Minimum Wage

Will Minimum Wage Protesters Order Fries From Their Burger-Flipping Robot Replacements?

Pricing yourself out of the market is not so smart


Momentum Machines

The Momentum Machines website is low-key right now, but that may have something to do with high-profile arguments in the press and protests in the streets demanding that fast-food chains pay workers $15 an hour to do the job the company's robots are designed to fill. Even before those placard-wielders decided to raise their costs in terms of dollars and grief, the San Francisco-based start-up announced that they were obsolete.

Momentum Machines' old, boastier website claimed:

Fast food doesn't have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.

Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.

It does everything employees can do except better:

*it slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles only immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.

*our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground after you place your order? No problem.

*Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.

*it's more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.

Separately, the company noted, "An average quick service restaurant spends $135K every year on labor for the production of hamburgers. Not only does our machine eliminate nearly all of that cost, it also obviates the associated management headaches."

Even before Momentum Machine started mechanizing the burger-flipping process, McDonald's moved to make ordering a task that could be accomplished untouched by human stupidity. The fast-food chain is bringing self-order kiosks to the United States after deploying thousands of them overseas.

I'm guessing that workers in the streets demanding that their pay be hiked by fiat to $15 per hour do not erode Momentum Machine's competitive edge, or its attractiveness as an alternative to human employees. Those kiosk makers are probably warming up the production line, too.

Ron Bailey recently noted that "Defying the law of demand will end up harming lots of the people minimum wage proponents aim to help."

Yep. But the robots appreciate the effort.

NEXT: Bill to Decriminalize Truancy Moves Forward in Texas

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  1. I for one, welcome our new burger-matic overlords.

    1. Nonsense. The proles will pay $14.95 for their extra value meals and thank Jesus that they have the opportunity to.

      1. There are still a lot of people who don’t trust ATM machines, so I assume there may still be people out there that don’t trust skynet robots with their lunch order.

        1. Oh, I see you’ve met my mother in law.

          1. I mean, I can understand if you live in a bad neighborhood and are carrying around lots of cash, but I only need to enter a bank to access my safety deposit box. When they started offering mobile check deposit, I barely had to even visit the ATM.

        2. Bender: Alright! I’m rich!

          Leela: What are you talking about?

          Bender: My body’s 40% titanium! [He bangs his chest cabinet.] I’m finally richer than those snooty ATM machines.

          1. Bodies are for hookers and fat people. All I need is a wad of cash with a head wrapped around it.

            1. Bender: You humans are afraid of a little robot competition. You would never let a robot on the field.

              Fry: What are you talking about? I see plenty of robots out there.

              Bender: Yeah, doing crap work. Robots are only working as bat boys, ball polishers and sprinkler systems. But how many robot managers are there?

              Fry: Eleven?

              Bender: Zero!

              [Throws a bottle on the ground; a robot cleans it up]

              Bender: And look who’s cleaning up the crap! A human child? I wish!

        3. I am certain that the market will provide eating establishments that will cater to her desires. Sure, the food will be more expensive but hey that is the price for demanding archaic production methods

          1. Artisan, non-robotic Italian food.

            1. How much extra is the snotty attitude and service with a sneer? I want a look of vacant dissatisfaction in the eyes of the middle-aged never-was taking my order.

              1. Well if we use French restaurants as a guide I’m guessing pretty damned expensive

                1. Not to mention “organic” foods; same stuff, 3X the cost. What a deal!

              2. Just because businesses use robots doesn’t mean everything is going to be cheap. Arrogant, sneering androids cost more than modified, burger-flipping Roombas.

        4. Any apprehensions I may have had with robots were quickly dispelled because of Rosie.

    2. The best part is you’ll know no one spat upon your Big Mac when you asked for it without “cheese”.

      1. The machine will probably even get my order right at least once a week.

    3. But it just won’t be the same knowing that when you get home you realize your order wasn’t screwed up, or non of what you ordered is missing. That’s part of the charm of a place like mcdonalds, you just don’t know what you’re getting, or not getting.

      1. Bonus McChicken!

  2. Those greedy capitalist pigs will never stop their eternal quest for immoral profits! If they replace workers with machines it’s a market failure! We need more government to fix the problem of greedy capitalist pigs!

    1. Gather your pitchforks, comrades, we must rage against that machine!

      1. Rally round the family
        With a pocket full of shells

    2. If they keep this up there will eventually be one minimum wage job left that pays $200/hr, part-time, no benefits, and you will be fired after a week so the love can be spread around.

  3. Remember when jobs like in fast food joints were for high schoolers to make a few bucks after school to keep the old jalopy running or retirees to make a few bucks during the day to afford that once in a lifetime trip to Branson? Living wage, I think not.

    1. That was before the Dems obtained their vision of a permanent welfare class to populate their inner city voting farms.

    2. My first job was in fast food. Now when I go to fast food restaurants, most if not all of the workers are adults.

      It’s almost as if the restaurants don’t want to pay irresponsible teenagers an inflated minimum wage or something.

      Nah. It’s got to be corporate greed.

      1. This is where I go when I want to convince people that minimum wage doesn’t need to be a “living wage”, or exist at all. It really fucks over teenagers and people just entering the job market. You can take a risk on someone when you can pay them $5/hour or something. And some jobs just aren’t worth that much no matter how well they are done. That’s the part that really gets me. People talk about it as if it is obviously reasonable to tell employers that they have to pay $10 or $15 or whatever, no matter how much value the job actually produces.

        1. And they want to get rid of unpaid internships, too. Along with the basic gutting of testing for employment decades ago, employers have jack and shit as a basis for hiring if this trend continues. In fact, they mostly have that now. Remember references?

        2. I don’t get it. Raising the minimum wage doesn’t magically make teenagers more responsible, nor does it magically confer skills onto people who don’t have any. It just dooms many people to perpetual unemployment.

          But it’s all done with good intentions, so I guess that makes it OK.

            1. apparently the ‘greater than’ sign disappears on these comments. I am being oppressed!

              1. You could try this instead: ?

                Or, in this case, even ?

                Arguably, those would be more accurate anyway.

                If you’re mathematically timid, you could use ?

                And then there is simply ?

                Whatever you do, use the preview function 🙂

        3. If I owned a fast food place and had to pay $15 and hour, I’m not going to risk it on some snot nosed kid still in school living with mommy and daddy, or someone just out of high school. I’m going to be looking for some skilled worker. I’m thinking there will be a lot of people out there who need the job who have some work experience.

          1. I would probably outsource the cashier jobs to India; just have a telemarketer take the order through a microphone. Better yet, just don’t have a cashier, Make it like autocheckout at the grocery store, and the order will go directly to the cook.

            1. I don’t know if they still do it. . .
              10-12 years ago, a company operating a number of McDonald’s franchises in and around my hometown connected all of their drive-thrus to a central call center.

          2. You can try this to explain it to people:

            Imagine you are a senior in college, about to graduate with a computer science degree.

            Politicians pass a new bill. “Computers are super important for our future! From now on, the minimum salary for computer engineers will be $300,000!”

            Question: Would you be A) happy about this, or B) inconsolably depressed?

      2. But we are striving to be more European. And how are we going to accomplish that without double-digit youth unemployment?…..countries/

    3. Someday a fast food job can provide a living wage if the nation becomes productive enough and the prices come down enough. It’s a utopian dream perhaps but not outside the realm of possiblity. You just can’t mandate it as the leftists want to do.

      1. Or when technology is good enough that a single employee can manage the whole fast food restaurant; basically, take the orders, mop the floor occasionally, and make sure the cooking machine is working properly.

    4. +1 Brad Hamilton.

    5. I did. The first first $2k of my own money I made.

  4. I can’t wait for the SJW economic illiterates to shit their pants over this. They will totally go almost full Luddite.

    1. I worked at a drycleaners in high school. I’ve seen what that looks like.

      1. I lol’d

    2. I love the SJWs. I mean, we should all love the SJWs. They’re totally going to destroy the democratic party and no one seem able to stop them.

      1. They’re totally going to destroy the democratic party and no one seem able to stop them.

        The problem is, I don’t exactly loathe the party intrinsically enough to sit back and enjoy the collateral damage.

        I’d love to see the Kennedy’s (and Carter and LBJ and FDR…) legacy go in the crapper, but I don’t want to give up my kids to see it happen.

        1. And what happens if it does not destroy the Democratic party, and instead the Democrats continue to win even with the SJW platform?

          Based on the US’s last 100 year history this is quite possible…

      2. I envy your optimism, but I’m sure in 1917 some Russians were thinking “I can’t wait till these Bolsheviks destroy the Social Democratic Party so we can finally replace it.” The study of history has not left me sanguine.

    3. What will a full Luddite Progressive look like? Or will it simply become a singularity and implode upon itself?

      1. What will a full Luddite Progressive look like?

        Barack Obama?

      2. I consider anyone who doesn’t feel technology is an aid to progress and human civilization to be a Luddite. Be it Al Gore, Naomi Klein, James Hansen, David Suzuki, people who call for ‘deniers’ be thrown in jail, etc.

        That’s where I’ve decided to draw the line.

        1. Al Gore a Luddite?

          How can that be?

          I have it on reliable authority (i.e Gore himself) that Gore single handedly invented the internet.

          1. He pimps for the global warming crowd.

            Mind you, he’s a sharp, greedy capitalist since he’s making a buck off it. So I tip my hat to him for that.

          2. But then he became a cheap sex poodle.

          3. Al Gore did invent the Internet… Then those evil KKKORPORATIONS like ComCast and Time-Warner stole it at gunpoint! Luckily, the FCC is going to regulate the Internet back to the PEOPLE, its rightful owner.


            1. I recall when his former wife Tipper (of the fake kiss) tried to get congress to kill the first amendment and John Denver testified against her cabal.

              1. +1 “He’s not the same John Denver, you know; he takes his shirt off.

        2. I consider anyone who doesn’t feel technology is an aid to progress and human civilization to be a Luddite.

          I think that is a bit broad of a definition. And I doubt it really applies to many people at all. The people you list damn well know how essential technology is to continuing to improve life for people.

          And Luddite-ism is specifically about destroying technology that directly replaces human workers.

          1. “The people you list damn well know how essential technology is to continuing to improve life for people.”

            That’s what makes them evil.

            We’re all Luddites now.

            /widens grin.

    4. Almost?

      I think they’re already there.

      They even smash computers and shit like they did recently during a lame-ass student protest at UQAM university in Montreal.

  5. The obvious answer to such cost-saving measures is to ban them.

    1. Never underestimate yadda yadda…

    2. You laugh, but you know the same people currently protesting for a $15 minimum wage will be protesting for this technology to be banned.

      1. Party of science!

        1. Ban GMOs! No genez in my foodz!

      2. Like the Taxi monopoly over Uber.

        NO FAIR!

    3. They won’t ban it as a cost saving measures, they’ll ban it to enforce some new made up safety standards for the children.

      1. Exactly. Or the production of robots will be shown to be bad for the environment.

        1. It obviously causes global warming.

      2. I’ve never taken my kids to McD’s simply because I don’t trust the workers there.

        I might actually consider going back if they had these machines, they are 100% guaranteed to produce safer food by any measure you can come up with.

  6. Even easier than burger flipping robots:

    1. An app that lets you order on the internet and pick up at the drive thru.
    2. Voice recognition software as drive thru ordering system.
    3. Self-checkout registers (already there

    1. 1. An app that lets you order on the internet and pick up at the drive thru get your order by drone in 5 minutes or less.

      1. 4. Never talk to an illiterate retard again in order to get food.

        1. Truly, is there any service as reliably bad as fast-food service? What is the rate of order fucking up across the industry? And the kids want $15/hour and tips for their incredibly bad service.

          1. Yes, Comcast.

            1. Oh, don’t worry, now that the FCC rammed so-called “net neutrality” down everyone’s throats, thanks to those massive campaign contributions and political donations they’ve made, everything will be betthahahahaha.

              1. I gather that the grand total effect of net neutrality will be: Comcast raises prices for everyone. In order to compensate for revenue lost due to inability to price discriminate.

                Enter prog who say “no! net neutrality doesn’t cost them anything!” But I thought they hated net neutrality because it got in the way of their greed (in other words, profits)? “Yeah, but, it wasn’t, um, profitable greed, it was um, just for the sake of being evil!!!”

                Anyhow, Comcast raises prices. Progs complain again, government intervenes with the next logical “solution:” price controls.

                Eventually, changes in the market put the industry in a position where they have to raise prices; but they can’t thanks to price controls, so they go bankrupt.

                Aaaand government has to step in and bail them out because there’s no competition to replace the monopolists if they go out of business, and, like utilities, like airlines, like banking, yet another industry brought under state control by this timeless and immutable process, and quality declines while the actual price (now in the form of taxes) sore.

                Thanks, progs.

            2. Perhaps they should enter the mechanical fast-food industry. But first, they’ll need a monopoly.

          2. I used to eat fast food 2-3 times per week and never had a fuck up beyond an extra McDouble in my bag or something along those lines. In some ways I am truly blessed.

            1. From my experience, McDonald’s is the best run.

              1. Chik Fil-A, in my experience, runs like German train.

                1. Chik Fil-A, in my experience, runs like German train.

                  But eating there makes one an eevil homophobic bigot, so there’s that.

              2. Due to my lactose intolerance I have a habit of ordering hamburgers instead of cheeseburgers. Usually I’ll order a double hamburger with slivered onions (I hate those rehydrated things). Easy enough, right? Well, no. Not really. Over half of the time they put cheese on the fucking burger. There’s one store I won’t even go to anymore since I made a complaint and the owner called me up on the phone. He was like “Yeah, they screwed up your order, so what?” and I said “They screwed up the same thing a couple dozen times. This isn’t an isolated incident.” He tried to chide me some more and I basically told him that he and his store can fuck off. Haven’t been back since.

                1. The McDonald’s near my house is the worst.

                  NEVER do they get it right. It’s so bad my wife used the drive-through to pick up a coffee and blueberry muffin and they gave her a tea AND a cranberry muffin.

                  It’s retarded. Same thing at a Tim Horton’s. I order lemon poppy chick gave me carrot. What’s so difficult?

                  1. Me too. I rarely order fast food because the quality is lousy and the prices are almost as high as a real restaurant now. But I have never left the window with the wrong order because I ALWAYS check it right there before pulling forward. It’s crazy not to. And if the person who handed it to me looks insulted, tough shit for them. Their industry is untrustworthy with simple tasks so every one of them is suspect. Of course, they never look insulted because the few that have a brain (usually an assistant mgr who took over the window to get it back on track) know the fools they work with. Takes me an extra 10 seconds and slows them down by 10 seconds but who cares? I’m not leaving with someone else’s order. I want my craving satisfied!

                  2. “NEVER do they get it right. It’s so bad my wife used the drive-through to pick up a coffee and blueberry muffin and they gave her a tea AND a cranberry muffin.”

                    I don’t like cheeseburgers. Ever try to get them to leave the cheese off? Dyammmm!

                  3. Well, at least they didn’t just shit in the bag right in front of you and toss it into your car window. Glass half full.

                2. you realize there’s no actual dairy in american “cheese food”, right?

                  1. you realize there’s no actual dairy in american “cheese food”, right?


                    1. SF’d link…

                    2. It was a lmgfy for “what’s in American cheese.”

            2. That is my experience as well.

          3. The local chicken chain near my house is CONSTANTLY fucking orders up. All a bunch of disinterested kids taking orders.

            The robots can’t come fast enough. Robots will know I don’t want fucking MAYO in my club sandwich.

            1. They really like to fuck up what goes on the sandwich.

            2. I don’t want fucking MAYO in my club sandwich

              Weirdo. Can you even call it a club sandwich without mayo?

              1. Only the bacon is required. In fact, a slab of bacon and nothing else can be called a club sandwich.

                1. You tell him, Pro.

                2. A baseball bat with a couple slices of bread taped to it can be called a club sandwich.

            3. The robots can’t come fast enough. Robots will know I don’t want fucking MAYO in my club sandwich.

              Oh, don’t you worry, you’ll get “mayo” on sour sandwich, don’t ask where it came from…

              1. *your

                1. Mmmmmmmmm BACON…

            4. At least you hope that’s MAYO…

              1. Speaking of mayo:

          4. depends on the restaurant. Inn-N-Out have better paid workers, but they also expect a whole lot more productivity from them.

      2. Burger Drone! Already on it. The central operation won’t be on the ground, of course. It will be located in a zeppelin.

        1. I like the way you think.

        2. “Please choose your toppings from the disposition matrix.”

          1. I just had this weird vision of the mob owning a pizza chain. Not sure why.

            1. Because you have that same vision practically every other day?

            2. What about pizza, weed, and whores? And drones. I think we can do something with this…

            3. Because you read Snow Crash?

              1. No, that can’t possibly be it.

            4. NO, a chain of Chineese Buffets.

              It is the ultimate money laundering operation.

              It is virtually impossible to tie food costs to the number of units sold.

              You own the food service company that sells the food to the buffet, in every order you “charge” the restaurant for a few cases of non existent food. The restaurant fudges the number of cash customers up a bit to “pay for” the missing food.

              With a set up like that you should be able to launder a couple of million per year per restaurant and a couple million more from the food service company and have it almost impossible to trace.

              1. If you also own the farm(s) where your food service gets its produce, and grow all your own seed, and own a cattle ranch where all your beef comes from, and raise the cattle feed on the farm…

                Then it’s impossible to trace a bit of missing excess because the money never leaves the organization to buy from other places that keep honest sales records.

                And that, my droogs, is why vertical integration is often looked at askance. The government knows the business *can* be hiding profits so therefore it *must* be.

            5. Pizza the Hutt!

        3. Hot damn, sir! Do you perchance offer a type of publication to which I could subscribe?

        4. I need to keep an eye on that one and watch it’s progress while I plan my rent-a-pet business. With rent-a-pet, you get lonely, you just log onto rent-a-pet, pick out your cute fluffy pet and it arrives by drone in minutes! When you get tired of rent-a-pet, you just schedule rent-a-pet return.

          Now, of course, this is just a lead up to my bigger project, rent-a-whore. But I need to make sure my drones are very safe first. I mean, I know some people are gonna get upset when a puppy falls 300 ft from a drone and splats on the side walk. But I think they will be more upset if we drop a good whore.

          1. I already have strippers on zeppelins. Perhaps some of them could operate in whoring?

            1. Some of them?

              1. Well, I assume some will be undercover cops and journalists. . .no, you’re right.

        5. I don’t think that’s a high enough vantage point.

          1. It’s a different business model. We have to have some diversity, in case they develop a force field.

        6. Bread Zeppelin? *clicks on and gets domain name…(I would if I was not lazy)

    2. Actually, the pre-ordering on the Internet for pickup apps are already there as well for some fast food places (Wendy’s. etc.)

      1. You need to get auto pizza factory, weed farm, and brewery on your zeppelin, then we are talking. We’ll be the one stop shop in the sky.

    3. 1. An app that lets you order on the internet and pick up at the drive thru.

      Don’t a number of places already have that?

  7. OT: Back off man, I’m a surfer… and as a sufer, I KNOW weather, so global warming is real. Because I watch VICE, which has become the 24/7 Global Warming Channel.

    I am a surfer and have been since 13 years of age. Being a surfer, you develop an innate sense of weather patterns and their impact on the sea. Cold fronts, warm fronts, low pressure systems, hurricanes, nor’easters, etc. The weather and how nature reacts to changing air patterns become part of your make-up as you seek out the waves. It’s been a lifetime of learning and watching nature do its thing. I am a waterman with a love of science and data. Enter Antarctica.

    Antarctica has been on my mind thanks to the folks at HBO’s VICE (“The Definitive Guide to Enlightened Information” as they call themselves). Big chunks of that continent are falling into the sea. And the team at VICE have done a stellar job reporting the facts. The deniers can blow all the smoke they want, but, as you watch this spectacle unfold, history, pictures, science, data and nature do not lie.

    1. an innate sense of weather patterns

      Dude, the waves are going to be totally crunchy today, I can feel it in my bones. Wanna go get a burrito?

      1. Dude. The term is “gnarly”. You probably need to be more stoned.

    2. Very much a 4/20 type of sentiment.

    3. *trachea punch*

    4. You NutraSweeted the link. Don’t you work in technology, Paul? Huh? Or are you a surfer, with intimate knowledge of the universe?

      1. sorry, man.

        And I nearly did it again, because I had the tacacs lines from my 3650 config in my clipboard. I was all like, whoa!

      2. Maybe he’s a web surfer with an innate sense for how hyperlinks impact the intertubes

    5. Maybe this guy will be Jon Stewart’s choice for running mate when he enters the 2024 POTUS race.

      I can just see the 2 of them standing atop a glacier overlooking the city of Washington DC and exclaiming ‘Global warming is real, deniers! Stand with us before the glaciers recede all the way back to Philly!’.

      1. In all seriousness, we’d better figure out how to artificially warm the globe (or populate other planets) before the next ice age, because a return to the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum with this many people on the earth would be fucking catastrophic.

    6. I am a waterman with a love of science and data.

      I’m guessing you’ve never actually worked with data.

      1. It’s all about the vibes, dude! I’m feeling it….

    7. Data shows big chunks of Antarctica falling into the sea? Funny. NASA satellites show record sea ice extent.…..rd-maximum

      1. The lack of less sea ice is hiding in the deep oceans. If that melted ice were to resurface, you’d see that there’s less ice. Or something like that.

        It’s getting really difficult to parody these folks when they are already such a parody of themselves.

      2. Those are not necessarily contradictory. Assuming that “big chinks of the continent falling off” means something intelligible.

        1. big chinks of the continent falling off

          Is it bad that I imagined Yao Ming slipping off the back of a Lincoln continental?

          1. Yes, that is very very lacist. Leport to the leeducation camp immediately.

          2. I can’t stop laughing!

    8. Look at it! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, man! Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave before you take me in. I mean, come on man, where I am I gonna go? Cliffs on both sides! I’m not gonna paddle my way to New Zealand! Come on, compadre. Come on!

      1. He’s not coming back.

    9. “I am a surfer and have been since 13 years of age. Being a surfer, you develop an innate sense of weather patterns and their impact on the sea. ”

      Isn’t this this opposite of “innate”?

      1. And besides, the only surfer I trust is the original Dunphy.

        I watched him win the open tandem contest with Morgan Fairchild at Makaha on the Big Wednesday of ’98.

        Bitchin’ and Gnarly are the words that come to mind.

  8. Also:

    4. Roomba floor mopper.

    5. Automatic french fries cooker/dispenser (this one should be super easy)

    1. As a surfer with intimate knowledge of climatology fast food employment, I think that #5 might actually harder than everything else you’ve listed.

        1. 3D chicken fries!

          1. Ye gods, the possibilities.

            1. Why don’t we just 3d print money and pay everyone a living wage?

  9. No machine can assemble a burger as efficiently as a jilted sixteen year old semi-literate kid thinking about exacting revenge on his/her ex.

  10. Yeah, the JournoList 2.0 push for a $15 minimum wage has been everywhere I look recently. Local news was even covering a protest for it at ASU.

    It’s one of those obnoxious things where people think they’re morally superior for supporting it and so challenging that belief with what $15/hour fast food workers would increasingly look like in reality means that you’re also calling into question the warm fuzzies and their self-image.

    Also the vicious response to small business owners who respond that their payroll budgets aren’t going to be going up–ergo, job cuts–are simultaneously amusing and depressing. “Fuck you, take a pay cut! Living wage or go out of business! You’ll do something, Mr. Rearden!”

  11. If fast food workers deserve $30k/ year for the labor they perform, what happens to jobs that are already filled at $30k/ year?

    Dental assistants, EMTs, mechanics, teachers (drink!), construction workers, bank tellers, etc.

    1. This is why I prefer a minimum income to replace a welfare state and mandatory minimum wages.

      Just fucking give everyone a living wage, abolish the entire welfare bureaucracy and get off the backs of businesses.

      1. And if you elect me as your president, I will double the living wage!!!

        I think I’ve found a flaw in your idea…

        1. Only double? Why do you hate the children?

        2. And if you elect me as your president, I will double the living wage!!!

          I think I’ve found a flaw in your idea…

          And still less fucked up than the eighty bazillion means-tested welfare programs we already have that are only available to unwed mothers…

      2. Except that the goal is to give everyone a living wage AND expand on welfare. It’s never one or the other, it’s always both. It’s sort of like the Fair Tax. If we ever get a national sales tax, it will be on top of the income tax.

    2. You don’t mean to suggest that there will be certain consequences of this policy, do you? Or that these consequences will be unintended? What a ridiculous concept.

    3. I make less than that as an engineer.

  12. Yeah, because businesses, and especially the service industry, where the largest expense is PAYROLL, is just going to double up the pay for minimum wage jobs, along with the proportional raises that must be paid to supervisors and hourly management.

    Or, the owner cuts half the workforce, buys a burger flipping machine, and retains his profit margins.

    Businesses do not exist to employ people. Businesses exist to provide a good or service and be compensated for that good or service. The end.

    1. But we’re all in this together! You didn’t build that business! That’s my stuff that you’re hoarding, you robber baron!

    2. Corporations aren’t people!! They don’t have rights!!!!11111

  13. Machines will ultimately replace all labor.

    Things the the arts, music, theatre, etc. will be safe for a while.

    Even Surgery will be automated to the point that a surgeon will never tough a human body.

    That said, we may need to re-consider the meal-ticket.

    1. I’m going to develop a robot shark that eats surfers as a meal ticket.

    2. Nokia is making a little handheld device right now that can run practically every medical lab blood test with one drop of blood, just as accurately as any lab, and display the results on your cell phone, in one minute, and of course, at a fraction of the cost.

      Future surgeries will be done with nanobots. Surgeons will become more of a technician who analyzes results and proposes the right treatment, greatly aided by machines.

      1. Not if Obamacare forbids any advancements in technology!

      2. Hi, I’m Obamacare’s medical device tax. That’s a lovely idea you have there, shame if anything were to happen to it.

        *squishes idea*

      3. Technology is wonderful!
        One of my first jobs was to help automate a clinical chemistry lab. It took:
        – Nurses to draw the samples, old-style, with syringes (Hail, Vacutainers!);
        – A machine the size of half a modern refrigerator to do the work;
        – A lab full of medical technologists to prep the samples and load them into the machine;
        – Same techs to unload and clean the machine periodically;
        – A roomful of computer, requiring good A/C (CDC 3200, for the cognoscenti, programmed entirely in assembly language, of course, and we even used – OMG – some dynamic instruction modification!?!? Talk about hard to debug!).

        All for 6 tests. And we could get the results back to the doctor in a few hours, maybe. Admittedly, we were breaking new ground when we were doing this in 1966. But that was only 50 years ago!

        1. That’s a sense of “automate” that progressives can live with.

    3. “Machines will ultimately replace all labor.”
      Not entirely true. Machines will replace all manual labor; the humans role will be changed to one of managing the machines. In the future we’ll all be computer scientists. “Surgeons” will design algorithms to detect abnormalities in the surgery, and will of course still have specialized medical knowledge so that they can oversee the robotic surgery and intervene should something go wrong.

      If I have kids, I will strongly urge them to be applied mathematics major. Really everyone should be an applied mathematician/computer scientist.

  14. what happens to jobs that are already filled at $30k/ year?

    The Federal Reserve Bank will finally be able to declare victory over the scourge of deflation.

  15. Artisanal McDonalds will taste the same as Robotic McDonalds but it will cost more.

  16. Businesses do not exist to employ people. Businesses exist to provide a good or service and be compensated for that good or service. The end.

    Crazy talk! Antediluvian crackpottery!
    Why do you think they’re called employers, Mister Smartypants?

  17. Circumstances conspired to make me eat at a Wendy’s this weekend. While the staff was still pretty out of it, the food had gotten better since the last time I ate there. The bun tasted like bread and the fries were delicious.

    1. Wendys is some of the better fast food. 5 Guys is typically my choice, though. But I do like Wendys.

      1. In the wilds of Indiana, it was the best choice. Taco Bell, Arby’s and McDonald’s were the only other ones.

        1. I like Arby’s roast beef sandwiches and that sauce. But Wendys has the best fries.

      2. I don’t consider Five Guys to be fast food. More like a artisanal hipster In-N-Out, but without the animal fries.

        1. What the fuck is artesianal about Five Guys?

          Five Guys is more like the PBR of burger joints.
          It’s cheap, it’s tasteless, it’s boring, it’s cheap. Did I mention it’s cheap?

          1. It’s not cheap either. After hearing endless favorable rants I decided to try it. I would rather eat at Wendy’s and its cheaper.

          2. 5 Guys is cheap? On which planet do you reside?

            1. It used to be cheap before they got popular and morons decided that they were actually good.

          3. Not to mention sexist. I refuse to eat their until they at least change it to 3 guys and 2 women.

      3. Five Guys is where I eat if I want fast food. I used to work at McDonald’s, back when I was young and putting myself through college. I don’t eat that crap.

        1. McDonalds is artesianal compared to Five Guys.
          At least McD’s has a special sauce.

    2. Wendy’s does seem to have the most retarded staff. Like drooling and talking to themselves retarded.

      I find their food to be largely pretty good, but last time I went there it was awful for some reason.

      1. My favorite burger joint is actually (and this is going to sound embarrassingly progressive), a local place in a nearby town that serves entirely locally-produced burgers. The meat is from a local cattle ranch. The lettuce is from a local greenhouse. The mustard is stone ground. Even the pickles are home-made. The potatoes for the fries are also from a local farm.

    3. Circumstances conspired

      Hangover meal after walk of shame?

  18. You know, once these machines the default way of running a fast food restraunt the protesters will probably get their wish because the small handful of human workers left at those establishments will probably be making north of $15 per hour.

    1. Exactly, they’ll be the people who maintain and clean the machines!

  19. There are a couple of legendary burger joints in Montreal. One is just a guy flipping and spitting out burgers and the other has a line of cooks popping them out efficiently. There’s no effen way you’ll ever convince me that’s a $15 an hour job because.

    My pool playing pugilist grandfather worked at one of those greasers and when he felt he needed more money who took on another job as a cab driver. He didn’t complain nor did he feel he was worth more. They just hustled. He tried to join the Canadian army in the Second World War but was turned down because of a scar he had over his eye thanks to a baseball bat hitting him while he was a catcher.

    1. In Chicago they are raising the minimum wage to 10 dollar per an hour and oddly enough, it’s the youngins who are 18-20 years old at this sandwich shop I used to work at complaining about this raise. They know that if the city raise the minimum wage then the products they buy from other places will also increase in price. The funny part is that the people who are college graduates at the sandwich shop refuse to realize this reality.

      1. Just like Smashmouth once said, “Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb..”

    2. They need $15 an hour to keep up with their drunken dads and uncles who make that much laying on the couch opening the envelope from welfare.

  20. Let me know when they have an automated poutine machine.

    Poutine Machine, great band name, I call it.

    1. Poutine Machine & the Butter Tarts

      1. Very good band name. Very suggestive band name; I’m not quite sure of what, exactly.

  21. I figure the progs will try to gin up some sort of health scare over robot burger-flippers. Or perhaps go to that old standby, claim that they cause global warming.

    Hey, these are progs we’re talking about. Their story doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to become The Narrative.

    1. Appeals to emotion is all they got, and unfortunately they work for many people.

  22. Politicians used to pillory fast food jobs as the sorts of jobs that America shouldn’t strive to create. As in: “My opponent’s vision of the future is one where only burger-flipping jobs are created, instead of jobs in the lucrative field of [insert favored field here]”. Now I suppose fast food work is an essential part of the fabric of American culture that cannot be lost due to crass mechanization.

    1. You’re not suggesting our political leaders are craven opportunists? are you?

      1. Maybe the political leaders are the first ones who should be replaced by robots.

        Program all of them with everything James Madison had to say about the Constitution put them into service.

  23. Everyone repeat after me:

    The minimum wage is 0.
    The minimum wage is 0.
    The minimum wage is 0.

    Employers are not required to hire every dumb ass that walks in wanting a job. I’m amazed that minimum wage workers are economically justifiable now, particularly with all the government add on costs to their salaries.

    Driving past strip malls (and I do drive past, as Amazon delivers), I don’t know how those places stay in business as it is. And looking at the churn and empty storefronts, many of them don’t.

    This is where I disagree with Bailey. He thinks there will always be new jobs that humans can out compete the machines. Computer capabilities go up, minimum wage worker capabilities don’t, but the legal and regulatory liabilities associated with minimum wage workers do go up.

    Entrepreneurship is not an infinite resource. Likely there will be much more money to be made in replacing humans with machines than finding new (and presumably, less profitable) ways to employ those humans thrown out of work.

    1. minimum wage worker capabilities don’t

      I don’t think that’s true. Not universally, anyway. Not that it justifies artificially setting wages in any case.

    2. The minimum wage is zero for folks that volunteer for Hillary’s campaign.

  24. Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income… You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection… Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up… You can have your first check by the end of this week……………..

    1. Got laid off at the burger joint, did you?

      1. Nah. His BoA stock crashed after assholes weaseled their way out of honoring the mortgage that they signed in good faith so he/she needed supplemental income.

  25. Not only does our machine eliminate nearly all of that cost, it also obviates the associated management headaches.

    And adds maintenance and software bug related headaches.

    1. “Not only does our machine eliminate nearly all of that cost, it also obviates the associated management headaches.

      And adds maintenance and software bug related headaches.”

      That’s a good trade.

      1. Indeed. As a person with fairly mediocre programming skills, I maintain that given a few weeks even I could probably write some lines of code that could effectively replace about half of all government jobs. If the state took full advantage of automation, they could labor cut costs down drastically without cutting services one bit.

        But they won’t because THEY TOOK OUR JERBZ!

  26. If you want to end half all illegal immigration then roll out machines that can do chicken plucking or vegetable harvesting.

    1. I already have machines that attend to my yard work. They’re called “teenagers.”

    2. Already have those machines, your Majesty. We just don’t have automated brick-laying or lawn-mowing.

  27. Some social scientists at Berkeley will attempt to give the robots civil rights, health care and gay marriage. And if they come in from Mexico the robots will have more rights than people.

    1. After a max three years of use, all laptops must be retired indefinitely to a massive government run charging depot in Fort Lauderdale, where they will enjoy their twilight years doing nothing but sitting there, and all software or hardware problems will be repaired at taxpayer expense until their batteries crap out entirely.

  28. Making a check of $48500/month with online working,, you make money $81/hour from laptop in free time.My neighbour’s sister has been averaging $15750/months now and she works about 20 hours a week. i make $13900 last month, it is realy easy and trustful ,
    here you can start work…. http://www.Work4Hour.Com

    1. Wait wait wait, you make 500,000 per year doing this, and your neighbor’s sister is making nearly 200,000? I think spambot’s random number generator is broken, or pretty soon it’s going to to in Forbes 400 (or at least it’s neighbor’s sister’s babysitter will be).

  29. This is what happens when you allow yourself to be replaceable. Most of the people working at these places put the absolute minimum effort into the food they make and it shows in the final product. The same goes for people taking relatively simple orders using a machine with simple buttons with pictures on them. It couldn’t be simpler, and yet time after time orders are taken badly. Apparently these folks WANT to be replaced.

    1. “Apparently these folks WANT to be replaced.”

      I think you’re being too kind; you presume the people involved accept that they CAN be replaced.
      I’m betting that those folks have looked at the current US and local gov’ts and come to the conclusion that Obo or someone else will simply outlaw the possibility of them being replaced.
      And, sad as it is, they may be right.

  30. The massive stupidity behind the idea that if you want people to earn more money all you have to do is mandate that employers pay them more never ceases to amaze me.

    It’s so mind-bogglingly dumb, that I feel like the power if it’s stupidity will cause the universe to implode.

  31. Does Momentum Machines lobby for a $15/hour minimum wage? I doubt a $15/hour minimum wage is much of a problem for a company that hires Software Engineers or Machine Vision Specialists.

    It would give them a progressive look, while increasing demand for their product. Even if the $15/hour minimum wage never happens, it will make their potential customers nervous enough to consider their products.

    1. Crony capitalism FTW!

  32. When a min wage worker calls in sick you can probably ask someone else to cover his shift. Maybe. Or others can take up the slack. But if your one super expensive hamburger assembly line breaks down, your whole operation is screwed until you can get it up and running again. This machine may eliminate many of the headaches of line cooks, but you definitely need someone to load the ingredients, clean the thing, and do routine maintenance also. It’s not human employee free.

    1. Juice|4.20.15 @ 11:21PM|#
      “[…]This machine may eliminate many of the headaches of line cooks, but you definitely need someone to load the ingredients, clean the thing, and do routine maintenance also. It’s not human employee free.”

      I don’t think anyone suggested it was intended to be so. It just removes a bunch of low-end whiners from the mix and allows management to deal with more skilled labor.

  33. This movement is nothing more than a bunch of low info people being conned by the SEIU. Of tje more than 14,000 McDonalds stores worldwide, only 2100 are owned by the corporation. So all the yammering about CEO pay is pure BS. The average franchisee pays McDonalds approximately $1 million a year in licensing and operating costs. The real issue is people who have made bad life choices now feel they are “entitled” to the type of wages the rest of us have worked for by doing things like going to college. So the answer to the question is yes they will likely be ordering from their robot replacements.

  34. It’s hard to believe, but there are still dimwits out there who think that we have doubled our standard of living multiple times over the past 150 years by insisting on inefficient methods of carrying our workload. It works like this – machines lower costs, which means more money in the customer’s pocket (a direct incease in his standard of living) , which is spent instead on something other than burgers,which means increasing the number of workers required to service
    those other expenditures. It’s all a matter of shifting money around.

  35. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,


  36. Can the machine chew gum open-mouthed while giving a blank stare at the register, searching for the right button, and roll its eyes at any out-of-the-ordinary order?

  37. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ??????

  38. If this machine self cleans, then it is a home run. Otherwise, lazy humans will let pathogens breed on the surfaces. A restaurant using this machine could then afford non-gmo ingredients. I’ll take mine with no bun medium rare 1/3 brisket, 1/3 Sirloin, 1/3 Chuck, fried onions, crisped bacon, and Dijon mustard.

  39. The AMFare ORBIS, circa 1960! The car is a 1960 Buick.

    The system could prepare hundreds of meals per hour and required only three people to operate. One to push the buttons on the ORBIS (ORder and BIlling System), one to put the finished items on the trays and push the trays onto a conveyor belt and the third to carry the trays to the cars.

    An updated version would replace ORBIS and its operator with touch screens in the lobby and at the drive-up. Robots available right now could place the food on the trays and a conveyor belt system could take care of shuffling them to the counter and cars.

    Cleaning could all be fully automated with piping to carry water, detergents and air for drying. Stocking the food could be done using special containers delivered by trucks and pushed into hatches in an outer building wall.

    These systems will be coming now, once a $15 minimum wage spreads across the USA. It’s the only way to avoid $40 a person meals at McDonalds and the other fast food chains.

    The smaller burger joints will find themselves squeezed out of business, except for the family owned and operated independents that have no other employees. Even so, their prices will have to increase as the ripple effect from a higher minimum wage drives up all other wages, and prices.

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