If fast food workers are more expensive than a robot arm, why hire them? That was the message from former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi during a Tuesday interview with Fox Business Network.
“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries,” Rensi said.
“It’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” he added.
Rensi said it wasn’t just going to be fast food. He pointed out that the whole point of minimum wage employment was to allow those with few marketable skills to grow their experience and make more, not to earn a living doing menial work in perpetuity.
“It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States,” Rensi said. “It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow.
“Well, if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster.”
Rensi also advocated a new approach to the minimum wage.
“I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage,” the former McDonald’s CEO said. “If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more (about) what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington, D.C.”
Of course, what Rensi doesn’t understand about the “fight for $15” protesters is that this is hardly the point.
Many of them are union goons who want to get their talons into the service industry. Those who aren’t believe they should be given a 100 percent wage increase, in some cases, no matter what their skill level is.
These are people who believe that their wages shouldn’t be dictated by the value they contribute or the skills they offer to their employer.
When they’re replaced by significantly more cost-effective robots at McDonald’s, they’re then going to say they shouldn’t have to work at all. When they’ve been priced out of the workforce, they’re going to argue that it’s the taxpayer’s role to pay for them not to work.
After all, those people who are “lucky” enough to have a job should subsidize those without the skills to get one, right?
This isn’t just about boosting the minimum wage. It’s about liberalism tearing off another chunk of free enterprise and replacing it with the welfare state and unions.
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