consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Tom Emmer's nemesis. Try a little E Le Carte.

No more of that $100K offensiveness from service folks. This link. An excerpt:

On Tuesday, Applebee’s announced plans to install a tablet at every table in its 1,860 restaurants across the United States. Customers will be able to use the devices to order food, pay the bill, and ignore their dining companions by playing video games.

[...] Applebee’s was the name that came up when my former Slate colleague Annie Lowrey first wrote about the tablets-for-restaurants idea in April 2011. Her story focused on Palo Alto-based startup E La Carte, which is in fact Applebee’s partner on the just-announced deal. Chili’s opted for a rival vendor, Ziosk. Applebee's went light on details in announcing the terms of its deal, but here's how the economics of the proposition looked when Lowrey wrote about it in 2011:

The Presto [E La Carte’s tablet] aspires to be the food-services version of the airline check-in kiosk or the ATM or the self-checkout at your local pharmacy. It makes a person's job a computer's job, and that cuts costs. Each console goes for $100 per month. If a restaurant serves meals eight hours a day, seven days a week, it works out to 42 cents per hour per table—making the Presto cheaper than even the very cheapest waiter. Moreover, no manager needs to train it, replace it if it quits, or offer it sick days. And it doesn't forget to take off the cheese, walk off for 20 minutes, or accidentally offend with small talk, either.

[...] The big money boys can see where all of this is headed: either the developed world's middle classes start learning to live with a lot less, or their tax rates are going back up to Eisenhower levels. Or there will be a revolution and dramatic re-ordering of the social and economic contract.

The next few decades are going to be a very interesting time, particularly with climate change thrown into the mix. It's going to entail a dramatic battle of ideas between two very different solutions to a vexing problem complex human societies have never really faced before. In that battle, the neoliberal "New Democrats" aren't all that different from the hardcore conservatives. When you have 25% real unemployment/underemployment and massive climate disruption, all of a sudden a bunch of other issues that separate the corporate New Dems from the Bible-thumping Republicans start to become trivial by comparison.

So, no tips needed/expected when it's an iPad instead of a person. But what is the political fallout of technology marching on? Nobody makes buggy whips anymore, and shoeing horses is now a speciality, but what will automation entail, ultimately, as to job creation (even low wage Chinese workers may have cause to worry, if Made in America costs less because robotics costs less than hand labor in Asia).

And, who is making more noise about dissatisfaction with capitalism-governmental status quo - at least as to how mainstream media reports things? Tea Party or Moveon.org?

Yes, the caucusing Minnesota GOP is shrinking into little beyond its most vocal and ideological "base" because of the trend from at least Clinton presidential years onward, for the Dems to have preempted the GOP's big business -&- Wall Street bloc's agenda. Dems did this by consciously making the moneyed interests' agenda their agenda while the GOP "base" shifted; witness Geithner and the Obama era reappointment of Bernanke. The result? Those privileged folks need not rub elbows with the GOP riff-raft "base" and their quaintness.

Yes, the power brokers from time-to-time make some concessions, witness the Romney 47% mentality persisting, but with the understanding that those at the table when Romney spoke were only a tiny percentage of registered votes. In effect, continuation of Wall Street money to Bachmann dating to when she first joined the House Financial Services committee has become unnecessary; while Bachmann's personality and agenda would be a thorn in most anyone's side. She is sidetracked. It was easy for the money to gravitate to the Dems where it was equally, and given Tea Party sentiments, possibly better served.

Do you remember ABSCAM, and the "Money talks ..." quote? That was a southern House Republican back then.

Now we have Corzine. A Dem governor of New Jersey at one incarnation, formerly a Dem Senator too. Former Senators, need they ever worry about the wrong side of jail bars?

Bernanke? This link. Also, Yellen differs?

This link. Ben and Janet, as alike in their own ways as Ron and Rand?

Parallel viewpoints, here and here. The latter item has a narrower focus, but uses the interesting term "the traditional American party of capital." Ron/Rand, while not thrilled with entitlement spending, seem something of a departure from "the traditional American party of capital." Obama seems fine with taking over the robes and staff of that traditional representation. Personally and for his entire administration. And is Senator Dianne Feinstein closer to Nelson Rockefeller Republicanism than Senator Rand Paul?

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For something different - the equivalent, more or less, of two thousand words ...

I know those people.

I know those people.


[photo credit - read it, understand Daddy Warbucks' regard for MN CD6 voters]

UPDATE: Bluestem Prairie, earlier this year.

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