Your Minimum Wage is in the Hands of Wealthy Washington Politicians and Tech
As Congress debates in Washington on raising a minimum wage that has been stagnant since July 2009, millions are suffering near poverty levels. Over 12 years have passed as the price of goods has steadily increased over the years. Congress could care less since a majority of the US representatives are millionaires.
“The top 10 percent of the wealthiest lawmakers have three times more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.”
A majority of Americans (59%) support raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 according to a Reuters poll. Other respondents (34%) did not support raising the minimum wage.
Raising the minimum wage would help lift some families out of poverty. Approximately 58% or 82 million people live on minimum wage. From these numbers, about 34 million people live on poverty. When millions want to raise the minimum wage, there is a downside to raising this as economists expect low-income jobs would disappear.
The rise of artificial intelligence
You may have seen the rise of automated cashier machines at Walmart, McDonald’s, and other large businesses. When these machines were installed, the number of cashiers decreased.
Businesses want to make money and realize that automated cashiers reduce their requirement for manual labor. The majority of these people earn minimum wage.
Washington politicians have to cater to their constituents. Raising the minimum wage would have a domino effect.
Businesses look to artificial intelligence to save money and cut human labor
Large businesses would continue to install more automated cashier system. Last year, Walmart announced they would add more automated cashier systems to over 1,000 stores in 2021. Additionally, Walmart is adding a Walmart + subscription service which will allow customers to scan and pay from their phone while in the store.
Three years ago, Kroger added a Scan, Bag, Go platform to approximately 400 stores. Kroger also added self-checkout kiosks for customers who had coupons.
Businesses look ahead on how to save money at the expense of hiring more employees cutting into their profit margins.
With unemployment at 10.1 million people according to the Labor Department, many people may not go back to the same job where they previously worked. Businesses are using the time to install more automated self-checkout machines and mobile apps for customers to use.
Washington bureaucrats will have their hands full trying to save their voters who put them in office. The battle between technology and people is only growing at the expense of employees who lived on minimum wage.
This could be the greatest issue that politicians are missing. Raising the minimum wage will help people who need money but big businesses are looking for ways to save money. Another storm is growing that politicians will not have an answer.
The coronavirus caused a big shift in the economy and caused trillions of dollars to get spent bailing out businesses and paying people on unemployment. Raising the minimum wage could cause more issues that politicians will be at a loss for words on how to fix this problem.
As big businesses install cash registers that don’t require people, how will the mom-and-pop shops and small businesses budget for employees at double the cost of what they pay them now? During this past year, small businesses struggled with the loss of customers who stayed home with the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home order that hit cities.
Washington politicians may have to use their money to help answer the biggest issue that they will face. People need a livable wage as businesses try to make money at the same time. This could be the biggest challenge politicians will face sooner rather than later.