Wage Protesters Blocked Traffic to Get Fast Food Industry to Hire Robots

Here’s how the New York Times begins its story about wage protesters:

Hundreds of fast-food workers and labor allies demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested in sit-ins around the country on Thursday, as the protesters used civil disobedience to call attention to their cause.

Organizers said nearly 500 protesters were arrested in three dozen cities — including Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Little Rock, Ark. All told, the sit-ins took place in about 150 cities nationwide, the organizers said.

Now here is what happened at one of those protests—this one in Kansas City as reported by Fox 4:

Police arrested 52 people Thursday afternoon who were protesting at 14th and Prospect during a demonstration over fast food wages.

[…]

The arrests came as protesters blocked the ramp onto I-70 and wouldn’t let drivers through near the Prospect McDonald’s. 

To fast-food workers on the picket-line today: Enjoy it while it lasts.

fast food robot

The more you whine about being paid silly amounts for your unskilled labor, the closer the day comes when you won’t be making $15/hour—you’ll be unemployed.

Consider this report from Business Insider: “Here’s The Burger-Flipping Robot That Could Put Fast-Food Workers Out Of A Job.”

A company called Momentum Machines has built a robot that could radically change the fast-food industry and have some line cooks looking for new jobs.

The company’s robot can “slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.” The robot is “more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.” That’s one burger every 10 seconds.

The next generation of the device will offer “custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.” 

Momentum Machines cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas told Xconomy his “device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them.” Indeed, marketing copy on the company’s site reads that their automaton “does everything employees can do, except better.”

If you want to make more money, make yourself more valuable. Learn a skill for which someone will pay you more. No one owes you a job, and it’s an absolute fact that no one owes you $15/hour for making burgers.

Welcome to economic reality.