The fundamental flaw is that you imagine "high" minimum wages (I hope you aren't talking about the US national minimum), and "plush" benefits are the cause of underemployment/stagnation in employment. I disagree, but, I also think it's a red herring. You miss the bigger picture: you can't compete with a robot. That's what the recent harvard business review article was about, what happen's when your job is replaced by automation. You can't find work in the same field for obvious reasons, so you look in another field: it's been automated too, or it has zero vacancies because everyone else wants that job. Historically, when buggy whip manufacturing went away, we started making cars. People that is, built cars. But when you and all your coworkers are replaced by machines that just *keep getting cheaper* you will never be able to compete. The developed vs developing world comparison you make is also not really valid to the topic at hand. We know human manufacturing jobs aren't coming back here, but the ones in asia are being displaced by robots as well. What NEW jobs does that make? Over time this is very likely to cause societal tension at bare minimum, bloody revolution and quality of life going backwards at worst. Do you get it? You could take away minimum wage, people would still not work for you for less than $5/hr for very well or long in any part of the country. They couldn't afford their basic needs. A robot needs only electricity and perhaps occasional repairs (but not enough to even come close to make up for the net loss in jobs).