Thursday, April 14, 2016

Today's Economics Test Question

At what minimum wage level does this machine put every Bernie Sanders voter on permanent unemployment?  8/11/14 Business Insider:
A company called Momentum Machines has built a robot that could radically change the fast-food industry and have some line cooks looking for new jobs.

The company's robot can "slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible." The robot is "more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour." That's one burger every 10 seconds.
The next generation of the device will offer "custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem."

Momentum Machines cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas told Xconomy his "device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them." Indeed, marketing copy on the company's site reads that their automaton "does everything employees can do, except better."
Let's see, there's the cost of the machine, then the regular service required.  On the other side, no withholding paperwork, no surly attitude, no workmans' comp claims, no sexual harassment suits.  The SEI?U just needs to keep at it and they wil have no members.


  1. Oh, I'm sure the SEIU will rig something so robots can join.

  2. And once you're through with it and have properly disposed of it there are no pensions or lifelong medical expenses to pay.