AFL-CIO Demands We Never Use The Self-Serve Checkout

Authored by Andrew Moran via Liberty Nation blog,

There is growing concern across the globe that automation will lead us to a dystopian future. With robots becoming ubiquitous in every aspect of our lives, the marketplace will be filled with cheap goods, but the consuming population can’t acquire them because they don’t have a job. It is a legitimate worry for millions of people, especially when you see the countless videos and news articles about a robot flipping burgers, automated arms packaging goods inside a factory, and grocery stores without cashiers.

One of the latest doom-and-gloom alarmists is the Wisconsin chapter of the AFL-CIO, which is griping about self-serve checkouts. Do unions ever do anything productive?

Last week, the labor union went to Facebook to demand its followers to “never self checkout.” The organization whined that it doesn’t want to assist corporations in firing employees just so they can boost their bottom lines.

It’s not convenient for me to help corporations fire workers so they raise their profits. I stand in line and when the lines back up, the store calls more cashiers to the front. If we keep doing it, they’ll need to hire more people. NEVER SELF CHECKOUT.

If life were only that simple.

Why hasn’t the group requested similar action for ATMs? If you avoid the bank machine and stand in line waiting for the bank teller, then the financial institution will simply hire more people. This logic, or lack thereof, can be applied to a myriad of other automated services that we enjoy today: ecommerce, digital cameras, search engines, and so much more.

But nobody is calling for an end to Google or Bing so the yellow book can be made great again. The AFL-CIO isn’t telling members to ditch mobile devices so telegrams can make a comeback.

What the labor group is conveying to the world is that it hates progress.

Automation will Benefit our Lives

Earlier this year, many Oregonians made headlines because they were complaining that a new law will allow residents in rural communities to pump their own gas. There were multiple grievances, but one of the main objections was the reduction in the number of attendants.

In 2016, up in Canada, the CBC spoke to a retiree, Bonnie Banks, who bothers people at self-serve checkouts, asking them if they “like working for Walmart for free.” She was upset that she now pumps her own gas and puts her own trash in the garbage at fast-food restaurants.

In the age of automation, there are many occupations and industries that will become obsolete. They will inevitably enter the dust bins of history.

The automobile eliminated the horse and buggy industry. The refrigerator rid the world of icemen and milkmen. Advancements in telecommunications abolished telephone operating jobs. Ride-sharing services have brought the government-protected taxi industry to its knees.

Are we any worse off than we were before? If you ask the average young person 70 years ago, he or she would admit that they cannot get along without the icebox and local telegram office. If you query the average young person today, he or she will concede they cannot live life without an iPhone or Uber.

Times change. New businesses rise. Old industries fall.

$15 Minimum Wage Is Ramping Up Automation

If you think that businesses are suddenly investing a lot more into automation, you’d be correct.

With the Fight for $15 crowd holding demonstrations, staging walkouts, and encouraging lawmakers to raisethe minimum wage, companies are reacting by automating operations.

As McDonald’s installs self-serve kiosks or mom-and-pop diners have robots in the kitchen, there is less of a demand for human cashiers and cooks. As Wal-Mart adopts self-serve checkouts, they don’t need too many cashiers on the front lines.

And you can blame entities like the AFL-CIO for the rampant rise of automation.

It is mostly immigrants, young, unskilled, and uneducated people who hold minimum wage jobs. Without these entry-level positions, thanks to the $15 fight, they can’t enhance their human capital.

New Opportunities Pop Up

In today’s world, where socialism is becoming trendy, there is a misconception that the free enterprise system is a zero-sum game — somebody wins, somebody loses. In other words, according to the left, you only become prosperous if you steal from others. Warren Buffett or Jeff Bezos get the entire pie while everyone is left with crumbs.

Nonsense. This is hardly the case in the free market.

When Microsoft was established, Bill Gates created more pies. When the iPhone was created, Steve Jobs produced more pies. When Karl Benz invented the automobile, he baked pies for the entire world.

With automation seeping into every single part of society, new opportunities will pop up. If scores of positions become antiquated, the individuals holding these jobs will do one of three things:

  • Enhance their human capital by learning new skills.

  • Fill the demand for labor in other industries.

  • Perform other roles or tasks in the company.

This is what tellers have done in the banking sector. Many branches simply transferred tellers into other important roles, such as marketing and investment advising. Ditto for business publications. Thanks to the advent of software that composes articles from news releases or corporate earnings reports, reporters can now spend more of their time on investigative journalism, interviews, and much more.

Once the car was prevalent, carriage makers didn’t raise the white flag. They either adapted to the changing conditions or applied their craft to something else.

You will always come across people like Bonnie Banks moaning about self-serve checkouts. You can stop these busybodies in their tracks by doing a couple of things: point out their hypocrisy since they likely use ATMs or the computer and provide them with a lesson in Econ 101.

The future is now, and we shouldn’t be apprehensive of its arrival. We’re all getting richer and leading happier lives because of technology. Let’s embrace it.


Leakanthrophy espirit Wed, 05/02/2018 - 21:06 Permalink

I always leave the tray and garbage on the table when eating at a self seated joint in airports (never go into a fast food elsewhere)

I pay for eating not cleaning tables.

If all tables are crapped on, I just sit at a table from the next joint. 

And btw, you can't take your water bottle through security check, but you can take your food. Most of the time I grab some fruits and eat them at the airport. 


Turning airports into bus stations !

In reply to by espirit

chumbawamba Leakanthrophy Wed, 05/02/2018 - 21:16 Permalink

You know, fuck the god damn Union.  I know someone who works in nursing.  For some reason, someone, or the Union itself, decided their hospital needed the Union.  So by law, the hospital has to accommodate the Union and schedule a vote.  All the employees were to cast a vote, if they wanted, and if they didn't that would automatically count as a yes vote.  The Union somehow got voted in.  So now, my friend has to pay required dues to this Union to represent her in "labor issues" when there were none before.  She was happy, paid well, and liked where she worked.



In reply to by Leakanthrophy

FireBrander Luc X. Ifer Wed, 05/02/2018 - 21:45 Permalink

If we keep doing it, they’ll need to hire more people.

Say What!

No they won't they'll make you stand in long lines for longer periods of time...been there, seen that, no thanks; self checkout or forget it.


reporters can now spend more of their time on investigative journalism, interviews, and much more.

You owe me a keyboard; I just spit my evening coffee all over this one.

"investigative journalism"....that is laughable...why didn't you just say "Journalists could spend more time spreading political propagandist bullshit"...and boost your own credibility.

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

BigJim espirit Wed, 05/02/2018 - 21:01 Permalink

Actually, previous waves of automation did increase unemployment: amongst the small number of people who were so mentally deficient they could only plow fields or pick crops.

As automation and AI increase in skills, a larger and larger proportion of low-IQ workers will be rendered unemployable. Eliminating minimum wage would help delay this, but it seems pretty clear that eventually robots will be cheaper to hire to wash your windows than hiring some moron at $3 an hour.

The good news is the moron will probably have his own robot butler to do most of his chores for him so he'll live a pretty comfortable life.

Though Jordan Peterson wouldn't agree:


In reply to by espirit

hannah BigJim Wed, 05/02/2018 - 22:03 Permalink

' mentally deficient they could only plow fields or pick crops.'


not exactly true, most of those displaced workers went into real estate for the big housing bubble in the year 1880. they became 'service workers'. pretty soon they had lots of robots also because there were lots of jobs the poor wouldnt do any longer like pick fruit. then the robots went on strike and the aliens from planet snu146 were brought in to clean our toilets........

In reply to by BigJim

JohnG I hate cunton Wed, 05/02/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

I'm forced to go to wal-mart for a few things I need that I can't get elsewhere (without intolerable inconvenience....)

I try to get in the line with the female nigger cashier who only has one arm and a glare for white customers.

Beaners, niggers, muzzies, gooks, any non-white gets a hearty good day and quick service

Me, a middle aged, armed white man, gets snooty attitude, curt "conversation" (ID!?!?! barely un-screamed at me), and that left arm stops working.

Every damn time. 

I pick this cashier on purpose, even though it will take longer (I've got ALL DAY) because it makes it fume having to "serve" a white man.

They play their games, I play mine. 

Fuck Them.








(Yes my life is pitiful, but I get my jollies wherever I can, fuck you if you can't take a joke.)

In reply to by I hate cunton

JohnG Savvy Wed, 05/02/2018 - 22:55 Permalink

Absolutely.  One of my workers brought be some damn good tacos yesterday.  He went home tonight with enough grilled garlic-lemon chicken and vegs to feed his whole horde.  (They are legal resident aliens too, I checked them out.)  Nice folk.

Still beaner greasers though.....good fucking worker too.  I pay him well, and I hired him after I fired (and prosecuted) the meth smoking white teenager that set one of the barns on fire and cost me about 18 grand worth of good hay.







In reply to by Savvy

pliny the longer D503 Wed, 05/02/2018 - 20:24 Permalink

hustled way thru college in part bagging groceries.  the old fuks would take their damn sweet time in the rain, all weather, you'd load their shit into their car while they sat nice and dry, then they'd have the nerve to call the store and bitch because the bags were too heavy and you should have used twice as many to bag their shit so it would be easier for them.

that was about when ole pliny said fuck your groceries and did something else 

In reply to by D503