Mike Huckabee News
Aug 01 2013
On Monday, fast food workers in several major cities staged walkouts to protest their pay. Most make minimum wage, and they’re demanding that their pay be doubled. As usual, there are two sides to the story, both with good points. The workers say that in a major city these days, the cost of living is so high that it’s nearly impossible to survive on minimum wage, especially if you have a family to support. That’s one reason why there are record numbers of Americans on food stamps: even many people who are employed are having a hard time putting food on the table for their families. But on the other side, the fast food outlets say they operate on low profit margins and can’t afford to double everyone’s pay. They claim that would force them to raise prices, and in this economy, that would not only harm their business, it would harm the low-paid workers who eat at fast food restaurants.
There is no easy solution, but there is a solution. More and more fast food workers are being replaced with automation. In Europe, McDonald’s has replaced counter workers with touch-screen ordering kiosks. I noticed them this Spring during a trip to Spain, and was impressed with how fast, easy, and efficient they were. And a Chinese company has developed a robot chef that’s being sold to restaurants. For a one-time cost of $1500, they never have to pay the cook again, or provide him with any benefits, other than an occasional oiling. As tough as it might be for low-skilled workers to survive on a fast food job, imagine how much tougher it would be with NO fast-food jobs.