This post was published at Daily Caller
Earlier today, we mentioned the bizarre story of a San Francisco animal shelter which was using a low cost, high-tech robot security guard to purge homeless people outside its facilities. The San Francisco SPCA branch had contracted Knightscope to provide a K5 robot (the same model which in July committed suicide at a mall fountain) for securing the outdoor spaces of the animal shelter.
Why use a robot to chase away humans? Simple: money – it costs the SPCA $7/hour to rent the robot, about $3 less than the minimum wage in California, and according to San Francisco Business Times, the robot was deployed as a ‘way to try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.
As the homeless crisis on America’s West Coast forces many cities to the financial brink, one innovative animal shelter in San Francisco is using a low cost, high-tech robot security guard to shoo away the homeless outside its facilities, the San Francisco Business Times reported.
The San Francisco branch of the SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) contracted Knightscope to provide a k5 robot (the same model which in July commited suicide at a mall fountain) for securing the outdoor spaces of the animal shelter. Knightscope’s business model allows the SPCA to rent the robot for around $7 an hour, which is about $3 less than the minimum wage in California. According to San Francisco Business Times, the robot was deployed as a ‘way to try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 14, 2017.
Amazon delivery drivers in the UK are asked to deliver up to 200 packages a day while earning less than minimum wage for agencies contracted by Amazon. The drivers reportedly have to keep schedules so tight they are forced to skip rest breaks and urinate in bottles, according to an investigation by UK’s Sunday Mirror. The report comes weeks after the newspaper reported on brutal work conditions at an Amazon UK warehouses. “If the drivers return to the Amazon depot without having made enough attempts to deliver parcels, or if they can’t work for any reason, they risk having their pay cut, being fined or denied future shifts,” reports the Mirror.
The allegations surfaced after investigative reporter Dan Warburton spent a day with an Amazon delivery driver so he could experience the “impossible” schedules that often exceed their 11 hour shifts – a limit mandated by UK law.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.
Casual dining investors, despite the retail route, have become increasingly optimistic over the past month and a half with several of the largest names in the industry rallying 15-20% into the holiday season.
As TDn2K points out, part of the optimism is attributable to a recent “acceleration” in average check size across the restaurant space with comps up 2.4% in November and 2.5% in October. Despite many brands focusing on price promotions to drive sales and traffic amid a decline in mall/retail foot traffic, both figures are higher than the 2.0% check growth experienced the first nine months of the year.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 9, 2017.
Minimum wage laws are often put forward as regulations that help everyone. If anyone is hurt, it is wealthy capitalists who can afford to lose a little money. Unfortunately, this is rarely the reality. In order to decode the impact of minimum wage laws, one has to examine the effects on multiple levels, examining both the seen and the unseen consequences. Increases in wages have to be paid for somehow, and given the interdependent relationship of a market, there are three major players who are impacted by minimum wages: employers, employees, and the consumers.
1. Employers Employers are faced with the increased costs of the factors of production without any corresponding increase in value. Although minimum wages are argued by pointing at multinational companies and the profits they are raking in, MacDonald’s and Wal-Mart are not the only ones paying minimum wages. Indeed, they are the least affected, since their enormous profits enable them to cope with the increase in wages.
It is the small emerging businesses that are harmed the most, the local businesses that provide employment in their neighborhood to people who would have otherwise remained unemployed. Minimum wages punish small time entrepreneurs by decreased profits – especially when profit margins are razor thin, as is usually the case. This fact helps to deter entrepreneurs from opening businesses, and this is doubly unfortunate when we consider the fact that minimum wages are often a legislative reaction to an excess labor supply in the first place. When wages are low is precisely the time when we need new entrepreneurs the most.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Dec 1, 2017.
A deputy sheriff pays a visit to a small business. He confronts the owner.
DS: I see you got a “help wanted” sign in your window.
Owner: That is correct.
DS: How much is the starting wage?
Owner: The federal minimum wage.
DS: We got a local minimum wage of $15 an hour.
Owner: I cannot afford that much.
DS: That don’t cut it with me, boy. The city government says you got to pay a living wage.
Owner: I already do. All of my employees are alive.
DS: You trying to make me look stupid, boy?
Owner: You don’t need any help from me.
DS: I see. A smart ass. Well, we got ways of dealing with smart asses. I’m writing you up. You’re going to pay a $10,000 fine, I expect.
Owner: That’s outrageous.
DS: No, it ain’t. $334,000 is outrageous. That’s what Seattle collects. We’re real lenient around here.
Owner: But I cannot afford to pay $15/hour.
DS: Well, then, you need to go into another line of work.
Owner: But I have invested everything I own in this business. I took out a large loan.
DS: Then you better have gotten someone to co-sign the note.
This post was published at Gary North on November 09, 2017.
America’s liberal left coast states count themselves among the most adamant supporters of controversial pieces of legislation intended to support low-income families. From their stunningly high income tax rates to their $15 minimum wage mandates, states like California and Washington are leading the charge on implementing Bernie’s socialist agenda.
Of course, some of the biggest advocates of that socialist agenda are the billionaire leaders of Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies…which is precisely why it’s so ironic that it’s the “tech boom” being enjoyed by those billionaires that has resulted in surging housing prices and what SFGate described earlier today as a “homeless explosion pushing West Coast cities to the brink.”
Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do.
“I’ve got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I’ve got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can’t afford housing,” said Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien. “There’s nowhere for these folks to move to.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 6, 2017.