Friday, September 5, 2014

Protesting yourself right out of a job


Hundreds of fast-food workers and labor allies demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested in sit-ins around the country on Thursday, as the protesters used civil disobedience to call attention to their cause.

Organizers said nearly 500 protesters were arrested in three dozen cities — including Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Little Rock, Ark. All told, the sit-ins took place in about 150 cities nationwide, the organizers said.

In Milwaukee, United States Representative Gwen Moore, Democrat of Wisconsin, was arrested along with several fast-food workers.

“I’m doing this for better pay,” said Crystal Harris, a McDonald’s worker from St. Louis, minutes before she sat down in the middle of 42nd Street in Manhattan outside a McDonald’s restaurant about 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. “I struggle to make ends meet on $7.50 an hour.”

What Crystal and her fellow revolutionaries do not seem to understand is that history and progress wait for no one. Someone should forward the following website to her and the other compatriots:

Fast food doesn’t have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.

Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.
It does everything employees can do except better:
  • it slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.
  • our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.
  • Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.
  • it’s more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.
The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.

Oops I don't need Crystal and her demands for a living wage for flipping burgers. I can get a machine to do her job faster, better, cleaner, and cheaper. I will note that the company that makes these machines is offering former burger flippers the opportunity to become installers and mechanics for these robots. I would drop my picket sign and hustle over there Crystal before the class fills up. But hey it isn't about Crystal and making her life better its about politicians getting a photo op and union officials getting dues paying members. Right? If you cannot create $15/hr in value than you will not be paid $15/hr, at least in a free market. The reason that burger flippers make low wages is because anyone can do the job so there is a large pool of labor available for that job. Supply/ Demand, do they still teach this in high school economics class? Importing 20 million illiterate/semi literate peasants from Mexico and Central America is not helping Crystals cause either. Curiously, no mention of that in the New York Times article. That's a subject for another time.

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