Invisible Harmful Consequences of High Minimum Wage
It is almost, but not quite, idiot-proof.
It appeared that no more than four or five workers were running the entire operation once we visited during the lunch rush.
Thank goodness workers have valiant Democrats protecting us from greedy employers. Unfortunately, that requires protecting some of us from employment .
It is a sad story when a young person never gets that first job, never gets an opportunity to demonstrate a strong work ethic and punctuality. It corrodes their self-image, and often leads to substance abuse and criminal lifestyles. It’s hard on families and relationships.
Since Allie Beth Stuckey has stated, work isn’t a necessary evil. It is a necessary good. The absence of honorable work creates a vacuum, which vacuum will be filled by something. If not offense, perhaps political extremism. Or maybe both.
Somebody will pay for developing a class of unemployed and unemployable young people, but it won’t be the cynical Progressive politicians. Unemployed, unskilled young folks are not likely to diagnose the reason for their unemployment unless they’ve taken some upper-level economics in college, which is the genius of the Democrats’ position.
They’ll demand and get lavish praise from the beneficiaries of a higher minimum wage, but they’ll never be held accountable for the devastating effect of their legislation on brand new, unskilled workers and their families and communities. That will be attributed to racism, underfunded public instruction or the ever-popular”greedy corporations.”
There was a 2012 fast food strike in nyc, but it got limited traction in the time. I would say the minimum wage groundswell launched from the Progressive precincts of the Pacific Northwest a few years later. Ballot initiatives imposed a number of the minimum wage increases, and some were imposed by city councils.
My work took me through Seattle frequently during this period. In the months after Seattle enacted a stout minimum wage increase, I noticed that several small family-owned restaurants had closed. Kiosks can not wash dishes and bus tables yet.
But down the coast in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, clever engineers and coders were devising the technology that could save the restaurant business from slumping high wages. Good for them, good for the restaurant owners, catastrophic for young, inexperienced workers.
The move to automation, once made, is irreversible. Think about the benefits to a owner: no payroll, no social security contribution, no scheduling play, no instruction, no slip-and-fall or spine injuries, no embarrassing racial accusations, and no #MeToo claims of sexual harassment. The kiosk gives the employer peace of mind, not just financial advantages.
Needless to say, the rest of the back-of-the-house workers can not be replaced by a machine. Yet.
The Democratic platform advocates increasing the current $7.25 national minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Rep. Keith Ellison and Sen. Bernie Sanders have introduced legislation to automatically increase the national minimum wage from that $15, based on median national wage growth. Ellison’s measure would also outlaw the practice of paying tip workers less than the minimum wage. There are, lamentably, already kiosks at restaurant tables, eliminating opportunities for single moms and college kids.
Even President Donald Trump has said he favors an increase to $10 per hour. So that the handwriting is on the wall. The fast food chain executives are not paranoid, just rational. They don’t need to go broke. They don’t want to get fired by stockholders. There will be far more kiosks, and a whole lot fewer employees.