Should the nation’s minimum wage be raised, as Democrats from President Obama on down are insisting?
“Well, jobs are a great thing,” Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. “So you have to be a bit careful: If you raise the minimum wage, you’re encouraging labor substitution, and you’re going to go buy machines and automate things — or cause jobs to appear outside of that jurisdiction.
“And so within certain limits, you know, it does cause job destruction. If you really start pushing it, then you’re just making a huge tradeoff.”
Gates said there also the question of which households end up benefiting from a higher minimum wage: “Is it much more the teenager in a wealthy household, or is it that household in poverty? A lot of the problem there is that those people don’t have many hours.”
“These are complex issues,” he continued. “It’s not as simple as just saying, okay, raise the wage.”