Reading List: Fast Food Orders & Technology as Job-Killers

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While Occupy Wall Street goes global and sometimes violent (see Oakland), how much of the income disparity in the United States is due to technology hollowing out the American middle class? What has happened to bank tellers, travel agents and printing press shops?



“How Technology Is Eliminating Higher-Skill Jobs”

“He says machines used to take over work that was physically hard or dangerous or just monotonous. But now, he says, we’re losing higher-skill, better-paying jobs to machines — like bank tellers, airline check-in agents, accountants and whole floors of actuaries in insurance companies.

So going forward, the worry is there’s going to be a greater need for people to do minimum-wage restaurant busboy-type work and less need for $30-an-hour office workers.”


“The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast-Food Order”

Ms. Vargas works not in a restaurant but in a busy call center in this town, 150 miles from Los Angeles. She and as many as 35 others take orders remotely from 40 McDonald’s outlets around the country. The orders are then sent back to the restaurants by Internet, to be filled a few yards from where they were placed.







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