For years, economic experts, conservatives, and futurists have warned laborers fighting for a raise in the minimum wage: You’re not going to like the end results. Now it appears that national groups like the Fight for $15 movement may be upon their day of reckoning.
Groups like Fight for $15 have been campaigning ferociously over the past year to encourage fast food restaurants to increase the amount they pay workers. Their efforts may be in the midst of backfiring, however, because McDonalds is experiencing some woes in the old revenue department. With a 30% decline in profits over the last quarter, the fast food giant is said to be looking to the future. And that future probably doesn’t include doubling the amount they spend on unskilled labor.
A New Age
According to the Wall Street Journal, fears of unionization and higher wage demands have led McDonalds to look into the brave new world of automation. By late next year, the company plans to roll out new technology in several test markets, giving customers the power to order and pay for their meals digitally. This would all but eliminate the need for cash register employees, should the experiments turn out to be successful.
What the organizers behind the Fight for $15 campaign don’t understand is that you can’t buck reality. The marketplace determines the value of an employee. Fresh out of 10th grade with no marketable skills? You get minimum wage. It’s not McDonalds’ fault that adults are trying to raise six kids on their meager fry-cook wages. How we’ve ever gotten to the point where anything of the like could be suggested is beyond my understanding.
As legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said on the subject: you can’t get rich by demand. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to make more money. You make yourself more valuable. You learn new skills, you do more than you’re paid for, you look for fresh opportunities. It’s not rocket science. Sure, some people will be content to spend their entire lives at the bottom of the ladder, but why does that put on obligation on taxpayers and corporations? Because you don’t have the guts to go out and take what America has to offer, we have to subsidize you? Ridiculous.
Whether this new McDonalds system works or not is largely immaterial. Big changes are coming to the marketplace. Those jobs at the bottom of the wage ladder will be the first to go, replaced by robots, apps, and computers that do the work with far fewer mistakes, far fewer absences, and far fewer headaches. As long as a nuclear war doesn’t send us back to the stone ages, the way forward is inevitable. The early indications can already be seen at any grocery store with a self-checkout line, any gas station with pay-at-the-pump services, and any dining chain with table technology that lets you pay without waiting for the server. Workers who depend on low-wage jobs to pay the bills might want to find better ways to prepare than protest.