Award-winning economist and Wall Street Journal writer Stephen Moore wants the average voter to know one thing about increasing the minimum wage: It will irreparably harm poor people in America.

Moore’s swimming against the current in America today. Just three months ago, President Obama prescribed a minimum wage hike as one method to combat income inequality and lift citizens out of poverty. With that message in mind, left-wing organizations and labor unions have become the movement’s eager foot soldiers, pushing for the hike in communities and statehouses across the nation.

Yet, Moore said Thursday night at a debate on the Gonzaga University campus in downtown Spokane, that the best way to train people to work and lift them out of poverty is to place them in the workforce. “One of the best predictors in your career is to start working at a younger age,” Moore told the audience, composed mostly of Gonzaga businesses students. “We want people young into workforce.”