Liberal demands to raise the minimum wage to $15 have forced McDonald’s to announce “as of 2020, self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented at all U.S. McDonald’s locations.” Hundreds of thousands of jobs were just destroyed as young workers are priced right out of the market by socialist policy.
Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi is deeply bothered. “My concern about this is personal. Without my opportunity to start as a grill man, I would have never ended up running one of largest fast food chains in the world. I started working at McDonald’s making the minimum wage of 85 cents an hour.”
The scheme to subsidize low-wage workers is so idiotic even some Democrats can’t stand it. The only reason left-leaning activists bow to the minimum wage deity “is simply because it makes us think we are good and on the side of the poor.”
“A minimum wage makes us feel like compassionate teddy bears,” liberal author Noah Siderhurst writes, “when in fact we are out of touch monsters if we support it.”
Libertarians have been saying that all along. “Beyond just the minimum wage’s harm to the economy,” Indri Schaelicke notes, “it is also immoral because it limits what terms two consenting adults can voluntarily negotiate a contract for… These terms are between employer and employee.”
The right of the individual to price their own labor shouldn’t be seized by the state.
When workers negotiate contracts, it virtually guarantees jobs with the chance to rise through the ranks. Burdensome minimum wages only replace humans with robots and nobody wins.
Ed Rensi’s input on any subject should not be taken lightly. While sitting at the CEO desk of the world’s dominant fast-food empire, he was legendary for his abilities. “If you’re looking for someone with the answers, Ed Rensi has them, and he thinks every operations person in the McDonald’s system should have them as well.”
After mobs burned through South Central Los Angeles in April 2001 not a single McDonald’s restaurant had been touched. Time Magazine quoted Rensi’s “simple” explanation “of what happened or didn’t happen” in South Central L.A.
“Our businesses there are owned by African-American entrepreneurs who hired African-American managers who hired African-American employees who served everybody in the community, whether they be Korean, African American or Caucasian.”
Part of the community respect came from McDonald’s “basic job-training system.”
“Sending a kid to the Army used to be the standard way to teach kids values, discipline, respect for authority, to be a member of a team, get to work on time, brush your teeth, comb your hair, clean your fingernails, Rensi related.
“Now, somehow, McDonald’s has become the new entry-level job-training institution in America. We find ourselves doing things in that role that we would never imagine we would do.”
Ed Rensi points out that many “fast-casual brands” such as Panera and Chili’s have already embraced the automation trend. Not only are cashiers becoming a thing of the past, the “grill men” like Rensi are gone too, thanks to “Flippy,” the robot burger maker.
As he rose through the ranks, he “went on to hold almost every position available throughout the company, eventually rising to CEO of McDonald’s USA.” His business cards listed his position as “Chief Hamburger Griller, French Fryer, Shakemaker, and Cheerleader.”
Not only did he introduce the world to the Chicken McNugget, he opened the very first Ronald McDonald house for parents to stay near their sick children in Philadelphia.
Rensi wants America to know that “the kind of job that allowed me and many others to rise through the ranks is now being threatened by a rising minimum wage that’s pricing jobs out of the market.”
Rensi wants you to realize that there is another way to balance the equation, increase sales. That can only be done by providing services a machine could never be programmed for.
The smiling face behind the counter is not just there to ask if you “want fries with that.” If a mother and her children come up to a kiosk, its electronic brain will never once consider offering to carry the woman’s tray.
McDonald’s has always been on the cutting edge of technological advancement, ever since Ray Kroc leveraged the power of the “Multimixer” shake machine. Drive through service, clam-shell grills that cook burgers on both sides at once, the innovations are numerous.
The one thing that all of them had in common, up until now, is that they were designed to make human workers more productive and the work more enjoyable.
As Rensi relates, “these innovations have reduced the labor needed to increase output levels and made employees’ jobs easier in the process.”
Self-service ordering, Rensi explains, “has been presented in a similar manner,” but it isn’t the same, he insists. The self-service kiosks “reduce the number of employees.”
Almost half of all minimum wage workers “are between the ages of 16 and 24.” The benefits of entry-level jobs are felt throughout the person’s entire career.
Schaelicke agrees, adding that when employees are not worth $15 an hour, “employers cannot hire them at all.”
“If the minimum wage ends,” the libertarian writer suggests, “he or she will be able to find an employer willing to hire them.”
$5 per hour may not be “the wage required to live a comfortable life,” but it is “a stepping stone to higher paying jobs in the future.” As skills increase, they are rewarded with raises. “In this way, people are able to climb the socio-economic hierarchy.”
Schaelicke is climbing that ladder himself. The student in high school practices what he preaches, gaining valuable skills as a budding author while working for whatever donations his insightful writing generates.