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More minimum wage jobs disappearing

Discussion in 'Economy' started by MemphisMark, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    CaliBurger has decided to try out a robotic burger flipper. Flippy The Burger-Flipping Robot Just Destroyed The Case For Minimum-Wage Hikes.

    This arm can detect when the burger is adequately cooked, flip, adequately cooked again and place them on buns without human intervention. It still needs a human to put the meat on the grill.

    The Robot with a price tag of $60k and a $12k/year service/maintenance contract will enable stores who can afford the up front costs to save almost $8k/year in labor costs, even at the minimum wage level. When you factor in the California minimum wage of $13.25/hour coming in a couple months, that's under half the cost of having a human do it. AND, as more manufacturers develop and refine technologies such as these, the prices will get cheaper.

    I just got to use a McDonald's sales kiosk yesterday, it's okay, took a little longer than with a human, I was able to get what I wanted, without worrying about something being lost in translation or the order taker not listening/caring. I guess you could say it eliminated an error-inducing link for the order.
    Allene likes this.
  2. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    ... and sometimes the testing doesn't go right the first time... ‘Flippy,’ the fast food robot, turned off for being too slow.

    Actually what happened was the demand spiked beyond his capability because everyone wanted to see him in operation.

    I just had a similar instance of that myself. The ATMs I service have a "Scaleable Deposit Module" where you can stick a stack of mixed cash and checks into it and it will count the cash, endorse the checks and put everything into the appropriate deposit bins. It's a good machine with a one major flaw, it uses a $25 consumable part to help separate the stack and the problem is it's damn near impossible to replace it. The cover to get at it only opens barely enough to get your fingers in and other things that would be hard to describe. In fact, all of the access panels barely open enough to extract jammed media.

    Anyway, a company we contract with for the SDM came out with the "SDM2" that eliminates the need for that part, the access panels open a lot wider and other improvements. The bad news is nowhere near as reliable. It uses a new module to get the media to the proper bins and an even slightly worn bill gets jammed up in the "5-way" requiring my intervention to set things right. Once machine we were visiting 2-4 times a day.... It's reliability is low enough a customers doesn't want the SDM2 for the deposit option in their new ATMs, it's going with the older SDM.
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  3. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I read that article the other day. :) I figured there'd be a few snafus.

    Re the ATMs, I stopped using them years ago. My sister was attacked at one of them years ago back home. It was a bunch of guys with handkerchiefs hiding their faces. They knocked her down and tried to rob her, but she pulled off the mask of one of them, so they had to get out of there fast.
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I am surprised ATM's are still a thing. Everywhere you go you can pay by debit card. Many vending machines accept debit cards. And then every place you can use your debit card allows cash back in varying amounts. Many banks allow deposits by snapping a pic of both sides and sending it in.
    Allene likes this.
  5. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    I actually will go years without using an ATM for the many good examples and reasons you cite. (Remember in the years past when ATMs were probably one of the greatest monetary conveniences ever invented for use by the average person?)

    Since I go so long between use I sometimes walk up to an ATM and I realize don't initially know how to work it due to the fact they so dramatically redesign their layout or interface periodically. It's actually kind of embarrassing at how "stupid" I feel at those times.
    Allene likes this.
  6. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    That's the way I felt when they started getting us to swipe credit cards ourselves. After I got used to that, they introduced the chipped cards, so another learning experience, but I like it now.
  7. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    When it comes to having to stick my chip card into the machine the experience is such that I would much rather prefer to stick it somewhere else.

    First, the machines instructions screens and or different buttons are unreadable unless you have your magnifying or reading glasses ready. Then the card reader machine is usually tilted downward at about a 75-degree angle making the slot for the card functionally invisible. Try looking down at those things when you are 6'4" tall.

    Then when you stick the card in half the time it says there is an error of some type, try again. The cashier then has to re-prep the machine. People in line behind you are getting annoyed. Now the receipt. Cashier prints out a receipt for your two items that is long enough to record the bible on it.

    Meanwhile, the easy use of NFC to pay with your smartphone usually isn't available because the various different companies involved in handling electronic card transactions want the whole pie and so they don't want to share the "charge" of the electronic transaction with whichever smartphone technology you use. (God, Apple Pay, for instance, is so easy AND secure.)
    Allene likes this.
  8. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    :rolf-53: I've been through all of that except for the height difference. I am barely 5 foot 2, so the machine is practically in my face, but some machines are harder to get the card into than others. I've been handed one of those long receipts lots of times too, usually at the pharmacy, along with the "how to take this drug and survive it" paperwork. I also need to put my phone number into the machine so the pharmacy can honor my rewards card, and so on and so on. All this is supposed to save time, right?:rolleyes:
  9. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    I know what you guys mean. I was buying something at a store the other day and the cashier said, "strip down, facing me." I proceeded to do so, grumbling about new Homeland Security bullshit. That's when the police were called and I found out she meant the card, not me.

    Seriously, I tell the cashiers nowadays, "I have to answer more questions on the card reader than I do on my federal tax forms."

    Besides, it makes it hard to be tracked if you use cash and no "buyer points" card. That's why you want to stick with cash.
    Susan Addams and Allene like this.
  10. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    LOL! If I use cash all the time, it means either going to the bank or the ATM. Too much trouble for me. I live out of town.
  11. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Then never, never come to Memphis.

    Allene likes this.
  12. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Does your occupation involve anything regarding these machines. And just what do you mean by other things, buster? :)

    The rule in the big bad city is that you never use ATMs where there aren't a lot of people around. At night you use only indoor ATMs like at a supermarket. It was that way back in Chicago and it's the same here in Los Angeles.

    Some people are stuck in the past. I've seen people use these books of personal coupons they call "checkbooks." If you don't remember, that was an ancient form of payment popular before I was born, back when ATMs hadn't been invented and you had to kill your own dinosaurs. Seriously, there will always be people stuck a few technologies back.

    I've got to the point where unless something is only a couple dollars I just put it on my Amazon Visa. And I do have the cell app that lets me shoot a check right on my coffee table and deposit it from home. It works great! It's interesting to note that there was a law passed a few or several years ago that created the legality that an image of a check is the legal equivalent of that check. I think it was passed primarily to allow banks to shoot batches of checks then shred them, rather than requiring them to keep the checks as backups for the images. I presume the imaging machines are high reliability, redundant and all that stuff.

    Have you tried inserting it somewhere else, and how did that go? ;) Just kidding! Seriously, what is your problem with chipped cards? I think they are genius! They drastically reduce fraud because they make it almost impossible to create a fake card, something that is easier than printing counterfeit money these days. It's easier than swiping, you just stick it in. No double entendre intended. :)

    Oh Mark, you are always dreaming, LOL! :)

    The government wants us to use payments other than cash because cash is not traceable. The banks want us to use credit cards because they make money off our CC use. I've started paying almost everything via Amazon CC because I get 1% back everywhere, 2% cash back at restaurants and drug stores.

    With Apple pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal pay (they now have an electronic POS system) and of course credit/debit cards, I think we are headed for what the government wants: 100% electronic 100% traceable financial transactions.

    My only problem is I now have too many receipts, so many it's impossible for me to reconcile my CC charges with my CC statement. Using just one CC helps.

    I hardly ever use personal checks. I always have things like cellphone bills and Amazon Prime membership set to auto-pay to my credit card. I have the CC set to auto-pay from my checking account. Utilities don't like that CC companies never pay 100% (they often pay merchants 97% of receipts) so I have to set them to auto-pay from my checking account.

    I think we are nearing a cashless era. The government has long wanted to quit printing C-notes. It's common knowledge that many coins cost more to mint than the denomination of the coin. That's why they went to aluminum and cardboard silver dollars. (I'm exaggerating, LOL.)
  13. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    I service ATMs. Repair, not replenishment. and what I mean by "other things," there are other areas and attributes of servicing that module that are difficult to describe unless you have actually worked on one.

    You don't ever want that to happen. Because if the only place where your dollars can exist is inside your bank account, the government can tax you with a negative interest rate. That means if you have $100 in an account and there is a -5% interest rate, at he end of the year you'll have $95. You can't do that with a physical $100 bill. You can make it worth $95 through inflation, however it's still $100. A negative interest rate won't turn that physical bill into a $95 bill.

    Japan is currently doing this. Bank of Japan, in a Surprise, Adopts Negative Interest Rate. So the citizens are buying safes and stockpiling cash, which hurts the economy because the cash isn't moving like it would in a bank.
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  14. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    At times that are advantageous to all parties involved cash is the only way to go. In addition to that being true in the USA, when I travel out of the country I carry extra US cash with me. I still have local currency and all the electronic tools available, but as I said, cash is the only way to go at times. It avoids the no tickee no washee syndrome. (Not to mention discounts too.)
  15. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Short sea story. My ship was pulled into Subic Bay for 3 weeks back in 1983. The Philippine government had just opened their version of Fort Knox and instead of finding gold, they found about 5,000 pairs of Imelda's shoes (I'm exaggerating. Slightly.) Anyway the exchange rate between their Pesos to our Dollars collapsed, It was like 4 Pesos to the dollar the first day we were there, then 12 pesos to the dollar the next day. We were still paid in cash in those days. The thing of it was, it was specifically prohibited by the base banks and the Exchange (military version of Wal-Mart) to hand out anything larger than a $20.

    After doing some checking around, I found out Grants and Franklins got a significantly better exchange rate that a standard Jackson. So, if you go abroad, make sure you have some big bills in your money belt.
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  16. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    You have certainly led an interesting life, Mark. I remember Imelda's shoes, LOL!
  17. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    You don't know the half of it. I'll be able to talk about the really interesting stuff after I've been in the ground 3 days...
    Allene likes this.
  18. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    It's too bad you don't do replenishment. My ATM (Amazon) had a bad day and could have used a bit of replenishment... ;)

    Other things, eh? Yeah, I think I can understand that. I have worked on servicing a few modules in my time too. Although not that difficult to describe. :p

    I think you know me well enough by now that you know I understand that my money market account at my main financial institution gets 0.45% and that inflation is higher than that. That's what finally flipped my switch from being fat, dumb and happy (I lied about being fat) and decided me to move it into the stock market in early December. Prior to that I had noticed the Trump gain on the Dow and S&P and had already bought an annuity based upon the S&P 500. I compounded that when I realized that Amazon was doing some amazing things and I had a gut feeling that I wanted to own Amazon. (Unfortunately Jeff Bezos wouldn't sell it to me so I had to buy stock. Jeez, I even offered him "benefits.") ;)

    Kidding aside, I had realized that the last thing I wanted in a bank was anything more than my basic living expenses for one year, an emergency fund in case of unemployment, which every smart person should have as their financial parachute. Personal economics dictates that you should always have enough money to last at least one year with no income. My figure tends towards the conservative. Many people would tend towards 3-4 months. My daddy taught me good and my daddy taught me all the right personal finance lessons, and even though he would give me anything I asked him for I am totally determined to prove to him that I learned good. I've been financially independent for maybe 15 years and both my parents are proud of me!

    But the fact remains that other than my emergency money which should always be fluid, the last thing I want in my bank is anything more than that. That's why I got into the S&P 500 annuity. That's why I got into the stock market. That's why I am looking forward to getting all the rest of my assets other than my basic emergency fund anywhere but "cash" at my banking institution.

    And as far as inflation, there's lies, damned lies, and statistics. One of my favorite classes I took was based upon how to lie with statistics. (Truth.) All the better that the government can jiggle their index market basket to make inflation look like anything they want. Only a fool believes government numbers on inflation statistics. I can give you one simple index that works as well or better: the cost of steaks at your local supermarket.
  19. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I keep my own personal stash of several hundred in cash + a few gold 1 ounce coins + I always have my gold jewelry that could be cash some day. You know pawn shops and coin shops and all gold dealers buy and sell no-name jewelry based only on weight and material. My favorite gold jewelry could be cash some day if the dollar becomes pesos. (I haven't harped on it lately but you know Suzy's favorite color is gold.) ;)
  20. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    My favorite is what I call "Benjies." I have a few or several lying around. I like Grant but Jackson has no appeal to me. Seriously, it's good to have at least $1,000 in cash on hand, just in case.

    If you take prescription drugs, always have at least 3 months supply over your daily needs. Just because society hasn't collapsed doesn't mean it can't.

    Oh, and just in case, you also need at least one firearm + reasonable ammo. Remember to save the last one for yourself. If you have a lover, save two.

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