• Calling Bull on Fast Food CEO Who Says Higher Min Wage Forcing Him to Automation

    March 22, 2016

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Economy, Minimum Wage


    The CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s visited a fully automated restaurant, and it’s given him some evil ideas on how to deal with rising minimum wages.

    CEO Andy Puzder (above) said “We could have a restaurant… where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”

    Puzder’s interest in an employee-free restaurant has been sparked by rising minimum wages. “With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” he says. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”

    The CEO has been an outspoken advocate against raising the minimum wage, writing op-eds on how a higher minimum wage would lead to reduced employment opportunities. “This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage,” says Puzder. “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?”

    So let’s unpack Puzder’s remarks, and call bullsh*t on him.

    The federal minimum wage hit its high point in 1968 at $8.54 in today’s dollars and while this country has been a paradise in the ensuing decades for what we now call the “One Percent,” it’s been downhill for low-wage workers ever since. In fact, since it was last raised in 2009 at the federal level to $7.25 per hour, the minimum has lost about 8.1% of its purchasing power to inflation. In other words, minimum-wage workers actually make less now than they did in 1968.

    So if Puzder cannot make money by paying circa-1968 wages with 2016 prices in force, he needs some business lessons.

    But are wages really what this is all about? Let’s see what else Puzder had to say.

    “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” says Puzder of swapping employees for machines.

    Ah, yes, there we have it.

    Puzder doesn’t want cheaper labor per se, he wants to quit trying to figure out how to make his people work like machines, and just have machines work like he wishes people would do. Stupid people, with their need for time off and desire not to be discriminated against.

    BONUS: Guess what? One of the nation’s highest minimum wages, in Seattle, has not led to mass unemployment at all.

    DOUBLE BONUS: In addition, while we all grieve for poor CEOs forced to pay out a living wage, think bigger. Higher wages mean fewer people needing food assistance, which means lower taxes. Higher wages also puts more money into the economy, usually the very local economy. Unlike wealthy people like CEOs, who tend to save their money or invest it, lower income people spend their wages. An extra dollar to a Carl’s, Jr. worker moves quickly into the hands of a local food store, which uses the dollar to purchase goods, which boosts the whole blessed mess.

    SUPER SIZE BONUS: Bloomberg reported Puzder’s salary and other compensation as $4.485 million, so he is doing well. His restaurant chain is doing well, too, as profits rose more than 30 percent last year.

    DESSERT: Puzder also lobbied against a Department of Labor rule change that currently allows him to deny his restaurant assistant managers overtime by claiming they are executives.

    A SECOND DESSERT:  Puzder argues that social welfare “programs have the unintended consequence of discouraging work rather than encouraging independence, self-reliance, and pride, and that, because of government assistance, low-wage employees across the United States are refusing promotions and additional hours for fear of losing public assistance.”

    So I’ll have fries with that bullsh*t please!

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s– His ads are as disgusting as his menu.


      03/22/16 8:21 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      At long last the cur has no sense of US’ Community; at long last! And his food’s not edible enough to open a silly CENTIMETER More for (cms are prolly
      about his size!)!

      03/22/16 10:51 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Gotta love the Fox caption under Putz-der’s (oops, I mean Puzder) ugly mug. “Nearly one in four Americans in their prime are [sic] not working.” He’s either thinking, “Let’s go for three out of every four,” or “Because they are lazy bums living off the welfare state; let’s kill them.”

      How is it that all these horrible people have similar facial features? I swear, I can see a Republican, Libertarian, or nondenominational neocon a mile away. Makes you think the old science of physiognomy had some merit.

      03/22/16 11:44 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      This asswipe is against Obamacare. Ironic, as his shitty food is a leading cause of heart disease in America. There should be a fat tax for this fat cat.

      03/22/16 11:55 AM | Comment Link

    • Bill Johnson said...


      Moving the corporate headquarters from Carpinteria to Nashville will cut Carl’s Jr’s state tax from 13% to 0%. Moving Hardee’s from St. Louis to Nashville will save Hardee’s 6%. Eliminating jobs by combining the hqs will cut staffing costs by 40%. That money could go to wages, but more likely will go to kiosks. Actually, the company is behind the curve. McDonald’s, Dunkin, and Panera are already using kiosks and reducing staff. Fast food jobs are going away, not because of wages, but because of other associated costs, and because we allow CEO compensation in shares. Minimum wage is not he problem. We need a maximum wage, and, while CEOs need to have fiduciary duties, those shouldn’t be duties to self. CEOs should wages, not stock options.

      03/22/16 12:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Pudzer is a jogger and doesn’t eat the crap he sells. The Walter White of fast food.

      03/22/16 3:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Links 23/3/2016: Red Hat’s Record Results | Techrights said...


      […] Calling Bull on Fast Food CEO Who Says Higher Min Wage Forcing Him to Automation […]

      03/23/16 8:22 AM | Comment Link

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