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July 22 2019

Confronted by Reality of $15 Minimum Wage, Bernie Sanders Does What Any Employer Would: Cut Hours

by Charlotte Hays

Senator Bernie Sanders is a staunch supporter of mandating a $15 minimum wage on businesses.

But, when it comes to his own employees, he has a different set of standards.

We learned last week that Sanders has been paying members of his own campaign staff below that minimum.

Sanders, who has blasted corporations for paying “starvation wages,” did exactly what many businesses do when they are forced to pay $15 an hour and can’t afford it: he cut the hours of staffers.

Fox News reports:

The self-described socialist candidate said junior field organizers earn roughly $36,000 per year in salary, with employer-paid health care and sick leave. But he acknowledged that their salary can effectively dip below $15 per hour if staffers work much more than 40 hours per week, which is common on presidential campaigns.

The solution is to "limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour," he told the Register's Brianne Pfannenstiel.

Sanders now joins the long list of restaurateurs who have been forced to cut the hours, or even close their doors, because of the $15 minimum wage (here, here).  

Sanders responded by saying that he is “proud” to be the first unionized campaign and complaining that staffers were going to the media.

Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants, who made Sanders “enemies list,” responded by noting that Sanders had done what any employer confronted with higher wages than can be paid, does:

The Sanders campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said “our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns”—the market rate. That didn’t satisfy the critics, so Mr. Shakir announced “we are limiting hours so no employee is receiving less than $15 for any hours worked.” Mr. Sanders is doing what any reasonable employer would: cutting employees’ hours. Well, of course he is.

Humorist Stephen Miller hoped that Sanders had received a lesson in economics:

"For the first time in his life, socialist Bernie Sanders practices economics and, buddy, the results are hilarious," wrote columnist and humorist Stephen Miller. He added: "Why won’t millionaire Bernie Sanders, who owns 3 homes, instead of cutting hours, pay his staff a living wage? People are starving."

Sanders had an opportunity to learn a capitalist lesson: you can mandate anything you want, but if the resources are not there, you can’t do it without making cuts elsewhere.

It would be great if Senator Sanders, prompted by his own experience with the minimum wage, sat down and did some serious thinking about the costs of policies he advocates. 

What are the odds of that?

 

 

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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