Go ahead, increase the minimum wage. Then, kiss those jobs goodbye.

Posted by: Phineas on January 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

**Posted by Phineas

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

“But at least we won our minimum wage increase!”

I’ve said time and again that because wages are a cost for businesses, they have to find a way to control them so they can earn a profit that makes it worthwhile to stay in business. Mandate wages that are too high, and companies will find creative ways to trim those costs back down.

Such as replacing the workers with machines:

Fast food doesn’t have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.

Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.

It does everything employees can do except better:

It slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.

Our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.

Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.

It’s more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.

That’s from the web site of Momentum Machines in San Francisco. You can bet all those progressive Bay Area burger-flippers and baristas demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage will be screaming “unfair!” when they find themselves replaced.

Not that I’m some sort of anti-technological Luddite; far from it. But these idio… er, “people” demanding a huge increase in the minimum wage need to recognize that their bosses have choices to make, and one of those choices may well be a very rational decision to cut back hours or eliminate jobs altogether. Is it worth winning a $15 per hour rate, when you wind up collecting nothing?

Keep it up, burger flippers, and you may well pave the way for the return of the automat.

"Forward into the past?"

Forward into the past?

via Melissa Clouthier

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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3 Responses to “Go ahead, increase the minimum wage. Then, kiss those jobs goodbye.”


  1. Perry says:

    Grocery stores have self checkout stations – burger joints can have kiosks like these with error-proof orders and automatic change makers. And voice software at the drive-in windows.

  2. Paul says:

    Bring back the Automat! I used to love driving into NYC from the Island with my dad, drop a bunch of nickels in the slot and feast on the sloppiest and most delicious meatloaf sandwich.

  3. Drew the Infidel says:

    If they want $15 an hour without employers reluctant to pay that much and the resultant street demonstrations, come to the oilfields of West Texas. That is generally the starting wage for roughnecks and roustabouts, the lowest paid hands in the business.

    They might want to look at some old episodes of “Black Gold” and see if actually working for a living is what they have in mind.