For John, BLUF: Actions have consequences. If you up the minimum wage some will find affordable ways to replace workers. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is a link to an InstaPundit post on a Restaurant trend out in California. Rather than a wait staff, you order what you want off an iPad. From The [Manchester] Guardian we have "New San Francisco restaurant replaces humans with iPads". Note the negative spin from The Guardian. Here is the sub-headline: "Eatsa in the city’s financial district offers iPad-based ordering, with meals prepared by people whom customers never have to see".♠
It turns out Toronto has three such establishments. And, again on the Coast, there are a couple of Restaurants ("Stacked") with the do it yourself ordering, but wait staff to deliver the meal.
For those of you who think this is new and cool, it isn't. This is the old Horn and Hardarts places in Philly and NYC, updated. They were Automats. The concept (then it was putting coins in slots to get what you wanted) came over from Germany about 100 years ago. Then it died out, only to rise from the dead as a result of the minimum wage going up.
In the mean time, the U-6 Unemployment Rate continues to laugh at us. As one person noted, the U-6 Unemployment Number (the true number) remains very high...and labor participation by those youths old enough to be in the work force is at a nearly 50 year low. The sad truth is that if you can't find a job and stop looking you are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics we normally see. This is a point that Democrat Candidate Bernie Sanders keeps making. Is anyone listening?
This economy has been producing 200,000 jobs a month...that does not even cover new entrants.
If we wish to up the minimum wage we need to look at the down side. I expect there are other actions we should be considering, things like the Earned Income Tax Credit, to ease folks back into the work force and give them a living wage.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Actually, isn't that the way it is at most restaurants, where one sees the wait staff, but not the cooking staff?