Sunday, December 22, 2013

Minimum Wage Increase Blowback: Hamburger Ordering Automation

Craig Newmark writes:

"Bolt Burgers: the most high-tech burger you’ll ever order, coming soon"

Go ahead, Liberals, raise the minimum wage. You'll see a lot more stuff like this.
You can order food without having a single interaction with another human being . .


  1. Yep, drive through scanners for your fast food bill coming soon! Next cyborg burger flippers. The progressives won't make the connection though because unemployment will not happen immediately after new MW laws are instituted. BFW

  2. I noted this a few weeks ago, add Jamba Juice to the list

  3. You have to cut some slack to all those pitiful fast-food workers who believed their economically-illiterate handlers: It takes a lot of mental effort and discipline to learn that the laws of economics are unbreakable. Or at least, it can be a very expensive lesson to learn. It was the same for all those extinct gas station full-service workers; so it will be with fast-food workers, the lesson being that when you make something more expensive than the market-clearing price, the demand for substitutes will increase and that for the original product will decrease. It's a simple lesson, yet always unfathomable for those that rely on moral arguments to make economic arguments.

  4. I am friends with the owner of several units of another very large fast food chain. That chain is already looking at a fully automated, no-human-contact ordering system in reaction to Obamacare, which is another form of a minimum wage increase. In fact, Obamacare probably represents a more significant minimum wage increase and when it is added on top of the planned increases in the direct minimum wage, it spells disaster for low-wage, fast food workers. The fast food chains themselves will do fine. They simply will be forced to adjust by cutting back on the number of outlets, automating the ones they keep, offering higher end menu items that can justify the higher costs of production, etc. In other words, there are many different combinations of labor, capital, and consumer good from which an entrepreneur can derive a profit. So they will adjust the combination to cut back on low-level workers. Those low-level workers will then have to gravitate to unregulated or off-the-books fields, like short-term contract labor, a la, hanging around outside of Home Depot for cash-paid day labor.