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It's Different This Time: Humans Need Not Apply
Townhall.com ^ | August 17, 2014 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 08/17/2014 4:32:19 PM PDT by Kaslin

On August 7, I wrote about "McCashier" Your $15.00 Per Hour McDonald's Worker Replacement.

Sure. You can make $15 an hour at McDonald's, at least in Seattle. You just have to perform better than this machine.



Many commented along the lines of "What's the big deal? It's only a cashier. There are more cooking jobs that cannot be replaced."

For example reader Chris commented ...

A McDonalds worker isn't a "cashier." The person who works the front end doesn't just take orders and money. The person who works up front also fills drinks for drive thru. They clean the restrooms and dining areas. They help assemble food if needed(dropping fries.) Does the machine do all those things? If it doesn't then it isn't really replacing anything or more cost effective then a person. There is usually 2-3 people in the back assembling food and 2 people up front taking orders, handling money, assembling trays with ordered food, preparing drinks for drive thru, etc., etc. You could get the kiosk and the stupid burger machine and still have more than enough work for those 5 people.

Really? What about robot cooks, robot greeters, and even robot waiters?

Robot Cooks, Greeters, Waiters

The Times of India reports Robots Greet, Cook and Deliver Dishes at this Restaurant in China.

It's more teatime than Terminator — a restaurant in China is electrifying customers by using more than a dozen robots to cook and deliver food. Mechanical staff greet customers, deliver dishes to tables and even stir-fry meat and vegetables at the eatery in Kunshan, which opened last week.

"My daughter asked me to invent a robot because she doesn't like doing housework," the restaurant's founder Song Yugang told AFP.

Two robots are stationed by the door to cheerfully greet customers, while four short but humanoid machines carry trays of food to the tables.

In the kitchen, two large blue robots with glowing red eyes specialize in frying, while another is dedicated to making dumplings.

Song told the local Modern Times newspaper that each robot costs around 40,000 yuan ($6,500) — roughly equal to the annual salary of a human employee.

"The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences. They can't get sick or ask for vacation. After charging up for two hours they can work for five hours," he added.

Robot Waiters



A restaurant in China is electrifying customers by using more than a dozen robots to cook and deliver food. (AFP Photo)

Robot Cooks



This photo taken on August 13, 2014, shows a robot cooking vegetables in a kitchen of a restaurant in Kunshan. (AFP Photo)

Humans Need Not Apply

Many people sent me a link to Humans Need Not Apply.



The 15 minute video is well done and very thought provoking. It's well worth your time to play it.

Is It Different This Time?

The gist of the video is that "It's Different This Time", that no matter what your job is, your job is in jeopardy.

I have stated that over the long haul, technology creates jobs, but there are periods of creative destruction where the opposite happens. For example: How many millions of jobs did the internet revolution create? Did they all vanish?

No they did not vanish, and they all won't.

Yet, we are in a creative destruction phase where computers take jobs away. Will this change? I don't know the catalyst, but historically speaking, it always has.

What about the meantime? And for those who think the setup is permanent, the problem has even more severe implications.

Many readers have written this is why we need a "guaranteed income", not a guaranteed minimum "living wage". Let's quickly dispense with such nonsense.

Pay people to do nothing and you promote doing nothing. Do we have enough energy resources to give everyone on the planet, a guaranteed "living income"?

The answer is no, we don't.

Reflections on Productivity

The natural state of affairs because of increased productivity over time is an increased standard of living, more free, time, and falling prices.

Productivity and technological breakthroughs are inherently price-deflationary.

Enter the Fed and central banks in general. Central banks are hell bent on producing 2% or more inflation in a deflationary world.

That is the source of the battle over "living wages".

The problem is money does not go far enough, rather than people do not make enough. Realistically, no one in their right mind should care if wages fall, if increased productivity makes prices fall faster.

But central banks do not want prices to fall. Nor do those who control the assets (the banks, the bureaucrats, and the already wealthy) want prices to fall.

So, with the Fed promoting inflation, bureaucrats promoting higher and higher minimum wages, and with the Fed holding interest rates artificially low, corporations have every incentive to replace workers with robots at a Fed-induced artificially high rate.

Two Possible Solutions

The solution is not higher minimum wages. The solution is not a tax on robots like Paul Krugman wants. The solution is not a guaranteed income.

The solution is to eliminate the Fed, eliminate fractional reserve lending, and give the free market a chance to create jobs at its own pace, without all this government and central bank interference.

The alternative "solution" and not one I support, is to kill off a lot of needless people by starting WWIII.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: economy

1 posted on 08/17/2014 4:32:19 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Robot hamburger factory makes 360 Gourmet Burgers every hour...
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3100817/posts


2 posted on 08/17/2014 4:38:22 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Kaslin

So the government (illegally) forces businesses to pay a higher minimum wage. Businesses then switch to robots.
Robots don’t get a salary. But robots don’t spend any money either, so, if this continues, there will be robots making hamburgers for other robots.


3 posted on 08/17/2014 4:39:44 PM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: Kaslin

If McDonald’s pays its workers only $7 an hour, you have to pay the other $45,000 in welfare payments. That’s why McDonald’s is pressing hard to get citizenship for all the illegal aliens they hire. Until we get rid of the welfare state and illegal immigration, any conservative who opposes raising the minimum wage is a sucker.


4 posted on 08/17/2014 4:43:18 PM PDT by dangus
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To: I want the USA back
But robots don’t spend any money either

No, but their owners do, and so do the people who make them. Ultimately, money always ends up in the pocket of a human being, who will spend it. The chain may get longer as some people are replaced by robots, but there's always a human at the end of it.

5 posted on 08/17/2014 4:45:10 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney ( is)
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To: Kaslin

“The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences.”

If politically correct, that would mean 1 sentence translated into 40 different languages and dialects.


6 posted on 08/17/2014 4:54:49 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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FReepers, Let's go!
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7 posted on 08/17/2014 5:00:56 PM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: dangus

So, by your logic, the higher the better? Should the minimum wage be $50 an hour? $100 an hour?


8 posted on 08/17/2014 5:10:29 PM PDT by dinodino
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To: I want the USA back; Bender2

>>Robots don’t get a salary. But robots don’t spend any money either, so, if this continues, there will be robots making hamburgers for other robots.<<

Only Bender (what ever happened to Bender [1]?)is qualified to comment on this...

If they dream of electric sheep they must eat lubeburgers...


9 posted on 08/17/2014 5:11:24 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (AGW "Scientific method:" Draw your lines first, then plot your points)
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To: freedumb2003

Robots are depreciable assets—another advantage over flesh and blood employees.


10 posted on 08/17/2014 5:13:10 PM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: rightwingcrazy; Kaslin

>>“The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences.”

If politically correct, that would mean 1 sentence translated into 40 different languages and dialects<<

Or merely exceeds the average liberal’s ability to understand.


11 posted on 08/17/2014 5:13:41 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (AGW "Scientific method:" Draw your lines first, then plot your points)
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To: exit82

>>Robots are depreciable assets—another advantage over flesh and blood employees.<<

You never met my ex-wife.

:)


12 posted on 08/17/2014 5:14:39 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (AGW "Scientific method:" Draw your lines first, then plot your points)
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To: Kaslin

Just stop paying people not to work.


13 posted on 08/17/2014 5:33:36 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Why democrats are like spermatozoa: Only one in a million work.)
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To: dinodino; dangus
I believe that dangus is referring to the very high marginal "tax rate" low wage workers face, as their wages increase -- or turning that around, the very high rate of increase of subsidy, as wages go down. The following chart shows what I mean:

IOW, when the minimum wage goes up, most of it is "taxed" away (mainly by reduced subsidies). dangus has an interesting take on things -- but, essentially, he's right.

More here:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/effective-marginal-tax-rates-for-low-income-workers-are-high

14 posted on 08/17/2014 5:34:50 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Kaslin
The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences.

Right there they have a big advantage over a good segment of America's Moocher demographic.


15 posted on 08/17/2014 5:36:37 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Why democrats are like spermatozoa: Only one in a million work.)
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To: I want the USA back

“so, if this continues, there will be robots making hamburgers for other robots.”

I see people in fast food restaurants with EBT cards. Most have a sign saying they take them. So, no jobs, but plenty of welfare. That makes government happy.


16 posted on 08/17/2014 5:37:41 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Kaslin
***The alternative “solution” and not one I support, is to kill off a lot of needless people by starting WWIII.***

I can almost guarantee this is the goal of Agenda 21. The elites want to reduce the world population down to somewhere between 500 million to 2 billion people.

But not necessarily by WWIII. No, the preferred means is to crowd as many as possible into the cities like cattle, unleash some kind of pathogen that quickly gets out of control. Then cut off the water supply and electricity.

Ain't that right, Bill and Melinda?

17 posted on 08/17/2014 5:40:06 PM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
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To: I want the USA back
There's a Twilight Zone epi about that...

TV was the perfect medium for that particular message. Not than I'm a Luddite, it's just that "Luddite Thinking" drives people to eliminate the "middle man".

18 posted on 08/17/2014 5:58:48 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: I want the USA back

“But robots don’t spend any money either...”

But the people that design and build and repair robots do.


19 posted on 08/17/2014 6:12:20 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

The bigger concern is the competitive effects of raising the minimum wage. If anything, it should be removed entirely.


20 posted on 08/17/2014 6:22:43 PM PDT by dinodino
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

And that’s just based on income tax. Add in all the benefits they could lose, and they’re looking at $45,000 before they’re profiting. In Pennsylvania, it could be $65,000!

Meanwhile, with 23 million Americans out of work, McDonald’s is still insisting on importing illegal aliens.


21 posted on 08/17/2014 7:15:33 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dinodino

I’d say that they’re both big problems.


22 posted on 08/17/2014 7:59:50 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Kaslin

The free market works... in 2012, I recall the McDonalds in Monahans, Texas had a sign out front stating they were hiring inexperienced help off the street at $16.50/hr. It’s the economy in the Permian Basin... ya see, a kid fresh out of HS can hire on in the oil fields as a roustabout for $21/hr.


23 posted on 08/17/2014 8:01:38 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: Gen.Blather

In some cases, a meal at a fast food restaurant costs less than the buying the ingredients retail.


24 posted on 08/17/2014 8:08:45 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When you consider robots routinely build car bodies, it should be a piece of cake for a robot to build a hamburger.


25 posted on 08/17/2014 8:12:58 PM PDT by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: dinodino

>> So, by your logic, the higher the better? Should the minimum wage be $50 an hour? $100 an hour? <<

I said nothing of the sort, nor anything from which any reasonable person could infer anything of the sort. But I’ll explain myself anyway:

If we did away with the welfare state and government-subsidized illegal immigration, and instead enforced immigration law, I would be all for the market set the wage. My problem is that by having taxpayers pay living costs for low-income workers, we’re subsidizing business to pay wages far below what anyone could otherwise afford to accept. So what should the minimum wage be? Well, it should be enough that taxpayers wouldn’t have to subsidize the cost of living.

I do NOT think there should necessarily be a single minimum wage; it could increase with length of service with a company and required education: A burger flipper at McDonald’s is so terribly low-skilled that any English speaker should be able to move up from it to something else. Anyone who speaks English (NO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!!!) should be able to do something far more skilled by the time he is 28, the median age for someone to first be both married and having kids. If he’s been working at McDonald’s since he’s 17, I’d hope he’d be at least an evening manager within 11 years. Of course, locally, most McDonald’s are staffed by non-English-speaking immigrants who are typically far older.


26 posted on 08/17/2014 9:11:02 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Flick Lives

... and a lot more reasonable to replace a $7/hr worker than a $50/hr worker!


27 posted on 08/17/2014 9:11:42 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Gen.Blather

I think you might be mistaken about EBT cards used in restaurants.

Unless the law has recently changed, you cannot buy “prepared” food with Food Stamps, and that includes food made at the Deli in your grocery store.


28 posted on 08/17/2014 10:39:37 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: Paulie

Re: “The elites want to reduce the world population”

In the USA, the elites want to increase population...

1.1 million new Green Cards each year.

About 750,000 work visas each year.

And about 12 million illegal immigrants.


29 posted on 08/17/2014 10:44:21 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: dangus

I think you have misjudged the impact of LEGAL immigration on low skill wages in the USA.

Since 1990, America has issued 27 million Green Cards, mostly to low skill, low education workers who speak English as a second language.

That fact alone - completely independent of illegal immigration, completely independent of outsourced factory jobs - has crushed the wage scale for low skill American workers.


30 posted on 08/17/2014 11:35:38 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen

http://twitchy.com/2013/01/07/obamas-food-stamp-nation-we-accept-ebt-signs-are-everywhere/

http://www.wggb.com/2014/04/18/ebt-accepted-at-local-fast-food-restaurants/

(Just a quick search.)


31 posted on 08/18/2014 1:39:45 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: dangus

What competitive effects do you foresee from your plan? You are not dealing with perfectly spherical businesses in a vacuum, as the physicists say...


32 posted on 08/18/2014 4:56:43 AM PDT by dinodino
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To: Gen.Blather

Thanks for the link.

I see the confusion now.

When you said “EBT Cards,” I thought you meant people were using “Food Stamps” at fast food restaurants.

No - they are using their “EBT Cash” benefits, not their “Food Stamp” benefits.

In other words, instead of going to the ATM, withdrawing cash, then going to Burger King, they just go straight to Burger King, and Burger King is their ATM.

A lot of people - probably a majority - do not receive cash benefits.

They only have Food Stamps on their EBT Cards, nothing else.


33 posted on 08/18/2014 8:08:44 AM PDT by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen

Yes, we need to reduce levels of legal immigration, too. But many of those “legal” immigrants came in as illegal immigrants, or chain migration to legalized illegal immigrants. But I’m only explaining my choice of words; I agree with you entirely.


34 posted on 08/18/2014 9:03:56 AM PDT by dangus
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To: zeestephen
True, but the goal here is far more sinister than it may appear to some. It is not being forced upon us for the good of the country or the good of humanity for that matter.

Incidentally, when one person migrates from one place to another, they simply relocated - the total population didn't ‘increase’ because of it.

But I'll bet you already know that.

35 posted on 08/18/2014 9:25:15 AM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
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To: freedumb2003; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; shove_it; TrueKnightGalahad; ...
Gadzooks, soverydumb2003! Never, ever bother me... when I'm cooking on the 'Early Brunch' shift at McDonald's

Opps, another rat... got blended into the toco meat!

36 posted on 08/19/2014 8:33:11 AM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: dinodino

What effects do you see of the fact that taxpayers subsidize working Moms at McDonald’s to the tune of $35,000 per year, but only if they’re single?

Some probable effects of my plan:

Businesses invest in employees’ productivity to make sure they’re worth the money they have to pay. Reduced demand for illegal immigrants. Increased in automation. $900 billion less in social welfare spending. Restaurants with actual English-speaking workforces becoming competitive “Hullo? You want fry with burger?” Illegal aliens, unable to find work, returning home. And, horror of horrors, the cost of a Big Mac rising 6 cents.


37 posted on 08/19/2014 7:14:13 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Paulie

>> Incidentally, when one person migrates from one place to another, they simply relocated - the total population didn’t ‘increase’ because of it. <<

I get your point, but as worded, it’s not exactly true. Massive immigration from underdeveloped countries into developed countries delays the industrialization of the underdeveloped countries. In agrarian societies, families deliberately have huge families so that the parents will live off of the children’s labor s they get older. And anti-poverty programs usually only help poverty enough to maximize fertility, which naturally drops when parents are malnourished.

In the industrialized nations they move into, they depress wages of the middle class, creating increased government dependency and notions that married parents can’t “afford” another child, because they are ineligible for the benefits given to single parents.

So the effect of immigration, ironically is that the poor nations from which people immigrate see their populations rise faster, while the wealthier nations see their birth rates plummet.


38 posted on 08/19/2014 7:21:03 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Kaslin
Micky D's robot is one clumsy green hunk of junk.

Panera uses iPads with attached card-swipes mounted on a counter top. Sleek and gorgeous. Ordering is a breeze. One restaurant near here has six of them.


39 posted on 08/19/2014 7:34:15 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: zeestephen
Unless the law has recently changed, you cannot buy “prepared” food with Food Stamps, and that includes food made at the Deli in your grocery store.

According to A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss, "Under the federal food-stamp program, states may authorize that use [to buy restaurant food] by the elderly, disabled or homeless, who often have difficulty preparing meals. Only Michigan, Arizona and parts of California have done so."

40 posted on 08/19/2014 7:42:10 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

Thanks.

I was not aware of this.


41 posted on 08/19/2014 11:51:32 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: dangus; zeestephen

I have some issues with your post, but it’s actually beside my point, so I won’t address it here.

Regardless of who’s population is growing or declining at whatever rate, the goal of Agenda 21 is to ultimately reduce the current world population dramatically. That was my original point.


42 posted on 08/20/2014 3:23:45 PM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
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To: Paulie

The point of my original post was that USA elites want the USA population to increase.

The reason?

Our retirement and health system are “pay-as-you-go.”

If we don’t constantly increase the population, Social Security and Medicare will go bankrupt.

Of course, we could also solve the funding problem by importing just the world’s most brilliant and most productive workers and slowly converting S.S. and Medicare to private savings accounts.

But the Democrats will never go for that - they need a constant supply of new Socialist voters.

And the Republicans won’t go for that - they need a constant supply of new minimum wage, low skill workers.


43 posted on 08/20/2014 5:10:45 PM PDT by zeestephen
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