[Marxism] Trump’s Likely Labor Pick, Andrew Puzder, Is Critic of Minimum Wage Increases

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 8 12:24:42 MST 2016

NY Times, Dec. 8 2016
Trump’s Likely Labor Pick, Andrew Puzder, Is Critic of Minimum Wage 

President-elect Donald J. Trump is expected to name Andrew F. Puzder, 
chief executive of the company that operates the fast food outlets 
Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. and an outspoken critic of the worker 
protections enacted by the Obama administration, to be secretary of 
labor, people close to the transition said on Thursday.

Mr. Puzder has spent his career in the private sector and has opposed 
efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay, while arguing that large 
minimum wage increases hurt small businesses and lead to job loss among 
low-skilled workers.

He strongly supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, which he 
maintains has helped create a “restaurant recession” because rising 
premiums have left middle- and working-class people with less money to 
spend dining out.

Mr. Puzder will arguably have less experience in government than any 
labor secretary since the early 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan 
appointed a longtime construction executive named Raymond J. Donovan. 
Mr. Donovan’s tenure was marked by an easing of numerous regulations.

In selecting Mr. Puzder, Mr. Trump appears to be banking on the idea 
that he can replicate some of his own appeal. Mr. Puzder, too, is a 
successful businessman prone to making populist pronouncements — he 
complained that “big corporate interests” and “globalist companies” were 
supporting Hillary Clinton in the presidential election — and the 
occasional streak of political incorrectness.

The advertisements that Mr. Puzder’s companies runs to promote its 
restaurants frequently feature women wearing next to nothing while 
gesturing suggestively. “I like our ads,” he told the publication 
Entrepreneur. “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think 
it’s very American.”

But Mr. Trump is also taking a risk that a wealthy chief executive will 
be viewed as a credible advocate for workers.

In a 2012 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. 
Puzder’s company listed his base salary as over $1 million. “Annual base 
salaries should be competitive and create a measure of financial 
security for our executive officers,” the filing said.

Many advocates of raising the minimum wage significantly argue that it 
is necessary to provide a measure of financial security to ordinary workers.

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