It happens every year. People who work minimum wage jobs, as if they were designed to provide a middle class lifestyle, complain about minimum wage pay. Over the last few years, protests have been held by fast food workers to double the national minimum wage to $15 per hour in an attempt to make life easier for those who work minimal skill jobs. Without going into a big diatribe on how that is a terrible idea, we are going to look at how McDonald’s is finding a way to pay employees more while raising their stock value.
While on the way to work, I would often drive past or get coffee at a McDonald’s in Phoenix, AZ. One day, the restaurant was just gone. This is not that big of a surprise; as these fast food joints are often torn down to build newer ones in their place. See, just like the employees, the buildings themselves are completely replaceable with little effort. Well, the surprise came a few days later. When this new McDonald’s opens on the Fourth of July, the employees will be more than just replaced. They will be non-human.
This new restaurant will be the first to employ almost nothing but robots. Sure, there will be a few humans that ensure the robots are working, the freezers are stocked with food, and the supply cabinet has all of the required cleaning supplies, but all the bulk of the work will be conducted by machines. Customers will order from, pay, and receive food from robots that cook food and collect money.
With only having to pay a few employees per store, rather than a few dozen, McDonald’s employees may finally realize their dream of working fast food and earning $15 an hour. Of course, before long, they may need a degree in robotics to keep this job, but hey, it’s not minimum wage, right!
The store manager, in an interview, stated that he had been working with these robots for about six months before the Phoenix restaurant was demolished to make way for the fast food of the future and that he loved his experience. It seems that his job was made easier by not having to worry about employees taking smoke breaks, not observing health code regulations, not showing up for work, or falling short of claims made during interviews. Each robot has the same work ethic, never needs a break, never smells of smoke, and is never late for work.
As great as that all is for the manager and stock holders, the market for minimum wage jobs has just been reduced. Before long, fast food joints will not be a high school kid’s first job to build job skills in preparation for future jobs. These jobs will be for those who have management skills and experience with working alongside robots. No longer will McDonald’s pay for first year tuition or gas money for the weekend bonfire. Instead, Ronald McDonald will pad the wallets of Silicon Valley.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.