Re: human vs automated car wash
"wages in the UK are so low that it's cheaper to use humans rather than automatic car washes, resulting in a halving of the number of carwashes."
There's a great deal of sense in the referenced article, but one thing it seems to overlook is the apparent unreliability of automated mechanical carwashes, both in terms of service delivery and in waiting time. Back in the days before hand washes (frequently based on undocumented immigrant workers and bosses who care little for any laws) became ubiquitous, it could take ages to find a working car wash and another age to get to the front of the queue. Presumably repairs were tricky or expensive, as the ones close to me used to stay in the "out of service" state for weeks.
Then along comes the hand car wash. Find a site at a negligible rent, find some immigrants of dubious status who don't want to go to the law if they're housed illegally and employed on illegal conditions, who unlike the machines don't need expensive repairs when they break, an owner who doesn't care about laws (including those re disposal of contaminated wastewater into the public drainage system). PROFIT!