Minimum wage debate and technology

We’ve all seen these sci-fi shows and movies where robots and computers replace or at least supplement man. Some people advocate this, or at least see a future where this is more common allowing man to concentrate on less menial tasks. From a liberals perspective, this means the machines do all the work while man gets to be fat and lazy (ala Wall-E), all while complaining that people are getting fat and lazy. From a conservatives perspective this means people get to concentrate on more physical tasks and jobs that only a man can do properly, and help better everyone’s lives.

We are on the verge of a Wall-E like society today as this liberal Congress (complete with RINO lackeys) and their brain dead zombie followers are pushing for an increase of the minimum wage up to $10-15 per hour. Anyone who got a C or better in high school civics and economics understands that when any artificially high wage is forced to be paid, it increases the prices of everything, thus forcing the very people it was meant to help out of a job or reduced hours, pushing them further into poverty. On the flip side, these same liberals while complaining that our fast food workers “deserve” $15 per hour, chatter on using their iPhone that was built partially with child labor in China for 2 pennies per hour.

So many today have such a short attention span and a lack of long term memory, and apparently short term memory suffers as well. We saw this entire economic bust occur by a combination of factors, but the most recent drive towards the cliff being the minimum wage increase passed by the liberal 2007 Congress. Comparing the prices on every day groceries from 2008 before the first increase, and 2012 after the last increase saw an average 120% increase in grocery prices, and includes continued increase in the REAL unemployment rates. Lets look at the numbers:

2008 versus 2012 – Percentage increase

Milk: $2.16  –  $4.59/gal  +113%
Butter $1.95  –  5.19/lb     +166%
Rice   $1.10  –  2.00/lb      +82%
Sugar $2.68  –  3.79 /5lb  +41%
Potatoes $0.32 – 1.30/lb  +306%
Flour $1.97  –  3.49/5lb    +77%
Eggs  $1.29  –  2.19/doz    +70%
Coffee $5.49  –  13.69/2lb +149%
Beef   $3.68  –  7.98/lb     +117%
Wage  $5.15/hr – $7.25   +41%

So lets look at a grocery cart of the above items (using a very simplistic approach).  In 2008, that comes to $20.64, in 2012 that comes to $44.22, overall increase of 114%, while wages only increased 41%. If you figure a 30 hour work week at each wage provided the person is in the same dead end minimum wage job and never got a raise ($154.50 vs $217.50). Now lets say the grocery numbers are for the week, that means in 2008, they spent 14% for food, and in 2012, they spent over 20% of their income for food. Add in the increases in utility prices (power, water, internet, etc), as well as increases for the unneeded extras (cell phone, cable TV, etc), all as a result of the minimum wage increases (among other things). That would mean these increases only harm the minimum wage workers long term as they spend more on everything as a result of them getting a required wage increase.

So back to the original mention of automation and robots. We are at a tipping point now where computers, machines and certain forms of robots are quickly taking over human jobs. More and more companies are looking at the cost of man versus machine. Comparing a cashier and a self checkout station: a human at $8 per hour and 30 hours per week, that comes to approximately $12,500 per year before taxes. Also look at floor space, a normal human cashier station averages 100 square feet. Now look at the self checkout stations: as technology advances, they become cheaper every year while human wage requirements continue to increase. Many self checkout stations can be bought for around $20,000 per station, and also take up half the space of full human cashier stations. As these stations are good for at least 3-4 years before needing any major repairs, it just makes more sense (monetarily) to start replacing human cashiers with them. This of course also takes away the 2 biggest pros of human cashiers: error correction and loss management. Humans can catch and prevent errors, correct problems and are a big deterrent to theft. Thieves tend to find areas with little to no camera coverage and few or no people.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 raised the federal minimum wage in 3 increments: to $5.85 per hour 60 days after enactment (2007-07-24), to $6.55 per hour 12 months after that (2008-07-24), and finally to $7.25 per hour 12 months after that (2009-07-24). Lets look at unemployment numbers for these same timeframes: the first increase was not a major hit since it was a fair increase from $5.15 to $5.85, keeping the U6 unemployment rate around 8.4% for the rest of 2007 (up from 8.0% in early 2007). It did impact overall costs but not enough to reduce hours or lay off workers, although companies were starting to notice the effects and by mid 2008 when the second increase came along, the U6 unemployment rate was really climbing. By July 2008 when the second increase came along, the U6 had jumped to 10.5% (2 percentage points in one year), and by the third increase in July 2009, it was at a staggering 16.5%, which is up 6 percentage points in one year, and doubling unemployment in 2 years time. By the time it was in full swing in 2010 with employers reducing hours and laying off workers, the U6 rates were at 17%, rates not seen since the Great Depression.

So here we have a government, that rather than step out of the way so the free market could correct itself as it had done so many times before (ever hear of the great depression of 1919 or 1964?), they are purposely, with Obama at the helm, destroying our economy. As I had mentioned before with another entry of mine back in Nov. 2012 http://www.redstate.com/jollygiantsd/2012/11/08/truth-behind-obama-and-his-plans/ , “Obama sees the US as the new colonials, he was taught that America with its free enterprise, republic based, God-worshipping system is the enemy of the people. The people cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves as that negatively impacts everyone else’s chance at a happy and fulfilled life, so the government must mandate as many aspects of people’s lives as possible.” “In order to stop this “colonialism” and stop any company or person from profiting at all in the US (he thinks American profit is due to stripping countries of advances, materials and money like his homeland of Kenya). He understands the best way to kill American profits is massively expand regulations making it impossible to continue doing business (like coal is doing now), have the government spend money they do not have until the economy collapses, putting the US economy and people on par with many third world nations.” One major aspect to this designed collapse is raise the minimum wage high enough that most private companies will lay off a majority of its workers, thus having another 100 million on welfare under government control. As the rest of us understand here in reality-land: its only takes so long before you run out of other people’s money.

What they fail to understand is the spirit of the American people. With the number of people working tax free “under the table” rising every day, they are the ones actually staving off this collapse, and keeping the economy limping along. This is why liberals are trying to force through taxes on all internet sales as well as monitoring of all online sales, so they know exactly who is buying what and for how much. This way they can see if Mr. Joe Smith is selling $40,000 worth online yet only claims $12,000 gross income on his taxes, they can come after him with massive tax bills, claiming he “owes” the government that money. They will use their usual bullying including payroll garnishment, liens on his house, property and vehicles, as well as any other way to blackmail him out of his hard earned money.

As we have seen, ANY forced minimum wage increase will be the extra push needed to send this economy off a cliff and into a system where government controls all money, ala communism. As they know this is coming, they are also coming after peoples guns so they will be unable to fight back, requiring “freedom of speech permits” to protest, massive spy centers to record everything possible about us. they fail to see that if they do just this, a civil war will be coming. 3% of colonists is all it took to win the Revolutionary War against the British. Nowadays it will just take 1% to fight back (1% of 300 million population is 3 million people) to reset our government to its proper roots as a Constitutional Republic. It will just take a while to do so as the liberal obamabot zombies will be out in force rioting against the loss of their welfare and obamaphones. I know this is a bit extreme, but while we are at it, lets give the south half of the state of California to China as full payment for the governments debt (including San Francisco and Oakland as the northern border). The only people that will be allowed to leave the “transferred” state are registered conservatives (showing proof of registration as an R before 2006).