When Low-Wage Workers Are Better Than Robots
By Tyler Durden
Authored by Justin Murray via The Mises Institute,
Time and time again, these pages have listed numerous benefits of automation and robotics. The discussions point out that mechanization doesn’t make us poor, that attempting to tax machines is counter-productive. Automation even makes our jobs safer as we can offload dangerous tasks to a metal creation.
However, automation is not always the best course of action and, as cost effective as automation has proved in many areas of our life, we are finding a rise of businesses beginning to automate for reasons other than improved productivity or cost effectiveness.
The latest news is that a company called Miso Robotics has developed an automatic burger flipper called Flippy. Naturally, media outlets are already writing headlines of how this is replacing jobs. The issue in this case is that this particular form of automation isn’t being driven by any kind of cost effective plan but as a result of government action.
When Should Companies Automate?
Before we go any further, we first need to understand where and how automation works and why it works effectively in those areas it is currently used. Automation requires a significant amount of capital investment, which is not a one-time purchase as the