McDonald’s bun are made in Ontario, California.. but 14.4 million buns per week using “a handful of workers” so if we say wow man, that must be employing 30 workers at minimum wage, and we double their salary.. that’s an $8,700 increase across 14.4 million buns.. that’s a cost increase of $0.0006 per bun.
See, there’s a secret here that people seem to be missing. That we are constantly and throughout history replacing low-wage work with capital investments in technology. Rising the minimum wage only accelerates that pace, and we should be accelerating minimum wage increases to keep pace with technology if we want to sustain our standards of living for everyone, not just the standard of living for capital investors.
The problem is technology is increasing productivity faster than we are replacing labor, and as a result that bottom rung of labor is being devalued by technology and we viscerally understand it as an economic burden rather than a benefit. That’s why we demean “burger flippers” and “fry cooks” as something less than.
We don’t acknowledge that we have to raise the wage bar to compel the capital investments necessary to free those wage slaves. The people who would make those capital investments are perfectly content to capture it as short-term profits instead as the United States slides away from a middle class and back towards slavery.
A healthy economy, which our is not, would want that labor in more productive use where it is more competitive. Raising the minimum wage is how the government can leverage those capital investments so the labor can be reallocated to something more productive than wage slavery.
The looming crisis is that technology is passing all that low wage work, tearing through middle class work, and is now even moving into professional work, and we still haven’t figured out how to respond. If we’re going to wait for the capital investors who right now are just seeing better profits to tell us how to respond, our national workforce is fucked because it’s going to be a tsunami by the time technology hits the capital class as banks and billionaires wipe out individual investors.
Or we use strong labor laws to prevent layoffs from productivity gains, raise minimum wages to force companies to invest in automation and shake out the wage slave jobs, break up some monopolies that are concentrating too much wealth and power, and find the correct tempo for innovation and new job creation that matches technology gains. Right now we’re all just spectators to some of the worst financial management in American history as a handful of capitalists reap all the gains while the rest of the nation squabbles over the internet. It’s no coincidence or accident that Donald Trump is our President.
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