As your standard technology-fearing, new-world-order-watching conservative Christian conspiracy theorist, it’s hard for me to even fathom the idea of supporting robots making my Big Mac. I shouldn’t be eating many Big Macs in the first place, but assuming I will, what does that say about the state of the fast food industry and the rise of the $15 national minimum wage rhetoric?
It has always made financial sense for businesses to use low-wage employees to support low-skill jobs such as those in the fast food industry. If wages are going to rise as most on the left seem bent to make happen, then businesses in many industries will need to be prepared for switches to the way they do business. One of those changes will be to consider (or reconsider) the option of automation. It’s an evil word to many of us, including me, but when we really look at the pros and cons, it starts to make more sense.
Let’s start with the cons:
- Loss of jobs. This is obviously the part that I’ve always been most against.
- Robot overlords. While I still believe that Skynet is a few years away, there’s always a chance of a burger-building death machine spawning from this.
Now, let’s look at the pros:
- Cheaper production costs. This isn’t the case when fast food employees are making what they should be making as fast food employees, but at $15 an hour it suddenly becomes potentially cheaper to automate.
- Cleaner burgers. I use the drive-thru the vast majority of the time when I get fast food. It’s not that I’m lazy or in too big of a hurry; depending on the drive-thru line it can be quicker to go inside. I simply want to hide my eyes from the health risks that my paranoid mind sees every time I watch them making my Big Mac.
- Consistency. As you’ll see in the video below, those nasty burgers can be consistently nasty if built by a robot.
- Forced skills training. The old way was to use a low-level job as either a place to support yourself through school or a launching pad that one could use to get advancements. The new way is apparently going to be to start off at $15 per hour, leaving no need for improvement. If robots replace many low-level jobs, that means that people will have to improve their education and/or work skills just to be able to get a job in the first place.
The concern over a national $15 minimum wage is real. To me, it’s clear that the pros of burger automation greatly outweigh the risks of our robot overlords expediting their rise.
Here’s the video that prompted this article. Enjoy, and be afraid. Be very afraid.