Sunday, September 7, 2014

Momentum Machines and Fast Food Minimum Wages

The minimum wage is a hot button topic with Democrats this election cycle. Nationally, they wish to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 hour. Not to be undone, the Democrat Chicago mayor who never allows a political controversy or crisis to not be politically exploited, wants the minimum wage in Chicago set at $13.00 an hour. In Springfield, those Democrats who completely control our State Government want Illinois' minimum wage set at $10.00. So what is stopping this overwhelming  political momentum for increasing the minimum wage in Illinois?

In Springfield, the Illinois State Senate and House are controlled by veto-proof majorities of Democrats. Rather than vote an increase in the minimum wage, they elected to place on the ballot a non-binding referendum allowing voters to decide the issue. Once the voters decide, it doesn't become law, because it is merely advisory.  The matter then will assumedly be brought again to the Illinois Senate and House controlled by veto-proof majorities of Democrats, where it will be passed.  Maybe.

The Governor of Illinois, who in a political stunt spent a week "living" on $79.00 a week in food and tearfully turning down an iced tea at Wendy's for water, keeps claiming he is for increasing the minimum wage, but did little or nothing to push his fellow Democrats to vote for it in Springfield during the last legislative session. He did speedily sign the advisory referendum so that it could be placed on the ballot.

A compliant and tame city council in Chicago will enact anything that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel wants.  But an increase in the minimum wage?

Not happening until after the election.

Anyone else here think how cynical, cruel and heartless it is of Democrats who can easily enact increases in the minimum wage, yet refuse for purely political reasons? The legislature in Springfield adjourned in May of this year. So those struggling to live on the current minimum wage must continue to suffer until after the November elections?

In Chicago, aldermen never adjourn. Why are they waiting?

"Vote for me and only then will I increase your minimum wage," sure sounds pretty heartless. I'll guarantee anyone in Illinois that Democrats won't be putting that message on their political mailers and literature this year.

I always felt that rather than toss these poor minimum wage workers around like political footballs, the minimum wage should be indexed to the rate of inflation. I even wrote about that idea a while back.  But then again, this is the Common Sense in Illinois' 10th blog. We are not based in Chicago or Springfield, where common sense often is in short supply.

Last week Illinois Democrats ramped up the pressure on themselves to increase the minimum wage, a preposterous situation considering that the keys to increasing the minimum wage are in the hands of those very same Democrats who control Springfield without the need of any Republicans, and in Chicago's City Hall, where no Republican aldermen exist. The pressure is being ramped up so that voters can race to the polls and tell Democrats to do what they can already easily do, but won't.

Union inspired protests even took place in front of various fast food restaurants this week in the Chicago metropolitan area. Some staged arrests took place of protestors wearing red shirts provided by unions who routinely support, endorse and donate to those same Democrats that can easily raise the minimum wage without any opposition in Springfield and Chicago, but won't.

Only in Illinois can such a preposterous situation exist. And if you believe those same Democrats, this preposterous situation is all the fault of Republicans.

Now the Pappas Post, an extensive internet news source for Greek America, is reporting an example of American exceptionalism may solve minimum wage issues for fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Culvers, 5 Guys, Sonic, Hardy's, Portillo's, and so many others.

No more worrying about escalating labor costs thanks to politicians. No more worrying about minimum wage employees calling in sick, quitting on the spot or just not showing up. No more worries about food sanitation and quality of product.

A private business called Momentum Machines, has developed a machine that promises it can do anything fast food restaurant employees do in a cooking or prep line, only better. "Our device isn't meant to make employees more efficient," said co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas. "It's meant to completely obviate them."

In a matter of minutes, the machine can take a beef patty, grill it, smother it with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles, squirt a little of that special sauce, ketchup or mustard, put it on a bun, and bag it! Sanitation wise, it seems a step above the current set up at most fast food restaurants.

So very shortly, the momentum for increasing the minimum wage to new politically inspired levels will meet Momentum Machines in fast food restaurants. And all those little hardworking people Democrats pretend to help will be obviated?

Good intentions sometimes lead to unintended consequences.

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