Friday, March 18, 2016

Here We Go: Carl’s Jr. To Automate Away Hiked Minimum Wage Jobs

by JASmius

Here's an expression I bet none of you have ever heard before: "As Seattle goes, so goes America":

The CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s has visited the fully automated restaurant Eatsa — and it’s given him some ideas on how to deal with rising minimum wages.

“I want to try it,” CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider of his automated restaurant plans. “We could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”

Puzder’s interest in an employee-free restaurant, which he says would be possible only if the company found time as Hardee’s works on its northeastern expansion, has been driven by rising minimum wages across the U.S.

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” he says. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.” [emphases added]

Airports have already been automated.  Heck, the last time I flew anywhere - 1999, for the record - I never had to deal with a single human being to check in, get my boarding pass, or anything else (yes, today I'd have to get my junk juggled, which is why if I ever finally get the chance to journey to SoCal to actually meet the Director in person, I'll probably take a train).  I just went to the afore-referred computerized kiosk at Sea-Tac Airport, tapped a few touch-pads, it printed out my boarding pass, and I was on my way.  Supermarkets have already moved in that direction as well with their U-Scan areas (which I love, by the way, until the damned machine starts clucking "An attendant has been notified to assist you" when I never made any such request; grrrrrr.....).  Pretty much all of them have 'em, along with traditional staffed checkout lanes, the latter of which only haven't been phased out entirely, I'm guessing, because those jobs are unionized.  Which, in turn, should tell you the workers that Big Labor will be unionizing next.

Automation is the direction in which our society is headed anyway - the "singularity" cometh - skyrocketing minimum wage laws are just greasing the slipway.  But here's a parting thought for your consideration: Won't automation also do away with a lot of the jobs that "Americans just won't do"?  Might it lead to the "self-deportation" of illegal aliens that Mitt Romney sagely proposed and was laughed at for suggesting - including by Donald Trump?  Maybe Skynet won't be so bad after all.

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