Top Pro & Con Arguments

Con

If the minimum wage is increased, companies may use more robots and automated processes to replace service employees.

If companies cannot afford to pay a higher minimum wage for low-skilled service employees, they will use automation to avoid hiring people in those positions altogether. Oxford University researchers Carl Benedikt Frey, PhD, and Michael A. Osborne, DPhil, stated in a 2013 study that “robots are already performing many simple service tasks such as vacuuming, mopping, lawn mowing, and gutter cleaning” and that “commercial service robots are now able to perform more complex tasks in food preparation, health care, commercial cleaning, and elderly care.” [67] As attorney Andrew Woodman, JD, predicted in his blog for the Huffington Post, a minimum wage increase “could ultimately be the undoing of low-income service-industry jobs in the United States.” [68] The Washington Post observed that as minimum wage campaigns gain traction around the country, “Many [restaurant] chains are already at work looking for ingenious ways to take humans out of the picture, threatening workers in an industry that employs 2.4 million wait staffers, nearly 3 million cooks and food preparers and many of the nation’s 3.3 million cashiers.” [69]

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