Recently, entrepreneur and billionaire software mogul Bill Gates told the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe that, while an increase in the minimum wage would not be economically devastating, too high an increase could create an incentive for business to invest in automation and would decrease the number of low-skill jobs available. On Tuesday, the National Employment Law Project’s Tsedeye Gebreselassie appeared on that network to say that Gates doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
“You have to be a bit careful that if you raise the minimum wage you’re encouraging labor substitution,” Gates said. “You’re going to go buy machines and automate things or cause jobs to appear outside of that jurisdiction.”
“With all due respect to Bill Gates, the weight of the economic evidence is against him,” Gebreselassie responded. She said that a variety of economists recently signed a letter supporting a minimum wage increase and that fast food establishments, for example, “are not going to leave.”
“They are servicing local economies,” she added. “I think he’s a little bit out of touch about the realities of the modern day low-wage workforce.”
Watch the clip below via MSNBC:
[Photo via screen grab ]
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