I'm cynically amused to read about demonstrations across the country this week, calling for a minimum wage of $15 per hour for fast food workers. If there's a better way for those workers to persuade their bosses to look for a cheaper solution, I don't know what it might be. Consider:
- As mentioned here before, burgers can now be produced by a fully automated system;
- As mentioned here before, fruit smoothies can now be produced by a fully automated system;
- More and more restaurant chains (most notably Chilis and Applebees) have announced the introduction of tablet-computer-based ordering systems at their tables, putting the jobs of many waiters and waitresses at risk.
Instead of addressing these threats to their jobs, the demonstrators are calling for an approximate doubling of their wages. If I were a fast food franchise owner or investor, that would be all the encouragement I needed to replace as many workers as possible with these automated systems. To call these protests 'short-sighted' is the understatement of the year . . .