McDonald’s, which already has ordering stations—kiosks at its restaurant tables from which diners can order their meals and have them delivered to them—at some 500 of its restaurants in Florida, New York, and California. The Daily Caller, citing CNN Money, says more of these kiosks are scheduled to be added, next year, in McDonald’s restaurants in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and DC.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law a new $15 minimum wage for New York State in 2016, and the University of California has proposed to pay its low-wage employees $15. Florida’s minimum wage will rise I January 2017. Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15 in 2014, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Notice that. The additional kiosks are going into areas that have raised (Chicago and Boston in addition to San Fran and Seattle) or will raise soon their required minimum wage, instead of letting that be an item of negotiation between free workers and free employers. It doesn’t cost $15 to operate one of these kiosks for an hour. Even given the up-front costs of acquiring and installing the kiosks, their life cycle costs are much less than those of a $15/hr unskilled order-taking worker doing unskilled work, given the worker’s training (even if minimal) and high turnover rate costs.
Which is what the Left has known all along, because serious economists have been telling these Know Betters about these outcomes right along. The Left’s policies are actively destructive of the prospects for those the Left claims it’s aiming to help, but those of the Left would rather virtue signal and feel good about themselves than do actual good for others.
Aparna Mathur, Resident Scholar for Economic Policy at the American Enterprise Institute [emphasis added]:
We know that we don’t really need someone to take an order…and we will eventually have machines do it. It is risky to fight for something that could put you out of work[.]
There’s an understatement.