Brave New W0r1d

Earlier this year the CEO of Carl’s Jr. announced that he wanted to replace his restaurant’s workers with machines, citing millennials’ aversion to face-to-face exchanges as chief among his reasons. To his point: I (a borderline millennial) find myself favoring stores that have self checkouts; they feel like personal, well-stocked pantries/warehouses that I can just wander into, grab what I need and dip. In a way I am part of this Randian problem. But is it ‘really’ a problem?

Yes, a robotic work-force could potentially cannibalize the economy, but what ‘special irreplaceable value’ do fast-food workers add to the fast-food dining experience? There is a brainless, assembly-line quality to the process of taking orders and filling them that machines could probably do more efficiently and with virtually zero disdain/ineptitude/fatigue. This could be a boon for the consumer who has grown weary of wasting their hard-earned on botched orders (“How you gonna forget the chicken though?! That’s in your goddamn name!”). And furthermo—

“What in the hell are you talkin’ about man?! You ain’t even ‘got’ a job. And to answer your question about ‘special irreplaceable value’: Yeah, I may be replaceable, but my value is not to the company itself, but the COUNTRY. This country ‘needs’ us. We are its ‘heart’ and we consume its economy’s products. We’re the ones ‘making’ it rich!”

monopoly guy
“When are you people gonna stop buying that populist bullshit? You’re gonna be replaced by machines, it’s inevitable; and businesses—like Carl’s Jr.—who once catered to you will simply improve the quality of their product to lure a more ‘sophisticated’ clientele. You know, those people who CREATE the jobs you don’t appreciate.”

“Eventually this ‘superior’ class of yours will stratify, resulting in ‘new’ middle and lower classes.”

monopoly guy
“Maybe so, but not before we create voluminous wealth. Enough wealth for this country to coast on for years to come to be exact.”

“What if your mechanized workforce revolts? What if they grow tired of treatment like this and fight back? Poor gal.”

“Yeah, what’re you gonna do then, moneybags?”

“He ain’t go’n do shit. We takin’ his job TOO!”

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