Saturday, May 16, 2015

Think you deserve a break today?

The Washington Policy Center's Erin Shannon thinks you won't be as lucky as actor James Franco was;
Franco recounts how, as a struggling actor, he was desperate to earn money.  He had few skills (he had been fired from his previous jobs) and just needed a way to make some cash: “…just like their [McDonalds] food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need."
As Franco summarized, “McDonalds was there for me when no one else was.”
Well, the food will still be there, but if the minimum wage raisers get their way, the jobs won't be. Just as they aren't in several European countries;
Part of McDonalds cost-cutting plan is to move towards automation.  McDonalds says the new technology will “make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and to give people the ability to customize their orders.”  It also means fewer low-skill workers will be needed.
The company has been using such technology in Europe for years; in 2011 the food chain installed 7,000 touch-screen kiosks that render human cashiers unnecessary in high wage European countries.  Every McDonalds in France has a self-order kiosk, which means the company has to employ significantly fewer workers who earn that country’s minimum wage of $12.22 (in U.S. dollars) per hour.
 What automation does at $12 an hour, surely is only more attractive at $15.


  1. Clearly you've not heard the news: raising the minimum wage in the service sector cannot reduce jobs, because capital-substitution for services is impossible. Which is strange, since I recall you quoting someone from Seattle (I think) making just that point!

  2. Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your jobs.