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Your World Cavuto

Home Depot co-founder says minimum wage hike is a 'killer'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: I want to go right to Bernie Marcus, the Home Depot co-founder, on his minimum wage kerfuffle.

And one of the things that came up is that not one of them is for, save maybe Rick Santorum, a hike in the minimum wage, saying it's fine where it is.

What do you make of that, because all across the country were these protests for a $15 minimum wage, Bernie?

BERNIE MARCUS, CO-FOUNDER, HOME DEPOT: Well, I think that, look, nobody wants to see anybody make less.

But the truth is, I have to go back in my career early on. I'm talking about a very wealthy guy today, but the truth is, I waited on tables when I was a young man. And that was my entry into learning how to take care of myself and how to deal with people, how to get up early, how to dress properly, how to take orders, how to be part of a team.

And this minimum wage is a killer. I saw something the other day, Neil, that was really interesting. McDonald's is now testing kiosks where they're doing away with kids taking the orders.

CAVUTO: Yes.

MARCUS: Now, everywhere I go, I ask people, and you ought to ask some people, where did you start out when you were a kid, when you were 17, 18?
You need to work. You wanted to work and get some working money, et cetera, et cetera.

Many of them worked in the fast food industry. And it didn't kill them. It gave them the start-up. And I think that several of the candidates said that this is an opportunity for them to grow. It's not minimum wage. It's a possibility of creating a career.

And I think that, for many of these kids, you go into many fast food restaurants today and speak to the managers, you will find out they all started at minimum wage in those very same places and worked themselves up to be managers.

So, I don't -- I think that -- I think that the minimum wage looks great. It looks phenomenal. And it actually sells in America. But the truth is, it's going to cost jobs, and it's going to cost jobs where we don't want it to be. And that's the minorities. It's the young people.

And if you go to the minorities today, African-Americans, the unemployment rate among teenagers is somewhere around 40 percent to 50 percent. Wouldn't you rather see them working at a place?

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But that's what I thought -- no, I hear you, Bernie.

But one of the things I thought originally, Ben Carson was for this two-tiered wage, that a young -- a starter wage for kids like that and maybe a higher wage for established for fast food workers, retail workers, that sort of thing. He has since abandoned that, apparently, at least from what I learned last night at the debate.

That seemed like a good middle ground here, but obviously that's not happening.

MARCUS: It is. It is a great middle ground.

And I think that the more people talk about it, the better off we're going to eventually be. I think that that is -- it's healthy for America.
Look, Seattle, San Francisco, it's places where a lot of real people don't exist.

I mean, they -- a lot of the progressives who are pushing this are guys who are very, very wealthy. And I don't think they relate to the young people who need a job desperately. I don't think that minimum wage, that entry jobs are for family man with two kids. I just don't think that's where they go.

CAVUTO: All right, Bernie Marcus, always a pleasure. Thank you very, very much.

MARCUS: And, by the way, you -- I also agree you did a great job yesterday.

CAVUTO: Well, that's good. Obviously, the check cleared. You got it.

Thank you, Bernie. I always appreciate it, my friend, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot.

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