Let’s start with automation. In 2013, when the Fight for $15 was still in its growth stage, I and others warned that union demands for a much higher minimum wage would force businesses with small profit margins to replace full-service employees with costly investments in self-service alternatives. At the time, labor groups accused business owners of crying wolf. It turns out the wolf was real.But wait, it gets worse!
Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced the nationwide roll-out of touchscreen self-service kiosks. In a video the company released to showcase the new customer experience, it’s striking to see employees who once would have managed a cash register now reduced to monitoring a customer’s choices at an iPad-style kiosk.
It’s not just McDonald’s that has embraced job-replacing technology. Numerous restaurant chains (both quick service and full service) have looked to computer tablets as a solution for rising labor costs that won't adversely impact the customer’s experience. Eatsa, a fully-automated restaurant concept, now has five locations—all in cities or states that have embraced a $15 minimum wage. And in a scene stolen from The Jetsons, the Starship delivery robot is now navigating the streets of San Francisco with groceries and other consumer goods. The company’s founder pointed to a rising minimum wage as a key factor driving the growth of his automated delivery business.Some businesses have been driven out of business or been forced to relocate due to the new minimum wage driving their labor costs upwards, in some cases more than doubling. This has meant many of the low margin businesses have either cut staff hours, cut staff numbers, closed their doors, or moved. Raising prices to cover the much higher labor costs were a non-starter because now their goods or services are too expensive for some of their customers.
To see just how many businesses have already been affected, the website The Faces Of 15 lists a number of businesses in a number fo cities and states that have been adversely affected by these higher minimum wages. Some might surprise you.
While a $15 minimum wage will make those on the Left feel better about themselves because the believe they have 'helped' those less fortunate than themselves, the reality is that millions of gainfully employed people will lose their jobs because of this supposed 'help'. Of course the Left won't see that it was their actions that actually caused the problem to begin with.