A fiend and I were discussing Walmart’s decision to invest in robots to do the mundane taskings that their employees feel is not part of their job. This decision was reached due to the demand of 15.00 per hour. As we discussed this topic it became apparent that we held dissimilar views on the subject. While he did not clarify his position, I did. Listed below is my reasoning on the subject.
Common sense would suggest that when minimum wage goes up, so does the cost of living. Fast food restaurants for example expect to earn .02-.06 cents of profit on each burger they sell. When minimum wage goes up, the price on everything goes up to offset the additional money spent. It is a vicious cycle. The consumer side of me, understands that more money helps make our lives more comfortable. However, the business side of me understands why Walmart decided to place the order for almost two thousand robots.
It is difficult to make ends meet on a minimum wage job. I understand this. We want our children to have the things that we did not have. Education is not cheap. The upkeep of our vehicles, and our desire for a nice home is also burdensome. When we make more money, we can sometimes afford nicer things. Therefore, it is imperative that we make the most money we can to live comfortably.
The business side of it is equally sticky. An employer hires people based on the need of their companies. Some people are full time, some are part time. If they were to pay their full-time employees 15 bucks an hour, the part time people would claim discrimination. If they were to pay all their employees 15 an hour, they would most likely be bankrupt. Employees that work 40 hours a week, usually have access to health insurance and other perks. Let’s take a gander at how this would possibly play out:
Employer A has 500 employees. Three hundred are full time, 200 are part time. They are forced to pay 15.00 an hour for minimum wage. Given the perk package and rising health insurance costs they must come up with a solution on how to remain within their annual budget. A meeting is called. The employees crowd into the conference room to hear the new plan for their workplace environment. The board of directors say since the sudden rise of minimum wage has destroyed their budget, they now have no choice but to do away with all full-time employees. Everyone is now part time. Perk packages are eradicated, and each employee is now responsible for their own health insurance.
Granted, this is a false scenario, but the point remains. 15 bucks an hour is not feasible. Most employers expect minimum wage to rise and they can plan accordingly. However, a sudden increase to 15.00 an hour is too much. Should Walmart hire robots to do mundane taskings like mop the floor or clean the bathrooms? I don’t think so. However, if I was an employer and all I heard was crying how it isn’t fair, I probably would hire a robot to do the work.
The employer needs employees and vice versa. There is a saying, it goes something like this: “Cheap labor isn’t skilled, skilled labor isn’t cheap.” Once upon a time in America, we were not satisfied with flipping burgers for twenty years and calling it a career. There is nothing wrong with flipping burgers if that is all you can find. You gotta do what you gotta do. However, we should all be trying to improve our situation. If we want to make more money, we should be striving to improve, not expecting a hand out from the government. This is only my opinion.
You guys take care and I will chat with you all later.
P.S. This is my 500th blog! YAY!!!