2013 April 16 Tuesday
Obamacare Causing Shift To Part Time Work

Hiring low-skilled and low-paid people into full time jobs is getting too expensive as a result of Obamacare. Effectively Obama has raised the minimum wage. Bravo. This will deliver many benefits. Latest example: Regal Entertainment Group, operator of over 500 movie theaters, is cutting employee work hours down to 30 hours per week to avoid Obamacare mandates for employer-provided health insurance. Obama can help this process along. How? Help low wage people who are trying to unionize workplaces.

If I was down at the bottom of the wage scale I'd be desperate to work as much as I can and to move up. The least skilled ought to work 2 jobs (assuming they can find the jobs). Key to doing that: long shifts. Longer hours per day would make it easier to work at different jobs on different days. Less chance of a conflict. 10 hours per day at one job 3 days a week would leave 4 other days in which to get the additional hours.

How can businesses avoid Obamacare? Stay small. Outsource. Dump your least profitable customers and the staff that serves them. Automate.

Some restaurants have small staffs and therefore can avoid the Obamacare mandate. But bigger franchises of fast food companies can't dodge so easily. What can they do? One legal strategy: Break up their big franchises into multiple corporations. Own multiple Subway stores? Own them as separate companies. Also, create a supply company that comes in and does food prep or cleaning.

The best solution: automate. The big fast food chains need to invest in development of automation techniques. Plenty of methods to automate food prep already exist. Momentum Machines has an automated burger-making machine. Japanese firm Kura has automated sushi restaurants in Japan. Kura uses video cameras to allow managers at central locations to monitor conditions in many stores. Wal-Mart should as well. Even easier: get rid of the human at the cash register. Let people order and pay with an ordering panel and slot to slide an ATM or credit card. Also, develop food items that take less effort to cook and shops that take less effort to clean.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 April 16 09:54 PM 

kelsan said at April 17, 2013 8:21 PM:

You could just go to some form of universal health care like every other civilized nation on the planet.

Clark Kent said at April 17, 2013 9:07 PM:


The U.S. is unique among wealthy nations in that it has a massive underclass whose academic ability doesn't improve across generations.

Ulley said at April 23, 2013 6:20 PM:

I thought Obamacare was a form of universal health care, albeit the most bureaucratically inefficient monstrosity ever conceived by mortal man.

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