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January 29, 2005

"Mom, I'm at work!!"

Minimum wage in Oregon is $7.25 but the minimum wage in North Dakota is just $5.15. An Oregon McDonald's has figured out a way to use that to their advantage. They rigged up a remote so that employees in Grand Forks, North Dakota can man the drive through at the McDonald's in Hermiston, Oregon. The local unions are all in a tither, because is circumvents Oregon's minimum wage laws.

The minimum wage laws are stupid to begin with. It's nothing more than a gimmick to trick people into thinking Liberals care. The truth is that in any given economy, the purchasing power of the people there will adjust to a certain level. When you raise minimum wage, prices and salaries adjust up the economic ladder until within a short time those minimum wage employees have exactly the same purchasing power. They are no better off than they were to start with.

But that's not the point I wanted to bring out. I've been aware for some time now of the need (and desire) of many people to find a way to work from home, but such opportunity (in spite of spam and cheap roads signs to the contrary) are limited. Outsourcing jobs this way opens up all kinds of opportunity. Besides removing the expense (and pollution) of driving, it allows people more time, and more flexibility. Imagine your teenager getting a summer job taking orders at the drive through, but being able to do it from your own computer via your broadband connection. Imagine all those customer support jobs that are currently being outsources to companies in India who hire people who are impossible to understand, being offered to Americans who can do the job at home, and actually make themselves understood. There's a lucrative market out there for this kind of thing if some enterprising and energetic entrepreneur wanted to jump on it.

Posted by Jack Lewis at January 29, 2005 01:24 PM

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