We’ve heard a lot of idiotic claims from the rich about raising the minimum wage, but Andy Puzder, head of the parent company of Hardees, Carl’s Jr. and Arby’s feels that not enough has been said about fast food workers who don’t deserve to be paid adequately for their services.
In 2012, CKE restaurants brought in a whopping $1.28 billion dollars. However, Puzder says that “Government needs to get out of the way” of company profits — err, of the almighty job creators’ ability to graciously bestow upon their workers wonderful, low-paying job opportunities. “If government gets out of the way, businesses will create jobs and wages will go up,” he claimed without offering any evidence of his claims, and ignoring that much of the problem is that government has been stepping aside for far too long.
Puzder made $4.4 million in 2012, according to Forbes. That’s 291 times what the average minimum wage worker makes in a year, if they are earning minimum wage and assuming that a company actually gives its employees full-time hours.
Puzder argues that if the minimum wage is raised, teenagers and young adults would be out of jobs because adults will flock to their local restaurants to flip burgers. He adds that more experienced workers are clamoring for their chance to serve up fries because their hours were cut — you know, because Obamacare.
While it’s true that about 40 percent of fast food workers are 25 years or older, and that more than 30 percent have at least some college education, this has more to do with the slow economic recovery following the Bush recession. Low-paying employment “opportunities” have accounted for a healthy chunk (just below half) of jobs gained over the last four years.
In the past, Puzder has argued against legislation that would adequately compensate managers for unpaid overtime work, claiming that it does nothing for their “stature” and “sense of accomplishment.” You know, because you can feed a family on your sense of accomplishment.
Some companies have done the right thing and raised wages in response to President Obama’s call for a higher minimum wage, though Congress has largely ignored the idea. Shake Shack, for example, pays a starting salary of $9.50 per hour plus a profit sharing program and other benefits. The Gap raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour, as well. Costco has flat-out refused to cut employee wages just to increase profits.
Unfortunately, we have a long way to go before employees are compensated fairly, it seems.