Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show yesterday, Microsoft co-founder, Seattle native, and multi-billionaire Bill Gates appeared to advocate for traditionally conservative free-market values.
The highlight of the appearance was Gates’ insistence that a big myth out there is that poverty is increasing.
“The poor aren’t getting poorer. That’s absolutely and completely totally wrong,” Gates said.
The proof is in countries like China, Gates said, which shrunk its poverty rate from 60 percent to 10 percent. China was able to do that by opening itself up to free trade, and by growing its own economy.
“Gates steps up to the plate and throws that myth away,” Boze commented.
In the United States, Boze said, there is still debate between using socialist entitlement programs or free market policies to solve the problems of the poor. Gates appeared to advocate for using free market principles to solve poverty.
Gates also weighed in on the push to raise the minimum wage, and he was not totally in favor of it. Gates conceded that the minimum wage is a complex issue, but that you “have to be a bit careful” or you will force labor substitution – AKA, layoffs in favor of automation or outsourcing.
“Over and over again, Gates tends to be a liberal guy,” Boze said. “But he’s saying things that are drawing attention to things conservatives have been point to for a long time.”
Gates was responding in part to an Oxfam report that indicated that capitalism and wealth inequality are exacerbating poverty.
“The groups that are out there trying to say that the poverty problem is actually a capitalism problem, this is the tired kind of far- left liberal argument that’s managed to worm its way back into the mainstream of political conversation and it is destructive and ugly and we need to put a stop to it,” Boze said.