We've frequently warned of the unintended consequences of minimum wage hikes, including here and here. We've also pointed out the availability of numerous empirical studies with mountains of evidence which prove that increases in minimum wage, like the one just passed in California that will raise the minimum wage by 50%, over 5 years, to $15 per hour, simply serve to drive increased mechanization in the workplace, and thus permanent job losses for unskilled labor, over an extended period of time.
To that end, advocates of minimum wage hikes, should take notice of a company that just went public in Australia. The company is called Fastbrick Robotics and its Hadrian 105 robot can perform the equivalent of a full days work for a human bricklayer in about 2 hours. Moreover, the company is working on an upgrade, to be called the Hadrian X, that can double the daily output of a human bricklayer in just an hour.
You can take a look at the technology here:
This is just the latest example of the unintended consequences of minimum wages hikes and the simple truth that labor prices will always ultimately be set by supply/demand, just like any other market. But despite the empirical evidence to the contrary, we're certain that our elected officials will continue to promote higher minimum wages in fiery speeches around the country which take aim at the evils of capitalism and it's desire to strip workers of their "decency" and right to "earn a living wage" or whatever the prevailing soundbite of the time might be. Unfortunately, their "success" will ultimately result in the permanent unemployment of their supporters...but that isn't really the relevant motivator, is it?
Is this how Trump will build the wall cost-effectively?