2014 January 25 Saturday
Poor People Not Making Enough Money To Eat At McDonalds?
McDonalds says their customers are getting hit by hard times and not buying as many McBurgers. Should we be worried for Ronald McDonald? Maybe the Big Mac is putting a misleading spin on the situation. Could it be some of the poor get enough SNAP foodstamp aid to afford Chilis, Hardees, Red Lobster, Applebees, Red Robin, and Olive Garden?
Perhaps some members of the lower classes are embracing the automation that eliminates their jobs and they are racing to Applebee's and Chili's to get waited on by tablet computers. Could it be?
I want robotic wait service. I was disappointed during a recent visit at Red Robin that they didn't have tablets on the tables. Where can you get a tablet waiter or tablet waitress? I'm thinking Hooters should have amply endowed women on really ordering tablets at each table.
Here is an idea: People on welfare should be waited on by robots and computers to a much greater extent than the rest of us. That way they'll be less of a burden on the rest of us and they can help push the cutting edge of technology. The first robotic restaurants should only accept payments in the form of SNAP foodstamps spending cards. Also, stores that have auto-checkout should require it for people spending with welfare prepaid money cards.
Seriously, we either need to automate the care and servicing of the poor or cut the welfare state and find ways to make the poor go back to work.
By Randall Parker at 2014 January 25 08:28 PM
Drive out 20 million illegal immigrants while simultaneously cutting welfare benefits.
Will never happen, of course.
A lot of the poor are probably just not all that productive. If you have an IQ of 85, a high school diploma awarded for attendance rather than learning much, and a few arrests on your record, it may just be that nobody wants to hire you because you cost at least as much to hire (wages, benefits, expected hassles with no-shows, expected level of shrinkage, lousy attitude, etc.) as you produce.
This is a fundamental change in the way humanity works. Up until recently, people who couldn't produce enough to be worth feeding them were really rare--basically the very old, very young, crippled, sick, etc. Decent societies tried to provide for those people somehow, but it was always a tiny minority that needed to be so provided for. We are now moving into a time when a large and growing fraction of the population isn't really worth employing at anything. You can see this inthe way most everyone has gotten rid of the draft, and the loss of power of unions as a smaller, more valuable set of workers really matter.
If this is right, then getting most of the poor working again is only of value to keep them busy and out of trouble, not to produce anything.
The CEO's "365 Black" marketing/hiring campaign was supposed to pull in the Popeye's Chicken crowd. I expect it did. I expect it also ran off the McDonald's regular "white bread" crowd. I'd love to see the McDonald's demographics. If they drop "365 Black" I expect we will know the answer.
During and after World War II the US Army discovered that low IQ people are terrible soldiers. As the military moves toward using more robots, autonomous vehicles, UAVs, and the like they'll have even less use for the bottom half of the Bell Curve.
Whether to give them welfare or make-work jobs is going to become an important question.