Then hope China lends you the cash to keep it up. Until it no longer does.
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