Trump’s Short-Sighted Pick for Labor

For all of his supposed  business acumen, President Donald Trump is doing some really dumb things.

For one thing,Trump  has proposed Andrew (Andy) Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, as the next Secretary of Labor.

CKE operates the “fast food” restaurants Carl’s Jr. and Hardees and  has been sued multiples times for discrimination, failing to pay overtime and firing workers who protest poverty wages.

And  it is not insignificant that CKE sells burgers with advertising that many of Trump’s middle class voters would rightly consider to be soft-core porn. One controversial ad features Paris Hilton wearing a skin-tight bikini while soaping up a Bentley and crawling all over it before taking a long, lingering bite of a juicy burger. This ad drew the ire of the Parents Television Council and was  banned in New Zealand. According to CNN Money, Puzder was less than sympathetic to the concerns of parents, telling them to “get a life …  there is no nipple in this. There is no nudity, there is no sex acts — it’s a beautiful model in a swimsuit washing a car.” One suspects that Puzder does not have his finger on the pulse of Trump’s voter base.

Whether or not Puzder is qualified to enforce the nation’s labor laws, he obviously lacks good judgment and political acumen. The job of labor secretary is sensitive and politically charged. Puzder promises to be the equivalent of a bull in the china shop. Isn’t this like asking for trouble?

It is also baffling that Trump reportedly is seeking to rein in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal consumer watchdog group that was created in the wake of the worst recession in 100 years. The agency serves as a check on the financial services industry and has returned about $11.8 billion to some 29 million consumers since 2011. What’s the upside to de-fanging an organization that could  help prevent future financial upheaval that could make Trump look bad?

Trump is not a politician. He is an outsider who wants change. But Trump’s middle class voters want positive change that benefits them, not the already too comfortable one percent. Trump needs better advice than he is getting from son-in-law and political novice Jared Kushner, erratic advisor Kellyanne Conway and laid-back Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.  Which is another thing.

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