Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Myth Of The Fast-Food Worker Replacement Terminal

If you have engaged in or observed the debate over raising the minimum wage, chances are you have seen the meme below, of a terminal in a fast-food restaurant which allows you to order and pay for your food in the place of an actual person.

15Hour

This meme is nonsense, based on faulty logic.  The fact is, if corporations found it cost-effective enough to replace humans with machines, they would do it, regardless of whether the minimum wage goes up or not.  Do people who get behind the mentality of this meme actually think that companies haven’t implemented terminals on a widespread basis and replaced minimum wage workers already, out of the kindness of their hearts?  Please.  The reason they haven’t is either the cost, or the fact that it would not be popular with all customers.

Think about how often you hear people complain about not being able to speak to a living, breathing person when dealing with the bank or the phone company, for instance.  Many human customer service representatives have been cut by companies in favor of automated systems, to the dismay of many customers who have situations that are either still too complicated for a machine to process efficiently, or who are just annoyed with the monotonous, robotic button-pushing that is required before speaking to someone who can finally address whatever issue they may be having.

As simplified as fast-food has become, there are still bound to be situations where an actual person is required to process an order.  In addition, many people still value the human contact and interaction as part of the experience of grabbing a bite to eat.  Supermarket cashiers have not been replaced by self-checkout lanes, which serves as a perfect example of how humans and machines can co-exist, without one completely replacing the other.

The fact is, many of us will probably be replaceable by a machine or computer at some point in the future, to a certain degree. This doesn’t mean that people don’t deserve a decent, living wage in the meantime.

The Land Of The Free?

Whenever you hear proud fellow Americans speak of our country, it’s often about how it is the “Land Of The Free” and the emphasis is on all of the freedoms that “we” enjoy. This is all fine and dandy, but something happened today which gave me a little perspective.

Ireland legalized gay marriage today, with a landslide popular vote.  And, while I don’t think an issue such as whether gays should be able to marry is something that should be left to voters, it is nonetheless an impressive victory.  Ireland joins Scotland, England, France, Brazil and 13 other countries where same-sex marriage is now legal.

Yet, in the United States we’re still plagued with obstruction and conflict with regards to this issue. Sure, gay marriage is legal in some states in the U.S., but apparently it is a freedom that some states feel is their right to impede. I thought we were the “Land Of The Free?” How is it that Ireland beats us to the table with this issue?

Oh, that’s right, freedom is only okay if it’s YOUR freedom to live by YOUR beliefs and values. And since gays are not human, if we allow them to marry, then people will want to marry their pets too, and then where will we be, right? That’s one of the arguments that opponents of gay marriage will often espouse.

What if a state wanted to go back to the days of banning interracial marriage? It wouldn’t be their right to do so, would it? Then why is it okay for a state to say that a same-sex couple cannot marry? Why is it that when marriage involves a person’s race, it is against federal law to deny people that right, but when it involves sexual preference, the issue supposedly becomes an issue of states’ rights?

Why? Because it’s just an excuse to allow for discrimination.

Photo credit – Pixabay.com – PublicDomainPictures

Mitt Romney: “DeflateGate” Would Not Have Happened If I Were President

Brady_withRomney

Two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney sat down with Sean Hannity on Thursday, and weighed in on the “DeflateGate” scandal which has rocked the NFL and resulted in the New England Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady receiving a four game suspension.  Romney stated that a climate of non-transparency and deception stemming from the Obama administration has directly resulted in an atmosphere where cheating is encouraged and integrity is downplayed.

“When you look at the way the current president has done things,” Romney explained, “it’s no surprise that players would be influenced in a negative way and lose sight of what is honest and true.”  He went on to add “Before President Obama took office, the size and integrity of America’s balls, on the football field and beyond, were not an issue.  If I had been elected president, you can rest assured, this would not have happened.”

The recent controversy joins a long list of events that have been directly attributed to President Obama, including Ted Cruz blaming him for racial tensions and rioting that have gripped the nation in the wake of a string of deadly police shootings, as well as Michele Bachmann holding Obama at fault for the end of the fucking world.

Tom Brady photo credit – Wikimedia Commons, Keith Allison.

Mitt Romney photo insert – Wikimedia Commons – WikiCalMANH7