Minimum wage laws kill jobs, part 30,289... This was totally predictable, and in fact many did (including yours truly). The reaction of businesses to high minimum wages is to automate every low-skill job in sight. The latest to announce a move in this direction: the classic low-wage entry-level employer: McDonald's. Yep, that's right: get ready for burgers flipped, built, and served by robots. As the McDonald's executives make abundantly clear, this is only happening because high minimum wages tipped the economic scales: investing in robotics is now cheaper than hiring high school kids.
Of course, with the tumbling cost of robotics and the rising cost of labor, this was inevitable at some point anyway. But high minimum wages are hustling that day forward, and long before society has adjusted to that reality. Once the robots are widely deployed at fast food joints, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost. Perhaps worse, one of the largest employers of young people with zero job experience will stop providing that valuable introduction to the world of gainful employment. As a society we don't have good alternatives yet...
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