Retail restaurant robots are coming soon to a checkout counter near you.Of course, it's not just raising the minimum wage. It's adding mandatory benefits like Obamacare, sick leave and paid vacations. Machines do have down time, maintenance and repairs. But there are no worries about IRS audits and penalties for adding or removing machines or how many hours a week they work.
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McDonald’s announced this month that it will deploy computer kiosks at 7,000 restaurants in Europe, allowing customers to place their own orders and pay by swiping their own credit card. Another restaurant chain, Panera, is deploying the computer kiosks for customers in the U.S., a development that Bloomberg News reported under the headline, “More Kiosks, Fewer Cashiers Coming Soon To Panera.”
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And it’s not only restaurants. Even Costco, a firm that President Obama has praised for its labor practices, features self-checkout lanes where customers scan the bar codes on their own purchases, then pay by swiping a credit card and signing on a computer scanner. No cash-register employee needed, whether at minimum wage or “living wage.”
Few legislators think of the unintended consequences of the legislation they approve. Worse, the "progressives" who "care" about low wage employees don't care enough to boycott businesses that automate or pay extra to those businesses that cannot or do not. Unfortunately, it's about feel good rather than do good.