2015 April 23 Thursday
Proposed Democrat Minimum Wage Boost Will Spur Robotics
What a great way to spur development of robots for fast food restaurants: Democrats Are Rallying Around $12 Minimum Wage. This way America will develop a technological lead over nations in robotic cooking, robotic cleaning, robotic shelf stocking, and in many other occupations done by minimum wage workers.
In the long run the people still in jobs will enjoy much higher living standards and greater convenience. A fast food restaurant could stay open 24 hours per day with little incremental cost. The robots are just going to be sitting there all night. They could be flipped on for cooking action when an order arrives from a cell phone of someone riding their robotic car looking for eats at 3 AM. That's the sort of future that awaits us as soon robotics matures.
Wait, did someone say this will cause problems? That most high school drop-outs already don't work? Sure. But that's already a problem. No, of course I do not know what all the immigration amnesty recipients are going to do for a living. Maybe the Clinton Foundation will be able to raise enough money abroad to give some of them jobs.
Back to the robots: yes, we need robots that can work as domestic servants, robots that would complain about getting paid in electric battery recharging, worn out parts replacement, and the occasional pat on the head. A higher minimum wage will make all that happen sooner. The $12 minimum wage should just be a stepping stone toward a $15 per hour minimum wage that will immanentize the eschaton.
By Randall Parker at 2015 April 23 09:09 PM
I'm actually in favor of a high minimum wage ($15/hour) for reasons of automation and technological innovation, even though I'm a radical Ayn Rand libertarian.
I want to live in a society made by and for competent, intelligent individuals.
Kind hearted less intelligent folks can go ahead an eat sludge and be slaves! dummies...
Cut the number of low wage, unskilled jobs and you cut the number of unskilled legal and illegal immigrants needed to fill them.
What has the business lobby's argument been for more immigration? "We're creating more [low-skilled] jobs than we have Americans to fill them." How do you slow that down? Slow down the creation of low-skilled jobs by raising the price businesses have to pay them.
The business lobby has sold us out on immigration. I'm all too happy to sell them out on the minimum wage. In general, I'm against government price fixing, including for wages. But since we can't get the business lobby on our side for tighter immigration we might as well support a policy with an actual chance of passage, and one that makes us look "compassionate" at that.
Given a $15 minimum wage I am guessing that business support for low skilled immigration would evaporate. They wouldn't derive any benefit. So why support it?
Instead businesses would become heavily focused on boosting productivity. That seems great.
5 years after beginning of $15 minimum wage the average fast food place would be a marvel of automation. You'd order before you got there and a machine would cook your burger, put on all the toppings, and bag it as you walked in the door. Your phone could tell them how close you are and your meal would be cooked based your ETA.
High minimum wage would make daily life much more convenient. You'd deal far less with service workers and stuff would be ready when you wanted it.
The WSJ reports on Strawberry picking robots being used due to 'labour shortages'.