Yesterday, Fox Business News’ Stuart Varney and I discussed the Treasury Department’s recent announcement that it’s looking for ways to curb corporate tax inversions overseas. For the record, the company that I run, CKE Restaurants, is not looking to do an inversion nor do we hold money overseas. But, if the Treasury Department manages to put restrictions in place, American companies will be at a disadvantage in the global economy. The real solution is to amend the tax code.
Click here to view the full interview: Varney & Co. Interview
And, speaking of success, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin also asked me how Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s differentiates itself from the competition in a crowded marketplace. It’s simple. We stay laser focused on offering premium, restaurant-quality food, with fast food convenience, at a fast food price for our target audience of young, hungry guys and those who aspire to be young.
We are always striving to sell burgers, grow our business and provide jobs. While government certainly has a role to play, at the moment, it just needs to stay out of the way.
In my CNBC.com article titled “Here’s What Obama Still Doesn’t Get,” I write about President Obama’s disturbing statement that he thinks his administration has “managed the economy pretty well . . . .” Evidently, the President doesn’t understand that the federal government is not supposed to manage the economy. Politicians in Washington don’t create jobs or economic growth. America’s businesses and hard-working taxpayers are the key to rebuilding a healthy economy. Our free market economy has produced more wealth and distributed it more broadly than any economy that’s ever existed. That happened without government management.
To read the full article at CNBC.com, click here.
Yesterday, the Orange County Register posted an opinion-editorial of mine regarding the impact of government-mandated ethanol production. The result of this mandate is an increase in feed corn prices, which drives an increase in protein prices, which drives an increase in food prices. We can all feel it. Grocery and restaurant bills for all Americans continue to rise.
In the article, I write that
While there’s never a good time for food costs to rise, this is a particularly bad time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture annually measures the percentage of households that experience ‘food insecurity,’ meaning that their access to adequate food for active, healthy living is limited by lack of money and other resources. Since 2008, food insecurity has been at elevated levels. Part of the problem is that we’re using a meaningful portion of our food supply for fuel. The United States is the world’s largest corn producer and corn is our primary feed grain. It’s also the primary component in the production of ethanol for fuel. These competing uses have set off a multibillion dollar chain reaction, unnecessarily increasing food costs.
On Wednesday, August 28th, at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Austin, Texas, I was honored to share the stage with Texas Governor Rick Perry and several other proud Texans. It was a privilege to introduce the Governor, a true defender of the both free enterprise and our American values. I’ve known Governor Perry for three or four years now. He originally cold called me to thank me for opening restaurants in Texas. I have only the highest admiration for his continuing efforts on behalf of Texas and in keeping Texas a prosperous and business-friendly state.
The event itself celebrated Carl’s Jr.’s commitment to Texas – to grow business, provide jobs and give back to the community. Our local restaurants engage and support local community groups all the time. It’s a part of our heritage and part of our business. As we grow, we give back. In Texas, we’ll be donating to the Lone Survivor Foundation: a Texas-based organization founded by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in 2005 facing Taliban fighters. After surviving his operations in Afghanistan, Marcus returned home to his ranch in Texas, the center of his post-combat recovery and restoration. Marcus wrote the 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book “Lone Survivor” and, based upon first hand experiences of what is needed for holistic healing while honoring his lost comrades from Operation Redwing, Marcus established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010.
I’m proud that our Carl’s Jr. success in Texas will mean we can continue to support the Lone Survivor Foundation and other local community groups there. Good citizenship is good business. And, it’s the American way.
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Earlier this week, Stuart Varney from Fox Business asked me to comment about President Obama’s recent interview in The Economist in which the President said corporate America has done well under his economic policies and that chief executive officers should stop complaining about regulations. Well, CEOs like myself speak up because someone must represent U.S. entrepreneurs and business owners. As a CEO, my job is to help our franchisees grow their independent businesses which in turn creates job opportunities. But, we can’t grow business if we’re bogged down with costly, time-consuming, inefficient regulations that hinder our ability to grow. Click here to see the full interview on Fox Business’ Varney & Co.
In my Wall Street Journal opinion-editorial posted today, I outline the realities and potentially devastating economic effects of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ruling that McDonald’s Corp. could be treated as a joint employer of its franchisees’ workers. The NLRB’s determination directly threatens the franchise business model that has encouraged countless American small business owners, creating jobs and broad-based economic growth. To read the full op-ed titled “Why Do the Feds Want to Dismantle the Golden Arches?” click here.
Last week, CNBC.com posted my editorial regarding U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s call for “economic patriotism.” Mr. Lew recently stated that “[w]e should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.” He is implying that U.S. companies are engaging in wrongful and disloyal conduct, in reality, they’re simply reacting to our outdated tax system by attempting to put themselves on the same footing as their foreign competitors. As with many Obama administration economic policies, the Secretary’s statements sound so reasonable but ignore so much.
To read the complete editorial posted today on CNBC.com, click here
On July 7th, the Huffington Post posted an article entitled “Millionaire Fast-Food CEO: Higher Minimum Wage Hurts Us All.” It was a critical response to a July 1st interview in which I made the point that, while people certainly have the right to raise the minimum wage, significant minimum wage increases will result in the loss of job opportunities for millions of young Americans. To continue reading my response to HuffPo that was posted by CNBC, click here.
Today, Yahoo! Finance posted an interview with me where I discussed the difficult time young people are having finding work. While I agree states and municipalities have the right to raise the minimum wage, people need to understand the consequences of government mandated wage hikes. Minimum wage laws at the state or municipal level rather than the federal level makes sense as different regions have different economic concerns. Unfortunately, the consequences of artificial wage hikes include higher prices and fewer entry level jobs which principally hurt the young Americans who need those jobs, particularly minorities. Real economic growth increases the demand for labor naturally, thus increasing wages. Government mandating increased wages without underlying economic growth cannot produce the same benefits as genuine economic growth and will actually hurt many of those the mandate purports to help.