Daily Beast: Mayor Bill de Blasio: As Puzder Pushes Radical Ideas, NYC Models the Right Way to Treat Workers

When working people make more money, they spend that money—and businesses hire more working people to meet increased demand

By Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
The Daily Beast, February 15, 2017

Families across America are struggling to make ends meet. Many workers cannot survive without two or even three jobs. Meanwhile, CEOs are taking home sickening amounts of money. It’s happening all over, but if you want especially egregious examples, look no further than the fast-food industry.

That’s why all of us should be deeply disturbed by President Trump’s choice for secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder. A veteran of the fast-food industry, Puzder has enriched himself on the backs of the most vulnerable workers in this country. Meanwhile, he has opposed even modest increases in the federal minimum wage and common-sense overtime protections that would not only bring relief to millions of working families, but would actually be better for his own industry.

To defend his views, Puzder trots out the tired and discredited argument that “lower-skilled workers, working-class Americans, young people, minorities” would lose jobs if the federal minimum wage were to go up to just $10 an hour.

Here in New York City, we know there is a better way. In a few short years, we have expanded the right to paid sick leave to cover a half million more residents; we've expanded paid parental leave for City workers and increased the living wage that companies doing business with the City must pay.  ... These reforms and others haven’t just benefitted workers. They have been fantastic for our local businesses. As of December 2016, New York City’s unemployment rate stood at just 5.2%, significantly lower than 8.2%, where it was when I took office. The city added a record 250,000 jobs in just two years.

Even Puzder’s fellow fast-food CEOs disagree with his radical views. Bill Phelps of Wetzel’s Pretzels has observed that after two increases in California’s minimum wage, sales doubled and he didn’t have to lay anyone off.

That makes sense. When working people make more money, they spend that money—and businesses hire more working people to meet increased demand. ...

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Copyright 2017 The Daily Beast

 

 

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