Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Where a $15/hour Minimum Wages Take Us

The elimination of unskilled (Democrat) jobs:
The startup, which began delivery in April, is using intelligent machines to grab a slice of the multibillion-dollar pizza delivery market.
Zume is one of a growing number of food-tech firms seeking to disrupt the restaurant industry with software and robots.
"We're going to eliminate boring, repetitive, dangerous jobs, and we're going to free up people to do things that are higher value," said co-founder Alex Garden, a former Microsoft manager and president of mobile game maker Zynga Studios.
Inside its commercial kitchen in Mountain View, pizza dough travels down a conveyer belt where machines add the sauce, spread it and later carefully slide the uncooked pies into an 800-degree oven.
The startup will soon add robots to prep the dough, add cheese and toppings, take pizzas out of the oven, cut them into slices and box them for delivery.
"We automate those repetitive tasks, so that we can spend more money on higher quality ingredients," said Julia Collins, Zume's CEO and cofounder. "There will always be a model here at Zume where robots and humans work together to create delicious food."

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In the 1970s, when I was living in Los Angeles, supermarkets were just switching over to scanners.  A group complained the stores were going to use this to rip off customers by changing prices between pulling the item and the checkout counter.  They demanded the LA City Council require all items still be individually price tagged, which of course they did.  The group making the demand the retail clerks union, the people who tag all those items.  Local news stations were too stupid to recognize the conflict of interest.  Are these laws still in effect?


  1. The automation was coming anyway and it can't be stopped, but the $15/hr wage is accelerating it, but I found it a bit humorous, not to say disingenuous, that he said, "We're going to eliminate boring, repetitive, dangerous jobs, and we're going to free up people to do things that are higher value," How dangerous is it to make pizza? and what higher value things will the pizza makers be free to do now?

    This is just the beginning. Several companies are experimenting with driverless cars that could take the place of cab or even Uber drivers. Robots will perform more and more complex tasks. If a robot can design a robot, what jobs will be left? Economists have always said not to fear technology because it really means more new jobs will be available swamping the jobs that will be lost. I think we could be near an inflection point where that will no longer be true.

  2. Here we are in 2016 and you can't just search that easily. I wonder why...

  3. In California, either the item must be tagged, or the price marked on the shelf. These days, very few items are individually tagged, unless they're sold by weight and vary in weight, like cheese.

  4. Jim: My son and son-in-law both worked pizza. The risk is on the delivery side.