Andy Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Labor.

Woo hoo. Things will indeed be different.

When Puzder took over the restaurants, they were in debt. Within four years, they were profitable.

He cut out the fat.

That is what we say we want Trump and his incoming Republicans to do to the federal government: Cut the fat. Cut the deficit. Cut. Cut. Cut.

But do we? Not when “our” fat is cut.

Puzder,

detests the federal minimum wage.

He is correct. There is a place for a minimum wage, of sorts, in Pennsylvania, and in the other 49 states — if those states so choose.

But it defies logic and common sense to have the same minimum wage in metropolitan New York, Chicago or Philadelphia as we have in rural Mississippi, Montana — or our Tri-County Area of western Pennsylvania.

Puzder explained his viewpoint to columnist John Stossel:

“I have a 16-year-old son, and I really love him.”

“There’s no way in the world I’d pay that kid $12 an hour to do something. We’re losing a generation of people because we’ve eliminated jobs that those people normally filled. How do you pay somebody $15 an hour to scoop ice cream? How good could you be at scooping ice cream? It’s just not a job where you could compensate somebody like that.”

Therein lies the problem with the minimum wage.

Advocates of the $15/hour standard for a federal minimum wage say $15 an hour is necessary so that people who scoop ice cream for a living and feed their families by scooping ice cream can afford to have a fairly new car, a modern kitchen equipped with microwave and food processor, a well-stocked liquor/beer cache, etc.

Umm ... scooping ice cream does not generate near enough profit to pay for a $15/hour minimum wage, no matter how passionately the beloved curmudgeonly erstwhile Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, insists that we owe that amount to those people.

We do not.

If we are ever going to actually cut government, get out from under our $20 trillion national debt and live within our means, we need to understand that.

We need to cut.

We cannot afford “business as usual.”

Let’s hope that the Trump team can change us, at least in that regard.

— Denny Bonavita

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