A legitimate complaint by left-wing critics of today's market economy is that once well-paid factory jobs were massively replaced by low-paid "burger jobs" - low-paid, unskilled jobs such as preparing burgers. And even the pitifully paid burger jobs are no longer safe. Several companies have developed fast food robots that produce tasty snacks for a fraction of the cost of even a burrito folder or pizza maker paid by American standards.
Box Brands, a California-based company, developed the BurritoBox to provide small kiosk operators and pump operators with an extra service to customers without having to invest in staff or a restaurant. The BurritoBox, two copies of which have now been posted in Los Angeles, is showing a commercial during the minute, which takes the device to roll a steaming hot burrito. According to the website of the makers, there is a lot of interest in the device.
The BurritoBox is far from unique. The days when coffee machines represented the pinnacle of technology are long in the past. There is, for example, a hamburger robot Alpha Momentum Machines that can deliver 360 burgers per hour. The device, which replaces at least five to six employees, pays for itself in a year. The owners want to put this amount saved into better ingredients so that, in their words, gourmet food becomes accessible to the masses.
The pizza baker is also not safe. Preparing pizzas is indeed quite easy to automate (there is even one 3D pizza printer developed). Developed by a Dutch-Italian joint venture Let's Pizza let the customer choose between various varieties and then knead the dough, form a pizza and cover it with the desired topping, after which the pizza is baked in an infrared oven. All this in less than three minutes. The machine is reportedly already a resounding success in Italy, the birthplace of pizza. For around 30,000 euros, the gross annual salary of a pizza baker, you are the proud owner of a copy.
This will happen with increasingly unskilled and, incidentally, many forms of skilled work. Clearly, the government's adage that unemployment is culpable is increasingly being overtaken by facts. Rather than constantly inventing new bullying for people on social security benefits, the government can do better work on retraining and further training for the unemployed and the introduction of a basic income.