Election 2016

Donald Trump's Labor Secretary Pick Andy Puzder, Who Makes 300 Times His Employees, Opposes Minimum Wage Hike

"Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?" Puzder argued in a March interview.

Photo Credit: Screenshot / YouTube

Donald Trump’s cabinet is set to draft another villainous job creator, Andy Puzder, as its secretary of labor.

The CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. parent company CKE Restaurants, Puzder is a staunch opponent of a federal minimum wage increase — views he expressed in a March interview with Business Insider about automated restaurants, “where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” he whined. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”

“This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage,” he added. “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?”

To build on his dystopian hypothetical: If Andy makes 291 times more than Sally — let’s call it $4.458 million in 2012 — what thread count must his sheets be for him to be able to sleep at night knowing that Suzie’s out of a job?

“If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science,” Puzder told Business Insider.

He has a point. Cutting overhead isn’t rocket science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which he will soon oversee, the median annual wage for rocket scientists in 2015 was roughly 41 times smaller than Puzder’s take-home pay.

“We have a grave concerns about this potential nomination,” Christine Owens, executive director of National Employment Law Project, said in a press call Thursday afternoon.

Owens said Puzder’s opposition to a minimum wage hike is “not only inconsistent to the role of the secretary of labor and the priority of raising wages for working people, but it’s really out of line with where most of America is.”

Puzder’s likely nomination, she said, “really is like giving the fox the key to the henhouse.”


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Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer and nonfiction MFA candidate at Columbia University.