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Big Robot welcomes your $15 per hr minimum wage

Big Robot welcomes your $15 per hr minimum wage

No one saw this coming.

On my way back from Israel earlier this week, I saw a model of efficiency.

Big Robot.

This is an emerging phenomenon we first reported about in August 2014, McDonald’s Replacing Cashiers With Machines?

By the third quarter of next year, McDonald’s plans to introduce new technology in some markets “to make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and to give people the ability to customize their orders,” reports the Journal. Mr. Thompson, the CEO, said Tuesday that customers “want to personalize their meals” and “to enjoy eating in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere. And they want choices in how they order, choices in what they order and how they’re served.”


The move to a $15 per hour minimum wage for fast food workers will only accelerate the process.

As the progressives have increasingly pushed the 15 dollar per hour federal minimum wage, and with California already at $10/hour and rising to $15/hour, fast food corporations have been anticipated to pursue alternative methods to maintain profitability. Wendy’s recently announced that they will rolling out self service kiosks in the latter part of 2016 across the US. Technological advances and other sea-changes in society often reveal truths about our world, and the discerning man will find this no exception.

Although the pictures of the McDonald’s kiosks in Asia have been making the rounds on Facebook and similar recently with pithy predictions of liberal comeuppance, this is the first news of this employee headcount reducing technology coming to fast food in the US. Self service checkouts have been around in Wal-Marts and similar for years offered as an alternative to express checkouts, but these are deliberately designed to replace, not augment, workers, and that’s a different ball game entirely.


Fast Food Kiosk McDonals Meme - Say Hello to your replacement


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Xenomethean | June 11, 2016 at 9:37 pm

I can finally get my order the way I ordered it.

The next thing will be robot busting union thugs.

So, this is what full employment will look for the Robotic Community just a few more steps down the road blazed by Obamic Economic Policies!

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to Doug Wright. | June 11, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    There’s the question: Is work for people, or are people for work? It seems the direction that were headed is one that the answer is that it will be more for our technology. Our moral and ethical discussions are sorely lacking in what then is life to be for human beings.

    Somewhere along the way I heard that a healthy person had a balanced life of work and play. I don’t know what this suggests when we seem to be witnessing increasingly larger corporations with a tendency to require not more but fewer employees.

    It’s a dilemma for much discussion and debate, although we seem to be losing the capacity for this as well.

      So, is our human future to be more like “Logan’s Run” or like “Soylent Green?” Or, perhaps a combination of those two views of a dystopian future.

      Olinser in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | June 11, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      The only ‘dilemma’ is in the minds of dumbass liberals.

      Companies exist for one primary purpose – to make money.

      They do not exist to provide people with jobs. They do not exist to provide people a ‘balance’ between work and play.

      Now that increasingly clueless Democrat politicians are demanding higher and higher wages for completely unskilled workers, robots are cheaper AND more reliable. So unskilled workers are being replaced whenever possible.

      This is basic economics.

        DieJustAsHappy in reply to Olinser. | June 12, 2016 at 6:52 am

        The continued development and implementation of technology is a legitimate concern, one that seems to be growing in the magnitude of its impact on society. Whether dealt with by the private sector, the public one, or both, it’s a matter that cannot and will not be ignored.

        Projections of the number of jobs that will disappear in the next 5 – 10 years are an indication of such.

      Anonamom in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | June 12, 2016 at 11:23 am

      I agree; this is a discussion we should be having, but aren’t.

      Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart touched on this a bit. Mostly, he’s a demographer and simply describes the changing structure of our society, but his discussion of the division of our culture along the lines of those able to perform valuable work in a high-tech society vs. those who can’t is pretty eye-opening.

    El Cid defender of the Faith in reply to Doug Wright. | June 12, 2016 at 8:38 am

    In all of this discussion, a point should be made about how this is working.

    I have experienced this technology in my country.

    The people who were taking the orders were Africans who didn’t speak the language we speak. They did not lose their jobs.


rance arnold | June 11, 2016 at 10:33 pm

A lot of places already allow you to order via an app. Big surprise this would come along, get those folks without smartphones.

legacyrepublican | June 11, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Many restaurants we go to now have started to have a tablet like device at the table where you can order and pay your bill.

They’re getting us used to the idea.

Conservative Beaner | June 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm

This is the voice of Colossus, this is the voice of Guardian. Do you want fires with that burger?

At one time yarn and thread was hand made with a spinning wheel. At one time cloth was woven at home on a loom. At one time land was plowed behind a team of mules. And then came automation.

Minimum wage in the Netherlands. As of July 1, 2015, the minimum wage (gross) for a full-time employee aged 23 or older is … 8.7 euros (9.8 dollars) per hour based on a 40 hour working week.

I am sure direct cost comparison is not accurate, but this seems to be in ballpark for the machines to come to US.

I would certainly use them. And, judging by what I see in supermarkets, where I often see a line in front of self-checkout while smaller lines or none at all in front of cashiers, I bet other people feel same way.

    I actually usually prefer to use the cashiers, but that’s because I’m frugal (read: a cheapskate) and buy a lot of stuff that’s discounted, on sale or on the “priced to sell” rack. Advantage of having no particular brand loyalty.

    I actually used to teach an entire two hour seminar on how to do retirement/college savings planning simply by changing grocery and convenience food purchasing habits by $25/week.

    The pricing stickers on those aren’t always the best, so sometimes the clerks need to manually punch in the price.

    The $50+ I save every other week is worth the 5 minutes in line.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Chuck Skinner. | June 12, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      I look at it from the standpoint of: I am getting no discount for doing my own clerking, so, unless I have just one or two items and am in a hurry, I use the clerks.

JackRussellTerrierist | June 12, 2016 at 1:59 am

Perhaps this will encourage kids to do better in school and inspire some ambition and initiative in them.

Instead of doing the job a robot can replace, learn how to build robots or another important skill. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. This is way.

It always boils down to the survival of the fittest.

I hope the robots grind down the stupidity, greed and mental laziness of those demanding $15ph to flip burgers.

What I’m wondering is if robots will eventually be installed in menial jobs that are in right-to-work states where wages are low, mainly the South. Stupid hillbilly southerners could use a kick in the a$$.

    Depends on the Job. Menial, repetitive tasks with no discretion and no judgment SHOULD be automated, and those workers should be RETRAINED into positions that create value for the employer. If you can make the sales: Grow the company. I don’t necessarily want a bigger slice of the same-size pie. I want the same percentage slice of a bigger pie ENTIRELY.

    In a past career before I became an attorney, I used to work in manufacturing in the company my family owns. After working for several years in the “production” positions, and then as an ISO/QS Auditor, I was eventually put in a supervisory position over the parts cleaning and inspection department.

    At that time, we had 9 people doing “100%” inspection (in addition to certain other inspection processes); physically looking at EVERY part being produced for certain customers. 9 people, being paid $7-$8 per hour. $140,400 per year and adding NO VALUE to the process.

    By the end of my first week, my question was “how do we automate this process?”

    I spent $40K and commissioned a machine that replaced 3 of them within 3 months, and then a year later convinced the management to spend $250K to solve the problem that was creating the majority of the remainder of the issues. It worked so well that they spent ANOTHER $250K and bought a second machine to replace another process that was causing issues.

    Those 9 people, were trained to run production machines and, instead of simply reviewing work others had done, were put into positions to create value, where they started getting paid $11-$12 per hour, and generating $3-$4 per direct labor dollar for the company. (net difference +$655,200 annually).

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Chuck Skinner. | June 12, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      It will be interesting to find where the cost effectiveness of the robot investment kicks in in relation to the cost of a minimum wage order taker, burger flipper, etc..

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | June 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    What about stupid, nose-in-the-air, know-it-all, fire-proof union-protected northeasterners who look down their nose at southerners?

    LOL!! Are you talking about Bill?

    ” Stupid hillbilly southerners could use a kick in the a$$.”

    Come on down and I’ll introduce you to some ass kickers.

    whoa now…..I am one of those “Hillbillies” in a right-to-work state (SC) and am gainfully employed by a producer of luxury vehicles. My job entails maintenance and repair on the robots that paint the bodies of said luxury vehicles. I take offense at your comment. After all, I prefer to view myself as “Unwashed yet well-read”!

    Stupid hillbilly southerners could use a kick in the a$$.

    Ummm, those would be the Stupid hillbilly southerners who are having all the tech and manufacturing jobs move to the SOUTHERN states do to the policies put forth by progtards like, well, YOU.

Let us keep several things in mind.

I think it is great laughing at people who are screaming/protesting/rioting that they should be paid more losing their jobs to machines. But remember that many of the people doing these jobs are not protesting. Others are protesting because they are scared to not protest. Instead of snitches gets stiches we see scabs get stabs.

This would have happen much earlier except for one thing, the influx of illegal immigrants driving wages down. Banks have been doing this for more then three decades.

Teaching has been going this way for some time: udacity,Coursera, edX. Hell the first place I go to learn about a new tool is youtube.

As has been pointed out in previous discussions, the legal establishment is fighting tooth and nail to stop people from being able to file some documents. Usually through lobbying, their form of protesting.

The law of scarcity is not yet dead but it is severely wounded. If the cost of food was not artificially propped up it would be dirt cheap. Same for clothes. Housing will fall when the cost to put up a house falls because much of the work can be done. Technology is getting to the point where the greater benefit of getting something newer and bigger is not worth the work you need to do to get it. The old and smaller are just as good.

At first it will not make much difference. Remember that not so long ago half of our adult population did not work. But the trend will continue. In about 20 years or so we will be looking at massive unemployment in a booming economy,

The question will be what will people do with their spare time. There will be a lot of people saying that they should just spend it getting high and having sex. Others will say that the spare time corrupts and that we will have to make work for people and force them to do it. Most of those people, of course, will not be doing any real work themselves. Done right we could provide everyone with the opportunity for a good life, Done wrong it could be a disaster.

And in the future people won’t even have the option of digging ditches for a living.

And people won’t even have

    RodFC in reply to RodFC. | June 12, 2016 at 4:21 am

    PS: Done right we can make a future where people can follow their passions until they find one that they are good at.

      Ahh, the corruptive influence of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” on the view of the world. People work for the joy of working because the requirements to produce are so inexpensive and automated that cost-of-living is free.

      I’m of the mindset that most of the population will simply be “takers” and not “producers” because creation is hard. I see it too often in my interactions with my criminal clients, where if they had the ability, they would stay home on the couch, eating Cheetos and smoking weed.

      Until we develop “replicator” technology, there will always be economic or functional resource limits.

      We’ve tried to smooth those limits out by creating market-distortions (subsidies) for certain time-intensive processes (like farming) to prevent huge swings in food availability if a particular farm fails, and we can argue about if that is good or bad from a “variety of producers” standpoint.

        You think Star Trek is corrputing? Check out The Marching Morons. or any of the other Pohl and Kornbluth stories based on it which show the moron point of view. Two extremes of the same future. You chose. I prefer the Star Trek.

        As an aside, the environment we see in Star Trek is a “neo-military” environment. Most take place on ships similar to military vessels and commercial ships, where the economy is pretty much the same as it is now. The other is on a military base, Outside that military economy we see only small parts. Furthermore we see the exaggerations we often see in fiction.

        As for the Cheetos eating weed smoking criminals of yours. I suspect that is society let him do just just he would be a more productive member of society ( by being a less destructive member ) then he is now. What he does with his soul, that is his business. Can’t say it’s thriving much right now.

        I know that if I did not have to work, I would bicycle more, spend time studying some math I would like to learn, and trying to write improved versions of programs I see as falling short of what they should be. People I know would be similarly engaged.

        Not everyone is a leech and we see a whole community of active people doing good stuff. They are called retired people.

    Have you watched the movie Moneyball?

Progressive and their unions will now demand high-priced service contracts to “ensure” the robots are maintained and work.

I find it interesting how the left hides the racist roots of many of their basic policy positions:
a) Planned Parenthood
b) Minimum wages
c) Gun Control
d) Segregation via “diversity” and “immigration” (no integration)

They get the effects by putting lipstick on a pig.

I’m looking forward to robots at the DMV.

It’s already here. Panera’s in my neighborhood has eliminated a bank of cashiers and put in computer order screens.