Feed in some cash or use your plastic, and in two minutes Pizza Box will give you a wood-fired pizza sliced, boxed and ready to go. Depending upon what its owners have stocked it with, you may even see organic or gluten-free options.
The cash outlay required to run one of these machines is undoubtedly large, but I bet it’s nothing compared to hiring an employee to perform the equivalent tasks. Wages are the least of it (unless we’re talking artificially inflated mandated minimums) – required tax payments, contributions and forced health care coverage are what really tip the scale in favor of non-human solutions.
I feel sure the technology isn’t flawless – at least not yet. But I’m betting that, like Redbox and ATMs, it’s good enough and will only get better.
Progress and its creative destruction are inevitable, because humans are, on the whole, ingenious and opportunistic by nature. But that progress can be hastened when other forces are in play. Things like rules and regulations that disincentivize hiring or even make it a quick way to bankruptcy.
I’ve done some research around the mess that is employer-based health care, and formed the opinion that it’s one of the top things we have for years been doing wrong with regard to health care. It’s also one of the things that ObamaCare should have fixed. If it was truly aimed at fixing health care. Oh, wait –