Raising the average wage in the United States is a particularly favorite topic of populist politicians. But former McDonalds CEO Ed Renzi says it's cheaper to buy robots than to pay workers $ 15 an hour.
Earlier, he already noted, Vesti writes, that calls for an increase in the minimum wage in the fast food sector, which means spending at the level of 30 thousand per year in full employment, are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the restaurant business.
Many business owners have already begun to prepare for the fact that jobs will have to be cut. Who is to blame for this? Politicians working with their potential constituencies and promising wage increases.
The current minimum wage in the United States is $ 7,25 an hour. In some states, this figure is higher: in California, for example, $ 10 per hour, in New York - $ 9. At the same time, in early May, California and New York passed laws to raise wages to $ 15 per hour in the coming years. This is also demanded by McDonalds employees who are holding protests near the company's headquarters.
The math of fast food is simple: low-skilled employees who work for the minimum wage are ineffective, and there is no business sense in paying them anymore.
“I was at the National Restaurant Show. If you look at the robotic devices that are now entering the foreign industry, it is cheaper to buy a robotic arm for $ 35 than it is to hire an employee who will inefficiently pack french fries for $ 15 an hour. This is nonsense, it is destructive, it is inflationary, and it will lead to job losses across the country, ”Renzi said.
And this, according to the former CEO of the largest fast food restaurant chain in the world, will not be limited only to fast food. Franchising is the best business model in the US right now. It depends on people who have almost no job skills that need to grow.
“If you cannot pay people a reasonable salary, you will entrust the work to machines. It's just common sense. It will happen whether you like it or not. And the more you support wage growth, the faster it will happen. ”
Renzi also believes that the federal minimum wage should be eliminated, leaving it to the discretion of individual state authorities, which is quite logical.
“I think we should have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you are in high school, you must have an appropriate "student" salary. If you are an entry-level employee, the salary must be different. The states have to regulate this because they know better what exactly is happening “on the ground” than anyone else in Washington. "
In addition, Renzi suspects the organizers of the campaign for raising the minimum wage of not caring about the country's citizens, but about increasing contributions to funds and budgets. He is confident that large companies like McDonalds will not be successful, as this business will, for the most part, move easily to new technologies.
On the other hand, other sectors may be less flexible, and reluctant businesses can always be portrayed as greedy capitalists who profit from their workers.
The corporate world is harsh, but sometimes struggles for workers' rights, even when they are fought, can hurt those workers.
Trying to raise incomes of the population and thereby support the US economy, the authorities only create problems for themselves in the long run. The increase in automation capabilities and the reduction in the cost of specialized robots will lead to a decrease in the availability of work, which means that social inequality will only grow.
And then the government will have to come up with new ways to preserve the income of the population in the context of accelerated robotization.
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