Short story: So I’m at Red Robin. After the food comes, the waiter points in the direction of the “Ziosk” and says that if we’d like to order anything else that we can order on the screen, if we didn’t need anything else, we could check out on the screen as well. I couldn’t help myself. The poor kid was maybe only 20 years old. I was obligated. So I said to the young man, “You know this thing is going to take your job, right?” He laughed and replied, “No sir, these are just here so that customers don’t have to wait for a server all the time. It also really helps when we’re busy and people just want to check out.” I, of course, already knew the answer, but again, I’m obligated to educate. So I say, “yea, but if I can order food on this, drinks, dessert, and checkout. What exactly do they need you for? It’s only a matter of time before they figure out how to replace you too.” He laughed, again, uncomfortable as he backs away and says, “Maybe you’re right.” Maybe?
This leads to a much bigger problem, only highlighted by the current debate surrounding the $15 minimum wage. Before I make a much larger, more important, point, let me just point out a few things:
- Inflation: Have you noticed that there are no longer any dollar menus? And how the McDonalds McPick 2 is now $5 instead of $2? Yes, if you earn more, companies are going to expect you to pay more. If your wages go up by $3 but your cost of living, food and services also goes up by $3, you’re technically not making any more money than you were before. You earn more, but things cost more, thus, you’re breaking even.
- Do you really think the “sign-spinning” guy at MetroPCS, Mattress World and Lil Ceaser is really about to get paid $15 an hour? Really? I know you’ve seen them out there with their headphones, dancing on the sidewalk trying to get your attention. And how many times does Burger King have to mess up your order before we decided that the solution was to pay them more? One thing I can’t handle is the “people can’t survive with a family working fast food.” Surprise! You’re not supposed to! No one is supposed to retire and make a career by making Whoppers and Burger King. Fast food is NOT a career and we shouldn’t be in the business of making it one. It’s a starter job for teenagers to learn and develop some skills and be able to pay their own cell phone bills. It is NOT meant for you to pay your mortgage and lease a 2016 Fiat.
In the end our society will be doomed for one reason: the devalue of labor. Actual, physical, labor, done by human beings. Instead, the working class is building the tools of their own destruction! Making kiosks for McDonalds and Taco Bell so they can eliminate your job. Building machines who can do the jobs of 100 men. But where do those 100 men go when they can’t find, nor have the training for another job?
I hate to sound Marxist (or maybe I don’t), but the ignorance of the working class is being exploited once again, by business elites. As always, they are way ahead of you. Maybe, Lenin was right, the working class is not smart enough to figure out that they are being used and exploited on their own. Clearly the working class needs help. Their ideas and solutions are symbolic of their ignorance and their voting habits and behavior only makes it worst.
Seriously, think about it: A $15 minimum wage, free community college and health care for all citizens. “Something ain’t stirring the Kool-Aid, Ace.” I hate the word deserve. People have no clue what they deserve, let alone what other people do. And their perceptions are always distorted by some disillusioned idealism where they are much stronger, smarter, and valuable than they actually are.
As always, the ignorance of the working class is displayed by the tenacity in which they fight for all the wrong things. It’s like watching a hamster run faster and faster and faster not realizing it doesn’t matter how fast it runs, it’s still not going anywhere. Hence, the working class: fighting for all the wrong things. Instead of fighting for higher wages, how about fighting for actual jobs? Instead of fighting for wages, how about fighting for price control? Higher wages mean absolutely nothing if you can’t control how much things costs (the price of goods and services). But wait, isn’t that Socialism? Yes, it is! If we just raise wages, but private owners are free to raise prices as they wish, then you’re that hamster. Your higher wages are only significant if the prices are controlled so that people can actually buy more stuff or afford to stay in their homes. What America needs is price control, not wage inflation! If you want higher wages but private control of prices, be prepared to stay poor and disadvantaged. If you want to be able to control the prices of gas, housing and food, you want Socialism. Capitalists will always find a way to make a profit. Remember, they are smarter than you. So while you’re busy fighting for $15 minimum wage, they are busy eliminating the minimum wage job. And you’re helping them by building the “ziosks.” You think a capitalist is going to pay a teenager $15 an hour to mess up your chicken soft taco? Nope. They will hire less workers to compensate for the increase in wages. People will get $15 minimum wages, but there will be less people working as they are replaced by automated tellers, internet chat, and fast food kiosks.
The only solution is Marxist in nature (I know, I know). Destroy the mean of production. It sounds very Terminator 2-ish. We must destroy the machines before they not only take our jobs, but soon they will be our military too and we will be fighting for our lives’ economically and physically. We have to re-introduce the value of human labor, otherwise there will be no need for us. There will be no job that we can do that a machine cannot. At this point, humans become expendable, unnecessary, and utterly useless in the production of goods and services. Destroy the machines, before the machines destroy you…