Fox's Stuart Varney Hypes Threat Of Job Automation To Attack Increasing The Minimum Wage
Varney: "Attention, $15-An-Hour Minimum Wage Protesters ... That Robot Is Going To Take Your Job"
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Fox Business host Stuart Varney, a frequent minimum wage antagonist, revived the myth that job automation is a product of increased minimum wages on the February 24 edition of Varney & Co. He claimed, while rolling footage of a new humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics, "$15-an-hour minimum wage protesters" should be worried that "that robot is going to take your job" while guest Elizabeth MacDonald referenced a February 2016 report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, which concluded that millions of jobs could be automated over the next few decades. Neither Fox personality mentioned that the report also stated "complementary jobs are often created and new work roles emerge to develop and maintain the new technology." Machines have been replacing workers since the 1800s, and the job displacement frequently leads to new jobs and industries. For example, in the 1980s many workers feared that personal computers would destroy jobs, only to witness the emergence of entirely new industries like computer gaming. From the February 24 edition of Varney & Co.:
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STUART VARNEY (HOST): Attention, $15-an-hour minimum wage protesters, and all you Occupy Wall Street types, that robot is going to take your job. It's made by Boston Dynamics, Google owns that company or Alphabet if you wish. Liz, I mean --
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Yeah.
VARNEY: You know, that's going to take some jobs.
MACDONALD: Even the White House said that, you make 20 bucks or less, eight-in-ten chance a robot will take your job. This robot weighs about 180 pounds, 5 feet 9 inches, it can squat, it can pick up things, even if its knocked down, it can stand back up again, it can work indoors and outdoors. So watch out. Robot revolution is coming, estimates half of these workers we're talking about could be replaced by robots, it's a big deal.