Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

imageAs pressure mounts to raise the wages of fast food workers, advocates may want to take note that such wage increases eventually pass a threshold where it makes financial sense to simply invest in automation. As Grocery Store cashiers learned, these jobs are not a given. We are all competing not just with each other but with robots. 

One of the primary reasons that the gap between the rich and poor has increased so much in the past 20 years has been the rise in IT.  Once we purchase a computer, robot, etc. its capabilities – its output and productivity are owned by the buyer which increases the wealth generated by that person.

As people demand McDonalds pay workers $15 an hour and the government insists that they also provide health care, restaurant owners are increasingly evaluating whether to simply replace their work force with machines.  

Naturally, in 2017 when today’s “living wage advocate” is ordering their Big Mac from a friendly touch screen and having it delivered momentarily by a robot they’ll make no connection between how their beliefs resulted in more people living in poverty. Instead, they’ll blame McDonalds. They’ll blame greedy restaurant owners. But they won’t consider that perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to price people out of their workforce.

More reading:

http://singularityhub.com/2013/01/22/robot-serves-up-340-hamburgers-per-hour/

http://www.thestar.com/business/2012/11/29/automatic_burger_machine_could_revolutionize_fast_food.html


Comments (Page 11)
on Aug 12, 2014

ElanaAhova

now, in some countries.

I cannot speak for every country nor did I mean to leave the impression. I was speaking for the US alone.

ElanaAhova

And calling it 'economics' does not make it right, correct, ethical, nor humane.

Economics is a science.  It is not about fair or humane.  It is about theories, laws and hypotheses.  It is not a judgement, it is a statement of facts.  Economics is not Judicial, so it has nothing to do with what is legal.  Economics can chart a course, but not pass a law.  Politicians must do that.  Economics sometimes influences their decision, but mostly it does not.

But you are wrong again.  The "invisible hand" as you call it (correctly) is not about some god doing something.  It is about what happens when people are allowed to make decisions for themselves.  I cannot predict what you will do based upon economics.  But I can predict, using economics, what a community will do.  Thus we get things like the law of supply and demand.  If you have ever bought something on sale, you have followed the law.  If you have ever refrained from buying something that was too expensive, you are following the law.

YOu seem to be under the mistaken impression that economics is a set of rules established by oligarchs to "keep the people down" when in fact it has nothing to do with fat cats in smoke filled rooms (which are actually the antithesis of economics and free markets).  Economics is a science.  Like Physics or Chemistry.  You may not like the fact that all objects have a gravitational effect which pulls you to their center, but then physics does not care.  The same with mixing a base with an acid.  You may not like the results, but that does not change them.

on Aug 13, 2014

Dr Guy


Quoting Heavenfall,

In a 100 years



YOu expect to live well past 100?  You are indeed an optimist.

No, I said "In a 100 years I absolutely expect guaranteed basic income to be a thing (in practice it already is)."