Fox's Neil Cavuto Has A History Of Hosting Big Business Executives To Attack Minimum Wage Increases
Research ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET
Despite nationwide protests around the country and grassroots support for an increase in the minimum wage, Fox News host Neil Cavuto regularly invites wealthy CEOs and executives on his show to push the myth that minimum wage increases will kill American jobs. Economists have repeatedly found minimum wage increases have no effect on jobs.
Protests Erupt Across The Country For $15 Minimum Wage
USA Today: "Fast-Food Workers Strike, Seeking $15 Wage, Political Muscle." A November 10 article in USA Today reported on nation-wide protests to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Fast-food workers demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage walked out in hundreds of cities Tuesday, kicking off a campaign to muster the political power of 64 million low-wage workers in next year's presidential election.
The walkouts marked the workers' largest show of force in the three years since they launched a series of rallies to call for higher pay and the right to unionize, according to the advocacy group Fight for $15. The group is backed by the Service Employees International Union.
Tens of thousands of workers and supporters took part in rallies planned for 1,000 cities across the nation, beginning around dawn at McDonald's outlets in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, among other locations. Protests also were taking place for low-paid home care, child care, farm, nursing home and other workers seeking to make their voices heard. [USA Today, 11/10/15]
AP: New York's Fast-Food Workers To Get $15 Minimum Wage. In a September 10 report, the Associated Press reported New York Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a proposal to "gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour.":
New York state will gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour -- the first time any state has set the minimum that high.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration formally approved the proposal Thursday, and the Democratic governor announced the decision at a labor rally with Vice President Joe Biden.
The approval comes after a panel created by Cuomo in July voted to hike the base pay for the roughly 200,000 fast-food workers in the state to $15 an hour.
In an op-ed piece published in the New York Times in May, Cuomo said the board convened by the state's labor commission would examine whether the minimum wage in the fast-food industry is sufficient to provide for the life and health of its workers.
Cuomo on Thursday said he'll work to make the $15 minimum apply to all employees -- a promise that comes as more and more cities around the country move toward a $15 minimum wage.
The wage hike for fast-food workers in New York will be phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere in the state. It will apply to employees at large chain restaurants. [Associated Press, 9/10/15]
Fox's Cavuto Invites Wealthy Business Executives Who Falsely Claim Increased Minimum Wage Would Destroy Jobs
Fox's Neil Cavuto Hosts Home Depot CEO Who Calls Minimum Wage Increases A Job Killer. On the November 11 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto invited Bernie Marcus, Home Depot's co-founder and former CEO, to promote the idea that while the minimum wage "looks great, it looks phenomenal, and it actually sells in America," it would "cost jobs where we don't want it to be," such as "the minorities" and "the young people":
NEIL CAVUTO: I want to go right to Bernie Marcus, the Home Depot co-founder on this minimum wage kerfuffle. And one of the things that came up is that not one of them is for, save maybe Rick Santorum, is for a hike in the minimum wage, saying it's fine where it is. What do you make of that? Because all across the country there were these protests, for a 15 dollar minimum wage, Bernie.
BERNIE MARCUS: Well I think that - look nobody wants to see anybody make less, but the truth is -- I have to go back in my career early on. I'm talked about [as] a very wealthy guy today, but the truth is I waited on tables when I was a young man and that was my entry into learning how to take care of myself and how to deal with people, how to get up early, how to dress properly, how to take orders, how to be part of a team. And this minimum wage is a killer. I saw something the other day, Neil it was really interesting. McDonald's is now testing kiosks, where they're doing away with kids taking the orders. Now, everywhere I go, I ask people -- and you ought to ask some people -- where did you start out when you were a kid, when you were 17, 18? You needed to work, you wanted to work, you wanted to get some working money, et cetera, et cetera. Many of them worked in the fast-food industry -- and it didn't kill them, it gave them the start up. And I think that several of the candidates said that this is an opportunity for them to grow. It's not minimum wage, it's a possibility of creating a career.
I think that the minimum wage looks great, it looks phenomenal, and it actually sells in America, but the truth is it's going to cost jobs and it's going to cost jobs where we don't want it to be, and that's the minorities, it's the young people, and if you go to the minorities today, African-Americans, the unemployment rate among teenagers is somewhere around 40 to 50 percent. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 11/11/15]
Cavuto Hosts Former McDonald's USA President Who Claims Raising Minimum Wage Would Be A "Job-Costing Event." On the November 10 edition of Your World, Cavuto hosted Ed Rensi, a former McDonald's USA CEO, who claimed a minimum wage increase would destroy jobs. Cavuto asked Rensi if individuals protesting for a higher minimum wage "could be pushing themselves right out of a job." Rensi responded "there's no question about it ... This is going to be a job-costing event":
NEIL CAVUTO: But, Ed Rensi, now you argue that whatever justification there might be for a higher wage down the road, a lot of these guys could be pushing themselves right out of a job, right?
ED RENSI: Oh, there's no question about it. The restaurant industry, the service industries always relied on technology to offset labor costs. And McDonald's has already made a major move to replace people at the front counter. This is going to be a job-costing event. And only four percent of the people in the United States that work are actually on a minimum wage. So, it's a goofy argument for votes. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 11/10/15]
Cavuto Hosts CEO Who Calls Minimum Wage Increases "Economic Stupidity Of The Most Arch Kind." On the September 10 edition of Your World, Cavuto hosted Dave Maney, CEO and founder of Deke Digital, to attack minimum wage increases. Maney claimed "this minimum wage debate is economic stupidity of the most arch kind" and is "economic insanity":
NEIL CAVUTO: All right, now, Dave, it's an economic issue, so I wanted to end with you on an economic issue. In the scheme of things, will it make much of a difference? In other words, do you, when you invest and look at markets on a day we have the Dow up 76 points, does it make a difference?
DAVE MANEY: Does it make a difference that the Dow is up? No.
CAVUTO: No, on the issue of money and paying more.
MANEY: On the issue of paying more, it absolutely makes a difference. It's a huge difference. I mean, look, the minimum wage right now here in Colorado is $8.23. You're talking about nearly doubling it. That is a -- this minimum wage debate is economic stupidity of the most arch kind. Like, this isn't even close. This isn't like maybe this is a good idea. This is like, are you kidding me? This is economic insanity. It forces labor under the table. It forces automation. There's now burger-flipping, taco-making robots, which you'll move that bottom rung -- that bottom rung of the economic ladder, you'll saw it right off. This is lunacy. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 9/10/15]
Cavuto Hosts White Castle Vice President To Attack Minimum Wage. On the June 30 edition of Your World, Cavuto hosted White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson to discuss the minimum wage. During the segment, Richardson claimed wage increases would cost consumers more:
NEIL CAVUTO: I was thinking with your coming here, we have had this set level for when overtime kicks in. But it's not been adjusted for a long time. So a lot of people say we have got to adjust it and then maybe index it to inflation. Would you be open to that, or do you think this is too dramatic, and like hiking the minimum wage, essentially trying to double it, it's too big, too much, too soon?
JAMIE RICHARDSON: This is way too much too soon. And we were hoping for a thoughtful approach. What we have seen today is very concerning. There is a comment period. We are hopeful that there will be more listening and more thoughtful dialogue. But this is not good for our neighborhoods. It's not good for our team members, not good for our customers.
CAVUTO: What about your customers? Would they be willing or have you seen them willing to pay more for a burger or fries or a shake or whatever as a result?
RICHARDSON: Well, it's a hot and tasty White Castle, so you always might be able to pay a little bit more.
RICHARDSON: But we know our customers are hurting too. Hardworking Americans are struggling to get back on their feet still and they come to us for hot and tasty, affordable food that they can enjoy. So, we can't just pass that along. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 6/30/15, via Nexis]
Cavuto Hosts White Castle VP And Former Toys "R" Us CEO To Attack Minimum Wage Increase. In January 2014, Cavuto was joined by Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle government relations, and Jerry Storch, former CEO of Toys"R" Us, both of whom expressed their opposition to minimum wage increases. Storch claimed a minimum wage increase is "bad for the country, it's bad for growth, [and] it's bad for jobs." Richardson claimed raising the federal mandated minimum wage "doesn't create ladders of opportunity." Cavuto subsequently claimed that "if the economy is so bad that it warrants extending unemployment benefits for the umpteenth time, then surely it warrants going slow on increasing the minimum wage." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 1/29/14, via Media Matters]
But Economic Research Finds Minimum Wage Increase Has No Effect On Employment
CEPR: Increasing The Minimum Wage Has "No Discernable Effect" On Employment. In a February 2013 report, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that local, state, and federal minimum wage increases had a negligible effect on job creation:
Economists have conducted hundreds of studies of the employment impact of the minimum wage. Summarizing those studies is a daunting task, but two recent meta-studies analyzing the research conducted since the early 1990s concludes that the minimum wage has little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers. [Center for Economic and Policy Research, February 2013]
CEPR: Hiring Response To Minimum Wage Hikes "More Likely To Be Positive Than Negative." In a March 2011 analysis, CEPR concluded that minimum wage increases are "more likely" to result in job creation. According to CEPR, employment effects tended to "cluster near zero," with no major employment losses or gains tied to wage increases:
Our estimated employment responses generally cluster near zero, and are more likely to be positive than negative. Few of our point estimates are precise enough to rule out either positive or negative employment effects, but statistically significant positive employment responses outnumber statistically significant negative elasticities. [Center for Economic and Policy Research, March 2011]
IRLE: Rise In Earnings Had Zero Effect On Employment. An April 2012 report by the University of California, Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) looked at the link between raising minimum wages and job creation. The IRLE found no change in job growth tied to raising minimum wages:
Summarizing to this point, we find that our border-discontinuity estimates find strong positive responses of earnings to a minimum wage increase. This rise in earnings is met with a change in the employment stock that is indistinguishable from zero. [University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, April 2012]