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Manufacturing and Engineering

If a $15 minimum wage brings California more work robots, is that a bad thing?

If a $15 minimum wage brings California more work robots, is that a bad thing?

After Gov. Jerry Brown announced a proposal this week to ratchet up the state's minimum wage 50% by 2022, business groups warned that the rapid increase could actually hurt the people Brown was trying to help. In addition to laying off workers and moving jobs out of state, they predicted, companies would move more aggressively to automate, replacing at least some of the people on their payroll with machines. That's not an idle threat, especially for low-skilled labor; the number of tasks that computerized devices can perform at least as well as humans grows every year. But automation isn't necessarily bad for workers — just look at what's happening in the U.S. garment...

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