RUSH: Folks, I’ve learned something from the New York Post, an editorial of all things. We’ve been discussing here off and on over the past several weeks the really focused effort by the left to raise the minimum wage, particularly in the state of Washington, where we had a story where a number of restaurants are actually closing because the minimum wage is being raised arbitrarily to $15 an hour, and they simply can’t afford to stay in business. It turns out this may be the actual intention.
Okay, the New York Post editorial: “Spilling the Truth on the Fight for a $15 Minimum Wage.” They open by saying: “Did The New York Times just inadvertently tell us what the real goal of the raise-the-minimum-wage campaign is? A Times editorial last week cheered Los AngelesÂ’ enactment of a $15-an-hour minimum wage — but noted that restaurants, particularly fast-food joints, donÂ’t like it. Said The Times: ‘The restaurant industry … will not go down without a fight.’
“We didnÂ’t think that bringing down an entire industry was what the campaign for a $15 minimum was supposed to be about. Oops. Back in March, we noted that a similar hike in SeattleÂ’s minimum wage was leading to a spate of local restaurant closings.” Do you remember that story, folks? There was like 11 of them, I think, that announced they couldn’t absorb an arbitrary minimum wage of $15 an hour.
Now, a lot of liberals think that any business, large business, small business, they believe that all businesses are amazingly wealthy. They think that all businesses cheat on their taxes and have fake, fraudulent, phony deductions. They think that all businesses cheat their employees. They think that all businesses have a stash or a pile of money somewhere that the owner is saving and keeping for himself instead of paying a fair wage to his employees or lowering his prices for his customers.
They don’t have the slightest bit of understanding of markets and how they work because they’re opposed to capitalism, and their prejudice is that it’s all fixed, it’s all rigged, and all capitalists are criminals and suspects. So they believe raising the minimum wage is simply a way of enforcing fairness, since they believe intrinsically that small businesses, on purpose, underpay their employees.
Not just small businesses. They think all businesses purposely underpay, purposely offer few benefits. I mean, they just have a general overall negative image of businesspeople. And don’t forget what they also believe. This component that there is a stash of money that every business has, by definition, a business is rolling in dough by definition, and the owner’s a cheapskate who is hoarding all that cash for himself. So we’re gonna raise the minimum wage ’cause they can afford it.
Like Obama, he believes the golden goose is always gonna be there and always gonna be golden and always gonna be fat. Most liberals do. Most liberals think it’s impossible to destroy the golden goose because the rich are the rich and they take from the poor and that’s how they stay rich and we can’t get rid of ’em. So what they try to do is come up with new laws that take money away from the rich, either in new taxes or things like the minimum wage, because they intrinsically believe that businesses are unfair, mean-spirited extremists who are trying to screw their employees and their customers, and in some cases actually kill their customers, like Big Pharma and Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol, they’re out to actual kill their customers.
So here comes this mandatory minimum wage, 15 bucks an hour, and a bunch of restaurants in Seatle have announced, “We don’t have it. We can’t stay in business.” And the Times writes of that, the restaurant industry will not go down without a fight. The point here is that in the Seattle story, the Seattle minimum wage increase “was leading to a spate of local restaurant closings, given that labor costs account for 36 percent of the average restaurantÂ’s earnings. Case in point: Z Pizza, which has to shut down, putting all 11 employees out of work,” because its owner cannot afford a minimum wage of $15 an hour. The owner says that she tried layoffs, she tried cutting hours, she tried raising prices, she tried even not paying herself. None of it worked. She has to close.
The New York Post editorial asks the question: is this really what the objective is? Because we know, if you’ve paid attention you know, that the left hates fast food. They hate Mickey D’s, they hate Burger King, they hate all these fast food joints. They despise Chick-fil-A, oh, my God, folks, do they hate them. They hate Carl’s, Jr. You know how I know that? When I moved to California in Sacramento in 1984, the second day I was in town the consultant who hired me, Norman Woodruff, who I loved, he was just a unique, unforgettable figure to whom I owe much.
But I remember one day I showed up in a pair of slacks and a sweater with no shirt, just a V neck sweater with no shirt and he pulled me aside, “Unacceptable attire, sir, unacceptable attire.”
I said, “What’s wrong with it?”
“Natural fibers, we wear natural fibers in California. You’re in polyester slacks.” He was serious. And he said, “Nobody wears a sweater without a shirt. Now, go home and change. Put on a tie and get back here.” I had to do that. And when I got back, in the newsroom they had a TV on, a commercial came on for Carl’s, Jr. “Never, ever, once you become known, once you become a star here, never, ever be seen at any Carl’s, Jr.”
I said, “Why not?”
“Because they are a well-known contributor to right-wing causes.” (laughing) He was half serious. Well-known contributor to right-wing causes. I remember the first time I saw a bathroom with a kid’s urinal in it, basically five inches off the floor. It was in Sacramento. I said, “What the hell is this, Norm?” He followed me in there to make a point.
He said, “You owe that Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s OSHA requires us to put in toilets for children.”
I said, “This is Reagan’s fault, too, the tiny urinal five inches off the floor?”
“Exactly right, sir. Learn it, love it, live it.”
Okay. Anyway, we know the left hates fast food, bottom line. And maybe this is the objective. They can’t force them to shut down, but they can force them out of business with minimum wage laws. They can’t stay in business. I wouldn’t put it past them. I hadn’t even stopped to consider it, but I wouldn’t even put it past them.
RUSH: No. I know that OSHA was started by Nixon. I’m telling you that Norm Woodruff told me that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the miniature urinals in — well, not miniature, but the closer-to-the-ground urinals in the men’s bathroom, public bathrooms, that the Reagan administration came up with that requirement. Just telling you what I was told. I don’t know if he’s right or not. I don’t care. But I’m just telling you what he told me. Nitpickers. “Couldn’t have been Reagan, had to be Nixon, Nixon did OSHA.” Well, OSHA’s added all kinds of regulations since.