The Corner

The Fake News about Andy Puzder and the Minimum Wage

President-elect Trump has picked Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants (i.e. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s) for labor secretary. Amusingly, the media coverage of his nomination has been dominated by . . . fake news. Several outlets have reported that Puzder opposes increasing the minimum wage. That’s not exactly true. For better or worse, his views on the minimum wage are more nuanced than the media suggests.

Many outlets covering Puzder’s prospective nomination claim he opposes raising the minimum wage. For example The Atlantic reports:

[Puzder] has been a vocal defender of Trump’s economic policies, such as his opposition to Obamacare and business regulations like a higher minimum wage. . . . Puzder has written about how raising the minimum wage, and offering paid leave and health insurance to employees hurts the restaurant industry. Efforts to increase the minimum wage, he argues, are bad for everyone because “businesses will have to figure out the best way to deal with the high labor costs, which will lead to price increases, more efficient labor management and automation . . . drastic increases will unfortunately hurt low-skilled workers who need entry-level jobs the most.”

The Atlantic and many other outlets, make it sound like Puzder opposes any increase in the minimum wage. Many on the right would cheer that position.

It’s also fake news

Puzder has publicly stated that he does not oppose raising the minimum wage, or indexing it to inflation. What he opposes is requiring starting wages of $15 an hour. As the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year:

[Puzder] says he’s not against a minimum wage higher than today’s federal level of $7.25 an hour, or even to [sic] indexing the minimum to inflation. But he believes a jump to $15, even over a few years, inevitably will cost many low-wage workers their jobs.

Agree or disagree, little media coverage of Puzder’s nomination has accurately reported his views. Instead outlets such as Reuters have written headlines declaring “Trump picks opponent of higher minimum wage for Labor Department.”

The press recently has obsessed over “fake news.” The coverage of Puzder’s nomination shows many reporters should fact-check themselves first.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Five Thoughts on the George Floyd Story

After a night of riots, looting, and arson in Minneapolis to protest the police killing of George Floyd, five thoughts spring to mind: One: It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Five Thoughts on the George Floyd Story

After a night of riots, looting, and arson in Minneapolis to protest the police killing of George Floyd, five thoughts spring to mind: One: It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
Economy & Business

Boiling Over

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s frustration over having missed so much of the post-COVID realities in markets and economic life boiled over this morning in one of the more outrageous outbursts I have ever witnessed on financial media. Perhaps this outburst was rivaled only by his behavior during the March COVID market ... Read More
Economy & Business

Boiling Over

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s frustration over having missed so much of the post-COVID realities in markets and economic life boiled over this morning in one of the more outrageous outbursts I have ever witnessed on financial media. Perhaps this outburst was rivaled only by his behavior during the March COVID market ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Spread of the Debt Virus

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and by a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America. The shutdown has left the country on the cusp of a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Spread of the Debt Virus

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and by a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America. The shutdown has left the country on the cusp of a ... Read More