22 thoughts on “Bill Gates at AEI on the risks of raising the minimum wage

  1. Note also what he has to say about low skilled labor:

    Gates..Well, technology in general will
    make capital more attractive than labor over time. Software substitution, you know,
    whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses or even, you know, whatever it is you do –
    (laughter).

    MR. BROOKS: We wonder that too sometimes. (Laughter.)

    MR. GATES: It’s progressing. And that’s going to force us to rethink how these
    tax structures work in order to maximize employment, you know, given that, you know,
    capitalism in general, over time, will create more inequality and technology, over time,
    will reduce demand for jobs particularly at the lower end of the skill set.

    And so, you know, we have to adjust, and these things are coming fast. Twenty
    years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower, and I don’t
    think people have that in their mental model.

    Amnesty, anyone?

  2. Bill G says he worried about “damping demand” for labor in the part of market he is most worried, by raising the minimum wage.

    Bill could have used damning demand, because that is what is going to happen to the entry level labor market.

    I predict leftists will be successful in raising minimum wages all along the left, right and top coasts of the U.S. This will be followed by big pushes for government employment of the damned.

    The left then gets credit for forcing wages higher and employment programs, which translate into solid voting block support.

    • As a true conservative, I support Bill Gates’ positions on everything because he’s rich and therefore he must be smart.

      What he cleverly neglects to mention– because it would blow his cover– is that quite a few minimum-wage workers have to spend off-clock time, sometimes a couple of hours, continuing to work. Keeping them at minimum wage AND not enforcing overtime regulations is a good way to keep them where they belong. Mr. Gates knows this but won’t say it, because he is a very smart man.

      • As a true conservative, I support Bill Gates’ positions on everything because he’s rich and therefore he must be smart.

        It’s always nice to see self labelled liberals, who always claim to be very intelligent, out themselves for the ignorant buffoons they are. Conservatives don’t think that if someone is rich, then “he must be smart”. Conservatives simply understand that what other people have is theirs not “ours” for “us” to dispense with as “we” please using the police state of course.

        quite a few minimum-wage workers have to spend off-clock time, sometimes a couple of hours, continuing to work

        Can you back this up with any evidence or are you simply telling yet another lie. Two in such a short comment. The sad thing, is that I’m not surprised. The left depends on lie and fantasy in order to justify their depraved philosophy.

      • You made an unsupported assertion about minwage enforcement. How about supporting it? Economically illiterate and trollish is no way to go through life, son.

  3. through the income tax credit“…

    So Bill Gates has no problem making others foot the bill for a minimum wage increase or am I mistaken?

    • As a true conservative, I support Bill Gates’ positions on everything because he’s rich and therefore he must be smart.

      I thought there was a problem with the EIC as a substitute for the wage increase because it has administrative costs that a minimum wage increase does not have. In effect, the EIC would be a minimum wage hike minus, say, 2%.

      But as Mr. Gates is one of the smartest men in the world, I admit the folly of my wrong thinking.

  4. It’s only a matter of time until even the most uniquely human activities can be perfectly (or better than perfectly) replaced by machines.
    When machines do everything clearly no one will need to work, but what will the world look like during the transition? Are the low labor participation rates we’re already seeing part of this process?

    • It’s only a matter of time until even the most uniquely human activities can be perfectly (or better than perfectly) replaced by machines.

      Perhaps it’s my age, or just old school thinking, but I will probably continue to pick my own nose even when it’s no longer necessary.

    • When the tractor was invented, did the peasants starve to death?

      That’s the same story that capitalism has been generating for 2 centuries now. And it has led to rather massive increases in economic well being.

      Yes, I would imagine that people work a lot less today then they did in 1820. But, they also live massively better.

      In fact, to have the same lifestyle today as you had in 1970, for example, you might only need to work 4 hours a day. Maybe even 3 hours a day.

      • AIG I hear you, I’m not saying things will get worse for us, I think they will continue to get better. But if you could buy a machine as clever as human for $1 it’s unlikely even the most talented of us will need to work.

        Maybe we will be like horses. From their perspective things have never been better. For complex reasons people keep them safe, bring them food, clean up after them, build them little houses to live in and all they have to do is carry a few kids around a field on a Saturday. Of course they used to have a lot of work to do a couple of hundred years ago, pulling barges, carts, buggies; important jobs that powered the economy. Today innovation has left them incredibly wealthy by historic standards, they don’t work much and most retire early.

        • But if you could buy a machine as clever as human for $1 it’s unlikely even the most talented of us will need to work.

          But…but…inequality! The wealthy could afford to have many of these $1 machines that do everything for them, while than the poor might only be able to afford one machine that does everything for them.

          We must find a way to “level the playing field”.

          • Spot on Ron, we’re already there aren’t we?

            What would the hard working families of 200 years ago think of the way we live today?

          • What would the hard working families of 200 years ago think of the way we live today?

            They would certainly laugh at the silly notion that there are any poor people in the US today.

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