By Tyler Durden
In yet another awkwardly rational response to government intervention in deciding what's "fair", the blowback from minimum wage demanding fast food workers has struck again. Wendy's plans to install self-ordering kiosks in 1,000 of its stores - 16% of its locations nationwide.
"Last year was tough — 5 percent wage inflation," said Bob Wright, Wendy's chief operating officer, during his presentation to investors and analysts last week. He added that the company expects wages to rise 4 percent in 2017. "But the real question is what are we doing about it?"
Wendy's chief information officer, David Trimm, said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.
As Dispatch.com reports, the Dublin-based burger giant started offering kiosks last year, and demand for the technology has been high from both customers and franchise owners.
"There is a huge amount of pull from (franchisees) in order to get them," David Trimm, Wendy's chief information officer, said last week during the company's investors' day.
Who could have seen that coming? As we noted previously, minimum wage laws - while advertised under the banner of social justice - do not live up to the claims made by those who tout them. They do not lift low wage earners to a so-called “social minimum”. Indeed, minimum wage laws — imposed at the levels employed in Europe — push a considerable number of people into unemployment. And, unless those newly unemployed qualify for government assistance (read: welfare), they will sink below, or further below, the social minimum.
As Nobelist Milton Friedman correctly quipped, “A minimum wage law is, in reality, a law that makes it illegal for an employer to hire a person with limited skills.”
Despite the piling up mountain of evidence on the harmful "unintended consequences" of artificially high minimum wages, we suspect we already know how this story ends. After all, it's much easier to win elections by promising people more stuff rather than less. And, as an added bonus, when it all goes horribly wrong it's very easy to lame the blame at the feet of the wealthy 1%'ers who are behind all the layoffs. Checkmate.
This article was originally published at Zero Hedge.
The US military and Chinese Military are soon to be neighbors in the tiny but strategic African country of Djibouti. It is to be the first Chinese overseas base. Will increasing tensions play out over the two installations? What are China's objectives?
By Chris Rossini
By now, we've all heard about the Trump Administration blocking certain media organizations from a press briefing, and from a standpoint of liberty, this is not a positive development.
No, it has nothing to do with "protecting democracy." There's absolutely nothing sacred about democracy. Nor does it have to do with protecting a "free press," since mainstream media in America is crony down to the cellular level.
The danger lies in the expansion of government power to suppress dissent. Liberty and government power are forever at war with one another. As one expands, the other must necessarily recede. Both cannot be king of the hill at the same time, as one negates the other.
Does the mainstream media dislike President Trump?
Does the mainstream media lie?
Does the mainstream media spread "fake news?"
Yes...YouTube is bursting with countless examples.
Are they propagandists?
Then shouldn't we cheer when President Trump locks these misfits out a press briefing?
To repeat: Liberty is forever at war with government power. The press, as noxious as it can become can't tax you, nor can it draft you into the military, or throw you into jail. The press can lie (and they certainly do) but everyone has it in their power to ignore them (which many people also certainly do).
In order for liberty to exist, it is government power that must be held in check. For it is the nature of power to constantly seek the expansion of its coercion.
That's what government seeks to do at all times...expand...expand...expand.
It ultimately wants no limits whatsoever.
Such expansion must always be presented to the public in a way that won't generate significant backlash. Since the use of fear is the number one tool of governments, they naturally wrap their expansion around some disliked or feared element in society.
For example, our financial transactions are monitored. Americans didn't cry to government to do this. Government just did it.
But they wrapped the monitoring around the fear of drug traffickers, money launderers, and terrorists.
As a result, if you want to take a certain amount of money out of your bank account, your name passes through an alphabet soup of government databases.
As Edward Snowden revealed, American communications are all being collected by the government. Why? It's wrapped around the fear of terrorists.
TSA gropes Americans at the airports, despite the fact that it's been shown to be just security theatre. Why? Fear of terrorists again.
So you see, these unbelievable expansions of government power are wrapped around elements that are disliked by normal society.
That's why politicians always try to appeal to the good nature of people. They're always helping "the children," or "the poor."
What, you have a problem with helping children? You don't want the government to help the poor? What kind of monster are you?
These are all wrappers, and they work like a charm.
Now let's go back to the mainstream media. They hurt themselves big time after this last presidential election. Their viciousness against Donald Trump could not have been made more obvious.
As a result, American opinion of the mainstream media is deservingly very low. People are ignoring them. In fact, there are YouTube channels covering the news that have many more viewers than mainstream media.
Since mainstream media is despised, it provides a splendid opportunity for government power to capitalize.
Government can block out dissent, and the American people will be OK with it!
Not only OK with it, they'll cheer it on!
What, you support the slimy, lying, agenda pushing mainstream media? What kind of monster are you?
That's where the danger lies with the recent actions by the Trump Administration. It has nothing to do with "democracy" or some fictional "free press". It has to do with government barring dissent, no matter how ridiculous that dissent may be.
That doesn't mean that Trump is Hitler, or that he's going to be Hitler, or any of that nonsense.
Trump can be a perfect angel for the next four years. This is not about individual presidents, but about the expansion of government power.
Because government is a violent force, there must be as many eyes and ears monitoring it as possible. Yes, even if it's the slimy mainstream media.
Once dissent is banned, a bad set of circumstances can be set into motion. Those circumstances may not even appear for years to come. Again, Trump can be a perfect angel for the rest of his term.
But what if a radical Socialist takes power someday in America? That's certainly not out of the question. Just take a look at America's universities.
What if that administration decides to bar everyone that questions their utopian ideas?
If the Socialist administration knows that barring any media is equivalent to political suicide, they won't dare to try it. But if a precedent exists, it makes the whole operation much easier to pull off.
Is President Trump setting a precedent?
Will future historians look back and say: "First, they came for the mainstream media..."?
Liberty has taken a hit, despite the cheers for President Trump.
Whenever Liberty takes a hit, it can only mean one thing:
Government power has expanded.
With the new Administration just over a month old, we are seeing hopeful and discouraging signs of how the Trump foreign policy is playing out. Mises Institute Founder Lew Rockwell joins today's program to take a look at Trump thus far - and to announce an exciting new event!
By Ron Paul
It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute. Consider his speech last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). It was reported as “fiery” and “blistering,” but it was also full of contradictions.
In the speech, President Trump correctly pointed out that the last 15 years of US military action in the Middle East has been an almost incomprehensible waste of money – six trillion dollars, he said – and that after all that US war and meddling the region was actually in worse shape than before we started.
It would have been better for US Presidents to have spent the last 15 years at the beach than to have pursued its Middle East war policy, he added, stating that the US infrastructure could have been rebuilt several times over with the money wasted on such militarism.
All good points from the President.
But then minutes later in the same speech he seemed to forget what he just said about wasting money on militarism. He promised he would be “upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything,” in what would be “one of the greatest military buildups in American history.”
This “greatest” military buildup is in addition to the trillions he plans on spending to make sure the US nuclear arsenal is at the "top of the pack" in the world, as he told the press last Thursday. And that is in addition to the trillion dollar nuclear “modernization” program that is carrying over from the Obama Administration.
Of course when it comes to nuclear weapons, the United States already is at the “top of the pack,” having nearly 7,000 nuclear warheads. How many times do we need to be able to blow up the world?
At CPAC, President Trump is worried about needlessly spending money on military misadventures, but then in the same speech he promised even more military misadventures in the Middle East.
Where is the money going to come from for all this? Is the President going to raise taxes to pay for it? Is he going to make massive cuts in domestic spending?
In the same CPAC speech, President Trump reiterated his vow to “massively lower taxes on the middle class, reduce taxes on American business, and make our tax code more simple and much more fair for everyone.” And that’s all good. So it’s not coming from there.
Will he cut domestic spending? The President has indicated that he also wants a massive infrastructure modernization program launched in the near future. The plan will likely cost far in excess of the trillion dollars the President has suggested.
That leaves only one solution: printing money out of thin air. It has been the favorite trick of his predecessors. While he correctly condemns the $20 trillion national debt passed down from previous Administrations, his policies promise to add to that number in a massive way. Printing money out of thin air destroys the currency, hastening a US economic collapse and placing a very cruel tax on the working and middle classes as well.
Following the President’s constantly changing policies can make you dizzy. That’s a shame because the solution is very simple: end the US military empire overseas, cut taxes and regulations at home, end the welfare magnet for illegal immigration, and end the drug war. And then get out of the way.
One of the biggest myths about American history is that FDR saved capitalism from itself and the hands-off laissez-faire policies of Herbert Hoover. It’s a total lie from start to finish. Ron Paul’s Myth-Busters comes to the rescue with the truth.
By Chris Rossini
It's pretty bad that President Trump wants to "rebuild" a military who's budget is multiple times larger than much of the rest of the world's combined.
We need to read news of base closings and troop withdrawals from around the world.
As of now? Not a peep.
Today, the President decided he's going to throw even more money (that the federal government doesn't have) into the abyss. Trump said that he wants to build up America's nuclear arsenal to be ‘top of the pack’.
As Jack Perry observes with amusement:
I guess the 2,600 we’ve got aren’t sufficient to blow up the world enough times...By golly, if the Russians can blow up the world fifteen times, we better be able to blow up the world at least twenty times! How’s it going to look, with the world reduced to dust and knowing it was all for nothing because the Russians destroyed the planet better than we did? That’s simply not American! How can we look in the mirror knowing we can only destroy the planet to the tune of twelve times over and someone else can do it fifteen? That’s embarrassing! Every American ought to be proud to pay more taxes so we can close this Planetary Destruction Gap!
It should be obvious to even Trump's most fiery supporters that more corporate welfare to the military-industrial complex is a horrible idea.
Even the Left can come up with better ways to waste our money. Lefties are famous for concocting un-economic and non-productive boondoggles. At least when one guy digs a ditch and another fills it in, it won't lead to the apocalypse!
Trump was supposed to be better than Hillary.
When do we get to see the difference?