David Corn of progressive magazine Mother Jones and Erin Gloria Ryan of The Daily Beast discussed the now withdrawn nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” Wednesday night.
But guests took issue with emerging workplace automation technology that threatens jobs in the fast good industry in which Puzder made his fortune. Both also appeared to hold Puzder at least partially responsible for its advent.
“He’s Secretary of Labor, was going to be, yet he is against raising the minimum wage,” Corn said, seemingly of the opinion the two were inherently incompatible.
“He has said, you know, ‘I wish I could get rid of workers and just put in robots because they don’t file discrimination cases and they’re never late and you don’t have to worry about them,’” Corn continued. He made no mention of the fact that higher minimum wages and additional employment litigation might make robotic labor more attractive to employers.
“Just to add that,” Ryan chimed in, “The fact that he was somebody who is pro-automation when automation is something that, over the next ten years, is going to threaten tens of thousands, if not more, American jobs. And he was somebody that was supposed to be the Secretary of Labor, actually endangering American’s ability to work.”
Ryan apparently believes Puzder’s enthusiasm for robotics technology means workplace automation would have been closely linked to him becoming head of the Department of Labor.