The politics of minimum wage are a perpetual motion machine. On one side you’ve got folks who scream “living wage” as if jobs exist to support salaries. (Hint: they don’t. Jobs exist to get shit done; theoretically shit that has a market value.) On the other side you’ve got people who shout “you’ll put people out of work” as if politicians care about that. (Hint: they don’t. For every elected office in America, a vote from an unemployed citizen is just as good as a vote from a guy racking up 60 hours a week. Politicians blovating over unemployment figures is as much for show as anything else they do.)
I for one, have a different view. I am all for robots.
You heard me. I like robots. I’m a busy man. I’ve got shit to do and limited time to do it. I’m not looking for human interaction. I just want my stuff done so I can get back to whatever task I ought to be doing right friggin’ now. Robots serve that purpose well. God bless ’em!
Every time labor gets more expensive, robots become relatively cheaper. I’m cool with that because they reduce the amount of bullshit in my life that’s spent on minor repetitive transactions. Neither political party seems to get this. I am the unserved Citizen that simply wants to get on with things. I neither wish to support unicorn economics nor pine for the good old days. That’s the “Adaptive” part of Curmudgeonry.
Luckily I’ll eventually get as much automation as I want. You will too; like it or not. Numbers always win. With regulation and economic tinkering, labor gets more expensive. For repetitive work, cheap robots beat expensive labor. Whining about it is useless. Also it’s silly. Unless you’re Amish, you don’t really want “the good old days” and you’d hate it if you experienced it. Accept it and move on.
Don’t feel sad. Robots are handy helpers. Many times times I’ve seen a machine replace an entry level job. Almost universally I’ve been happy with the outcome. In general, we all are or the trend would have reversed. I’ll follow with a few examples:
I love the self serve checkouts at the big box stores, no haselings with cashers.n/o
I have a robot laser cutter in my shed. Even though it’s the cheapest, crappiest one on the market it allows me to make things that I either couldn’t make any other way or which would take an age to make by hand. I love it so much I’ve just ordered another, bigger, more powerful one. From China, because although the US-made ones are fantastic machines, they’re ten times the price and I can’t afford to drop the price of a small car on one.
That’s progress. Machines which wouldn’t have been available at any price when I was born are now cheap enough for an ordinary working stiff to afford out of petty cash. This is not a bad thing! People, especially those of a political bent, rarely appreciate how much human progress is driven by technology and how little is actually achieved by politics. The bicycle did more to improve the working conditions of the ordinary person than the communist manifesto (or any other manifesto) ever managed. The internal combustion engine did more still.
Mechanisation should be embraced.
What my favorite McDonalds manager has to say about the future of fast-food robots: “They’re always on time, they don’t talk back, and they don’t spit in the customer’s food.”
Glad to have found you again, and agree withe the above,,,,,,,,,,,,,but. I don’t get the lower post, especially from a hairy guy like you. Last movie I was even tempted by trailer was 7 Pounds,.,Still waited for Prime. I see 50 for the price of one.
Look forward and check everyday. Now, no more beer today for me.
Back when I used to live up north, we had Sheetz and WaWa.
I won’t get into the argument about who made the best subs, that was a rivalry up there in the northeast that outshone the whole Crimson Tide / Tenn Vols thing…
What they had was little automated kiosks where you selected your sub and chose all the fixin’s…then you swiped your credit card and a few minutes later, some flunky would walk up to the counter with a package and call out “Number 167?”
The kiosk didn’t make $15/hour. The kiosk didn’t make anything.
It also didn’t have sick days, or long-term disability.
And it never complained about sexual harassment.
I bumped into a kiosk like that at a bagel shop attached to a gas station in New York. The place was deserted and their bagel stuff was all packed up. Two flunkys stood behind the kiosk while I punched in the order… almost rooted to the floor. They wouldn’t even consider picking up the bagel knife until the kiosk cleared the transaction. Then, the two of them took 10 minutes to toast a bagel. I was wishing the kiosk had a built in toaster.
Soon I will get my Whopper “My Way!”
I’m not sure I can perform those motions right now. The robots have won?
Pingback: Mechanization: Video Epilogue | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog