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Higher Minimum wage vs Employment
06-06-2016, 04:36 AM
Post: #1
Higher Minimum wage vs Employment
Higher Minimum wage vs Employment
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With the move to higher minimum wages, some restaurants have customers ordering by a computer at each table and McDonalds is increasing its “McRobots.” This is the unintended consequences of higher wage demands which seem to have no good solution without more taking from the wealthy via higher taxes and giving to the poorer with welfare, food stamps, etc.

Automation reported by the Washington Post May 25, 2016, includes Ex-McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi saying “it’s quicker to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.” Wendy’s is currently testing self-service kiosks and exploring broader uses of technology to mitigate rising labor costs. As computers have grown exponentially more powerful, companies have been able to automate more tasks, diminishing the need for human employees. The World Economic Forum estimated earlier this year that their rise would cause a net loss of 5.1 million jobs over the next five years.

In Australia with a high minimum wage, the results have been McDonald’s has gone to smaller portions, and have automated ordering kiosks.
The wage scale escalates as mid-level employees want to maintain the same gap in their wages vs. new hires. This all promotes more wage saving automation. Probably with more robotic manufacturing making order kiosks, and other automation devices. A few humans are needed to push some buttons make settings and of course the CEO’s justify their already huge pay gaps over the average human worker.

Soon we may be able to order most anything by phone or Internet with computers finding it in a warehouse (i.e. Amazon) and a drone sending it to our front door.

Automation and technology solutions have been and are continuing to replace human labor. This has been true over the past 30 years and was accelerated, very subtly, by the great recession and now by the demands for higher minimum wages. Remember the old days of an attendant filling your gas tank?

While this might be good for corporate America and stockholders, it is of course, bad for especially the less educated, job seeking youth and older workers that don’t have the job skills required today. Further, the robots won’t be spending much money buying food or other products vs. higher paid workers being able to spend, save and invest more.

JOLTS – Latest “Job Openings and Labor Turnover” report continues to show a record number of over 5.7 million unfilled job openings. As a percentage of employment + openings, the “Professional and business services” sector has the most openings.

The services sector includes technical services and reflects the lack of availability of being able to keep some of the brightest foreign (especially Asian) technical students after graduation due to the limited number of H-1B visa’s for skilled foreign workers with typically four times the demand in the annual lottery.

As the New York Times pointed out March 9, 2016, industry leaders are desperate for skilled labor. Foreign students are a high percentage of the top U.S. graduate schools for the needed “STEM” skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They can stay in the U.S. for up to 3-years for on-the-job training but then unless they win the visa lottery have to return home and compete against us with their skills.

A 2015 CNN report “The truth about Asian American’s success (it’s not what you think)” for those lucky enough to become U.S. citizens. They are often motivated by “tiger moms” and a supportive network within the U.S.

Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the country largely because they are already among the best educated within their countries and are often more highly educated than the general U.S. population. Economist George Borgas calls it “ethnic capital,” based on institutions such as info-sharing networks and tutoring. The high Ivy League admissions of Asian children of blue-collar parents are due often to hard work and strong families – “that puts Asian Americans on a sure path to success.”

The Institute of International Education Open Doors Report, 2015 shows by far the highest percentage of foreign students are from China followed in order by India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

In churches, temples or community centers, immigrant parents circulate invaluable information about which neighborhoods have the best public schools and the importance of advance-placement classes. This information also circulates through ethnic-language newspapers, television and radio, allowing working-class immigrant parents to benefit from the ethnic capital that their middle-class peers create.

Chinese interviewees described how their non-English speaking parents turned to the Chinese Yellow Pages for information about affordable after-school programs and free college admissions seminars. This, in turn, helps the children whose immigrant parents toil in factories and restaurants attain educational outcomes that defy expectations.

The Wall Street Journal reports how Mr. Shao from China faces a cultural gap. He pledged a fraternity his freshmen year but soon found the drinking rituals and other demands took time away from his studies. “I am majoring in electrical engineering,” says Mr. Shao. “It’s pretty intense.”

“A huge wave of Chinese students entering American higher education seems beneficial for both sides. International students, in particular from China, are clamoring for American credentials, while U.S. schools want their tuition dollars, which can run two to three times the rate paid by in-state students’ reports the Wall Street Journal.

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