Animal’s Daily News

Sleepy-Bear

I, For One, Welcome Our New Burger Flipping Overlords.  Excerpt:

The Momentum Machines website is low-key right now, but that may have something to do with high-profile arguments in the press and protests in the streets demanding that fast-food chains pay workers $15 an hour to do the job the company’s robots are designed to fill. Even before those placard-wielders decided to raise their costs in terms of dollars and grief, the San Francisco-based start-up announced that they were obsolete.

Momentum Machines’ old, boastier website claimed:
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 replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.

It does everything employees can do except better:

  • it slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles only 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 after you place your 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.

This, True Believers, is the future of the minimum-wage debate.

There is and always will be a real minimum wage, and that is $0.00/hour.  There is and always will be a law of economics , and that is that a job is only worth the value that the employee returns to the employer.  If the wage is artificially raised above that value, then the job will go away – and above you see that happening.  Minimum wage raised above the value a fast-food employee returns?  Replace them with automated order-taking kiosks and robotified burger lines.

When I myself was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck (with a pink carnation and a pickup truck) most fast-food and other minimum-wage jobs were held by high-school kids making a few extra bucks to spend on cars, girls and other entertainments.  Now you hear a lot about how “you can’t support a family on minimum wage,” to which I can only reply that if you are trying to support a family on one minimum-wage job, you really need to take a good, hard look at your life – and, by the way, teenagers today are mostly unable to gain that valuable entry-level work experience because they are priced out of the market.

Relaxed BearAnd there’s one more little thing:  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is the Imperial Federal government allowed to meddle in voluntary contracts between employee and employer.

But then, it’s not like the denizens of the Imperial City pay all that much attention to the Constitution any more.