Interview with Bill Gates: From poverty to prosperity

Bill Gates believes big changes are coming to the labor market, and that people and governments aren’t prepared for them.

Bill Gates was recently interviewed at the economic think tank “The American Enterprise Institute” in Washington, D.C.. During the interview, he claimed that within 20 years, a lot of jobs will go away, to be replaced by software substitution.

Here’s what he said:

Software substitution, you know, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses …  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.

As to what governments should do to prevent social unrest in the wake of mass unemployment, Bill believes we have to encourage companies to hire employees by, among other things, eliminating income tax. He’s also not a big fan of raising the minimum wage. He’s afraid it will discourage employers from hiring workers in the category he feels that is most threatened by automation.

When people say we should raise the minimum wage, I think, boy, you know, I know some economists disagree. But I think, boy, I worry about what that does to job creation. The idea that through the income tax credit you would end up with a certain minimum wage that you’d receive, that I understand better than potentially damping demand in the part of the labor spectrum that I’m most worried about.

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