Under Trump, a Labor Secretary Who Gets Economics?
I have to say that President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet choices and prospects so far are surprisingly encouraging, continuing with the reportedly probable nomination of fast-food executive Andrew Puzder:
The selection of Puzder sheds light on what direction the Labor Department might take under Trump. Puzder has a long record of spoken and written remarks on job creation. He has said he opposes an Obama administration rule that would expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. The rule, which would affect about 4.2 million workers, was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in November. Puzder also opposes efforts to raise the minimum wage.
Puzder has said Obama’s health-care overhaul hurt his company’s growth and forced it to rely more on part-time workers.
Not only does he understand economics, he apparently takes the compassionate, worker-sympathetic approach:
“Low-skill jobs are important because that’s what gives you access to the high-level jobs,” he said. “If you focus on redistributing income, you’re not going to create growth.”
It’s high time we start talking about what’s good for workers while meaning actual workers rather than a trademarked slogan for left-wing, Democrat-lobbyist labor unions. There’s still room and time to be wary that Trump will prove squishy when push comes to shove, particularly on areas of specific concern to social conservatives, but based on the fights he’s picking early on, the signs are encouraging.
The proof should come when his battle plan meets the real opposition. He’ll either fight for his appointments or he won’t. And even if he doesn’t, his initial appointments could be a strategic feint to gain conservative support and draw Senate Democrats into hyperbolic overreaction. We’ll have a better sense of what to expect and what he intends, in other words, when people are actually in place enacting policy.