A guest looks at the Touch Bar on a MacBook computer shown in a demo room following the announcement of new products at Apple headquarters Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Presuppositions of This Article Are Designed to Make Andrew Puzder Look Bad

The New York Times has a report on Hardees CEO Andrew Puzder, who is Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee. But the article is filled with presuppositions that California and the United States’s labor laws are beneficial for workers and companies. They actually are not.

Just review these two short paragraphs.

In nearly two dozen interviews across California, some current and former employees at Carl’s Jr. restaurants described a workplace that was “basically fair,” as Tony Moua, a former cook from Merced, put it. “We were always paid on time and had to take our breaks,” he said.

But most offered a different version: restaurants so understaffed they could barely keep up; having their hours cut so their employer would not be required to provide insurance under the Affordable Care Act; and being sent home midshift if the crowds thinned.

What would have happened had Hardees not cut hours? Their health care costs would have been driven through the roof and they would have had to fire employees. The Affordable Care Act imposed all sorts of new burdens on businesses that would have driven up costs, reduced or eliminated profits, and otherwise would have imposed new financial burdens on businesses with already slim margins.

Then there is this:

In the months before California passed a law last year raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2022, many business leaders kept their objections discreet, but Mr. Puzder was blunt: “How do you pay somebody $15 an hour to scoop ice cream? How good could you be at scooping ice cream?” he asked.

He is right. But this is portrayed as negative in the article. If you read it, you will note that in response to California’s regulations, Mr. Puzder made a decision to move his company’s headquarters to Tennessee.

I think objectively California has become a nanny-state and is less and less competitive. That Mr. Puzder pointing all this out and responding to it is presupposed to be negative shows just how liberal the underlying presumptions are in this article. It is also for those reasons that Mr. Puzder should be confirmed.

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Erick Erickson

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