Minimum Wage, Minimum Employment

Image Credit: Analytics Insight

“Companies that are in the automation market production sector have seen a remarkable increase in their sales. The fast-food industry, supermarkets, gas stations, and plenty of businesses have turned to automated help instead of manual mechanisms.” Analytics Insight, 19 May 2020 | HOW DOES MINIMUM WAGE AFFECT THE AUTOMATION MARKET?

All types of retail sales companies, from Walmart and Sam’s Club to Kroger grocery stores swiftly incorporate self-checkout where one employee oversees multiple automated kiosks. Each of those automated checkout kiosks represent two or more displaced, entry-level former employees.

Sam’s Club goes a step further with its self checkout system that uses the customer’s cell phone to scan purchases. My wife and I use it and we applaud it for its simplicity, no waiting in line for either a human cashier or a self-checkout kiosk. What is the minimum wage Sam’s Club pays the automated equipment? When does overtime pay kick in? What about employee insurance, payroll taxes, and fringe benefit packages for the automation equipment?

Capice? (Italian lingo for, ‘Got the picture?’)

A local manufacturer of automobile air conditioning equipment has a large, modern facility and a very large parking lot that used to be full of the cars of shift workers. Today, viewing the parking lot leaves the impression that factory is almost out of business. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Amazing automated manufacturing produces more product faster and much more efficiently than the former labor force. The automated equipment never complains, never threatens to strike, works tirelessly with minimal human effort involved.

The social democrats like AOC think an enforceable minimum wage will alleviate poverty. History says otherwise.

A government mandated minimum wage is a poor substitute for acquiring new skills. At this point, I plainly state the obvious: public education has failed us.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Published by John White

A lifetime (over 50 years) of experiences with automation and control systems ranging from aerospace navigation, radar, and ordinance delivery systems to the world's first robotic drilling machine for the oil patch, to process-control systems, energy management systems and general problem-solving. At present, my focus is on self-funding HVAC retrofit projects and indoor air quality with a view to preventing infections from airborne pathogens.

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