The “world-wide” fast food strike returned today, with whatever fast food workers the unions could scrape up rallying with union “activists” in front of selected McDonald’s and other chain emporiums. They are still demanding $15 per hour and they are still not taken seriously. So the instigating unions are now pushing international strikes to pressure the international chains.
Previously on these attempts, few have noticed, most especially, the fast food employers. Demanding that McDonald’s and such increase their prices (which is what this amounts to) is unappealing in a protracted economic decline, even for Democrats when they are living on food stamps and political promises.
The rise of fast food followed the 1950’s housewives’ following their men to the workplace, leaving them little time to prepare the meals that had accompanied their growing up in homes run by housewives. So these “strikes” sans very many strikers, have to date, fizzled, though the sympathetic media have provided more coverage than the actual events have merited.
Hence round two has gone overseas, where these U.S. owned but international chains can be hassled by other unions under other circumstances that are nevertheless, felt in their U.S. boardrooms. However, foreign unions are often adjuncts of foreign governments, so this ploy is unreliable. The U.S. portion of today’s non-event seems another fizzle. The $15 per hour demand appears unrealistic to too many in the first place.
The idea that government decree can reprice the cost of labor is ridiculous economics in the first place. Say that the U.S. government passed a $100 per hour minimum wage, what would happen? First, U.S. goods would no longer sell outside the country; they would have become too expensive. The reduced sales would result in layoffs of the now surplus workers. The newly unemployed would stop buying much, resulting in still more layoffs. And so on. The second effect would be a new market for robots to replace the too costly people. Some enterprising folks are now marketing robot burger machines; does that suggest anything? And that’s before any $15 per hour . And while dining (well, eating dinner) at Chile’s recently, we noticed on our table a small box with a screen that displayed the menu and with which we could order and pay for our meals. That seems suggestive as well …
From appearances, this American union program is proving pretty pathetic, or as some economic conservatives may put it, reality sucks. However, it remains reality. Even American unions are in the end, stuck with that. For politicians it’s a little different; their only reality isn’t economics, it’s elections.
So if you feel like a quick burger or taco, the price will have gone up from the price of meat, but not from a $15 per hour fast food wage. Most folks know that hard times with lots of unemployed don’t usually raise wage; now some unions are having their noses rubbed in that. We guess that those Democrats and Republicans in Congress now bleating for a minimum wage increase generally, haven’t figured it out. Or perhaps, just want to appear to be giving us something, assuming we’re too dumb to notice that we’re paying for it.