Tags: robot | worker | marketable | skill

Machines and Robots Will Take Over the Minimum-Wage Workforce

By    |   Monday, 02 June 2014 08:13 AM

We're in the age of machines and robots taking the place of what entry-level employees used to do.

My first experience that I can recall was back in the 1990s with "automated teller machines." I remember thinking of how great a convenience it was to be able to go to the machine and get cash or deposit a check and be able to skip the teller lines.

While ATMs have existed since the 1960s, it took them a while to catch on here in America. Today, they are widely used.

Well, that was just the beginning of machines tiptoeing into the workplace and replacing entry-level employees.

One of the next "innovations" was the self-checkout at stores like Wal-Mart. These days, one worker oversees four or more self-checkouts. In other words, machines do what four or more people used to do.

These machines don't even know what medical insurance is, they don't get pay or pay increases, they don't strike, they don't complain. They don't get hurt and need workers' comp or need to take sick days, personal days or vacation days. Instead, they increase the productivity while removing these huge expenses for a business.

So of course, businesses are interested in replacing jobs that don't require a lot of skill with these machines. And as this "machine and robot" implementation continues, it will only pick up speed.

For instance, more recently, Momentum Machines, based in San Francisco, has invented a robotic burger maker that can turn out up to 360 burgers per hour. This would replace three full-time kitchen staff, take up less kitchen space and ultimately cost less.

This will be one of the next places where robots replace complaining, striking, minimum-wage workers.

Now, these aren't just patty machines. No, they can grind, stamp and grill patties made-to-order. They cut and layer the lettuce, onions, pickles, tomatoes, etc. and put them on a bun and can even wrap them up to go!

In the future, fast-food restaurants will need less space for the kitchen (which will save them in rent and utilities, etc.) since these machines only take up a mere 24 square feet.

It will enhance the experience because you don't have to worry about someone licking your taco shells or bodily fluids contaminating the food.

Remember, these machines don't "walk off the job" or need training. So there will be more consistency, more predictability and less time wasted.

The money that is saved can then go into better ingredients in order to compete better with other restaurants as they raise the appeal of their restaurant relative to that of others.

So this is something that's coming down the pike. But here's what's coming even sooner.

Panera Bread, a fast-casual chain, is going to replace some workers with kiosks. There will be roughly eight checkout kiosks per restaurant to help solve their slow-service issue that they currently have.

This will initially result in one to two fewer cashiers per restaurant, but you can see where the trend is going. And all of this will get implemented in the next year or two.

Then there's Amazon.com. They currently use 1,000 robots from a company they bought back in 2012 called Kiva Systems. They use these robots to help fill customer orders.

Well, now I'm seeing a report from CNN that says Amazon will have up to 10,000 robots working by the end of this year!

Even CEO Jeff Bezos himself said in a shareholder meeting that they plan to double down on robotics. Now, he says that no human jobs will be lost.

However, even if this is true, fewer human jobs will be needed there in the future. (You'll remember that Amazon has been one of the places where workers have been striking or threatening to walk out near peak selling seasons for Amazon so that they can get better pay, etc.)

Well, there's one way to take care of that headache. Buy a robotics company and replace complaining humans with robots! And that's just what they've done.

So if you think minimum-wage workers and low-paid workers are ticked now because they feel they don't make enough money, wait until they don't even have a job at all because a robot or machine replaced them.

And when these workers with no marketable skills or very low marketable skills can't find jobs and the unemployment rate among them skyrockets even more than what it is now, there will eventually be riots in the streets.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about how there will come a time where there will be riots in the streets due to the rise of inflation. Now, I'm also telling you that there will be riots in the streets one day because minimum-wage or low-skilled workers will be almost completely replaced by machines or robots.

So what is a person to do about it? You're not going to be able to stop the riots from coming. So you may need to own a firearm simply for your own personal protection.

But above that, you'll want to be a shareholder of companies that are consistently increasing their profits rather than just simply being a consumer that will suffer under the rise of inflation.

You should also make sure you have a very marketable skill. Don't have a skill that a mere machine or robot can easily replace. And don't allow your kids to get stuck in that situation either.

Encourage them to get their education either at a college or a trade school. Some Americans don't realize that some tradesmen make as much as college grads and they don't have the debt that college grads have. So, find out if your child is best with their hands or with their heads.

If they're best with their hands, don't send them to college. Get them interested in a trade school. College isn't for everyone. But a marketable skill is for everyone.

So prepare to protect yourself and your home. Learn to be an investor and not simply a consumer. And increase your marketable skills (even after the completion of college or a trade school). This is how you'll prepare yourself for what is to come.

Only the fool gets caught up in the present. The wise look down the road to what's coming ahead and prepare now for what is to come. Don't wait until it full-blown to do something about it. Prepare now. It will take time to prepare as you should for this phase in America.

God bless!

About the Author: Sean Hyman
Sean Hyman is a member of the Moneynews Financial Brain Trust.
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We're in the age of machines and robots taking the place of what entry-level employees used to do.
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Monday, 02 June 2014 08:13 AM
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