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September 11 2019

Big Labor’s Minimum Wage Blues

by Charlotte Hays

We told you so.

We said that unrealistic minimum wage hikes would lead to job losses and businesses moving to automation.

That’s what happened.

The Wall Street Journal has a piece this morning on how now even big labor recognizes that the entirely predictable has happened.

But big labor has a new solution, and predictably it’s not letting the market work. It’s more regulations. This time they want to ban self-checkout ag groceries:

Big Labor has had big success getting politicians to raise the minimum wage, despite warnings that it could lead to more automation. Well, what do you know, now the Oregon AFL-CIO wants voters to limit self-checkout kiosks in grocery stores.

The union still needs the attorney general’s sign-off on the paperwork it submitted last week and 112,020 signatures to get this initiative on the 2020 ballot. But under the proposed Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act, Oregon groceries could operate no more than two self-service checkout stations at a time. Violators would pay hefty fines.

Needless to say, the Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act doesn’t in any acknowledge that the minimum wage hikes created a disaster. It is also written in a strange, touchy feeling style:

The draft initiative claims “grocery stores provide many people with their primary place of social connection and sense of community,” but self-service checkouts add “to social isolation and related negative health consequences” for shoppers. It claims the kiosks “contribute to retail workers feeling devalued” and heighten the risk of everything from shoplifting to underage drinking. Oh, and self-checkout stations also intensify “efficiency pressures on workers.”

What adds to social isolation is losing a job because politicians and labor leaders want to look beneficent but refuse to heed economic common sense.

 

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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