Monday, October 27, 2014

Hillary Clinton: Raising the Minimum Wage Won't Kill Jobs

At a recent campaign rally, Hillary Clinton said this: “Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs, they always say that.”

That comment is sheer stupidity. Forcing higher wages always puts jobs at risk.  It is why union jobs have declined from a peak of 35% of the workforce in 1954 to today's meager 9%.  The same is true for minimum wage jobs.

Millions of minimum wage jobs have already been lost to automation. Raising it will only hasten that trend.

One of the most plentiful minimum wage jobs before the introduction of the fast food restaurant was that of the gas station attendant at a full-service gas station.  Millions of these jobs have been eliminated by the broad application of automated self-service pumps. ATM's have replaced the need for millions of teller jobs.  Self-checkout lanes in grocery stores and stores like Home Depot are also killing  jobs.  Many hotels and motels have abandoned sit-down breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurants in favor of a complimentary self-serve breakfast that is easily handled by only one or two members of the normal housekeeping staff; thus eliminating minimum wage waitresses, busboys, and dishwashers.  

I guarantee, that if there is another 40% increase in the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour in the next year or so, there will be an eventual blood bath of these jobs being lost.

First, small businesses that are heavily labor intensive and already marginally profitable will have to shutter their doors because, to raise prices in order to cover the higher cost of labor, would make them non-competitive to other, more labor-efficient competitors.  Others will raise prices but, as a result, may see a loss of foot traffic because some of their customers will no longer be able to afford the new higher prices.  As a result, this could cause layoffs or, worst case, bankruptcy.  This would be especially true for businesses who are operating in blighted and economically depressed areas of our major metropolitan cities such as Detroit.  Areas that can ill afford any more job losses.

Secondly, automation will become more cost effective.  I could easily see robotic arms, hanging from  ceilings, in retrofitted fast food restaurants, that are able to cook and bag fries, cook and assemble sandwiches, or do whatever.  Kiosks could easily replace order takers and cashiers. All the while killing jobs.  The technology is already here.  After all, look at all the manufacturing jobs that have already succumbed to robotics.  And, artificial intelligence has advanced to the point where we already have self-driving and self-parking cars.  So, cooking and assembling a burger can't be that impossible for a machine to do. In fact it isn't impossible.  A company by the name of Momentum Machines will soon start introducing gourmet burger operations that are fully robotic.  Some hotels are already introducing robotic butlers that would replace traditional bell hops.  Then, too, there is already a robot, called the Vigilant MCP, that is able to replace your average low-paid security guard.

So, go ahead and believe Hillary.  But, don't say you weren't warned when the inevitable loss of jobs begins happening. To me, pushing a higher minimum wage will only hasten to push those kinds of jobs out of existence.

One last thing.  In that very same speech, Hillary made another remarkable claim: “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs...”  Well, every month, when the government reports job gains, it's from the private sector.  Typically, 64% of those jobs are from small businesses with the rest from larger businesses and corporations.

She wants to be our next President?  Sometimes, even the idiot Joe Biden makes more sense.  At least he's honest about not being rich!


“Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs, they always say that.”:

Labor unions in the United States:

AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs:

The ‘Fight for $15’ Suffers A Setback As McDonald’s Flirts With Automation:

Here's The Burger-Flipping Robot That Could Put Fast-Food Workers Out Of A Job:

Panera Bread Will Replace Cashiers With Robots By 2016:

McDonald's orders 7,000 touchscreen kiosks to replace cashiers:

Nextep Systems: Self Order Kiosks for Restaurants:

Robot Butlers: Automated Room Service at Aloft Hotels!:

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.:

Employment Report: Table A:

Small Business Administration: Job Creation:

Joe Biden: I'm not rich:

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