Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Trump Taps Anti-Worker Fast-Food CEO for Labor Secretary

Andy Puzder, the CEO of a major fast-food company and sworn foe of raising the minimum wage, embodies the right’s anti-worker, trickle-down agenda. 

(Photo: AP/Jack Plunkett) CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 in Austin, Texas to highlight Carl’s Jr.’s commitment to the state of Texas. A s part of his cockeyed plan to help working Americans, President-elect Donald Trump has promised to roll back most of President Obama’s regulations in his first 100 days in office. Many of those rollbacks will go through the Labor Department, which under Obama has been implementing a slew of pro-worker rules and executive orders. As Trump fills his cabinet with controversial and, in some cases, preposterous figures, worker advocates were anxiously awaiting whom Trump would tap for the labor secretary post. On Thursday, transition officials signaled that Trump plans to nominate for U.S. Labor Secretary Andy Puzder. For low-wage workers and labor advocates, this is the worst appointment imaginable. Puzder is the millionaire CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the fast-food burger chains...

Steve Mnuchin: Trickle Downer of the Week

Trump’s treasury secretary pick says they won’t cut taxes for the rich. But he’s hawking Trumped-up Reaganomics.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Treasury Secretary, gets on an elevator after speaking with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower, Wednesday, November 30, 2016, in New York. L ast week, Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, went on CNBC’s Squawk Box —the preferred news program of Wall Street financiers—and made headlines with a bold declaration that the Trump administration would not slash taxes for the rich. “Any reductions we have in upper-income taxes will be offset by less deductions, so that there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” he said . “There will be a big tax cut for the middle class, but any tax cuts we have for the upper class will be offset by less deductions that pay for it.” Which tax plan is he talking about? Experts on the left and right agree: Trump’s tax plan —which Mnuchin helped craft—is a massive giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent, leaving middle-class and low-income...

Trump the Union-Busting Employer Will Now Dictate Nation’s Labor Policy

A litigious businessman with thousands of employees and a history of labor disputes is assuming the presidency. Will Trump’s worker policies create an ethical quagmire?

(Photo: AP/Evan Vucci) Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. P resident-elect Donald Trump’s career as a businessman with ventures and investments around the world will present an unprecedented number of presidential conflicts of interest when he moves into the Oval Office. As the employer of some 34,000 people, Trump is hardly a disinterested party when it comes to dictating national labor and employment policy. His appointments to the federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Department of Labor, as well as his consideration of worker-related legislation and his ability to use executive action to resolve labor disputes are rife with potential conflicts, ethics experts say. One glaring conflict—his refusal to bargain with unionized workers at his Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas—could take center stage once Trump becomes president in January. Five days a week, Maria Mendoza cleans the bathrooms, kitchens, and living...

Trump Falsely Claims Credit for Saving Jobs, and News Outlets Lap it Up

(Wikimedia Commons)

 

How does Donald Trump plan to save American jobs? Apparently, by claiming that he’s saved the ones that were never going anywhere in the first place.   

On Thursday night, the president-elect tweeted out that he had just received a call from his “friend” Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motor Co., who told him that Ford will be keeping the Lincoln car manufacturing plant in Kentucky—and not sending the operation to Mexico.

Trump, of course, then claimed that he had helped keep those jobs in the country.

That’s mighty impressive for a man who hasn’t even taken his seat in the Oval Office yet. Reuters, and many other news outlets, took his claim at face value. The Reuters headline declared: “Trump says Ford not moving U.S. plant to Mexico.”

One problem: It’s not true. The company operates two plants in Louisville, Kentucky—one that manufactures the Lincoln Navigator; another that makes the Lincoln MKC and the Ford Escape. But Ford never said it was moving those sport utility vehicle plants to Mexico to begin with.

After Trump’s tweets, the company released a statement saying that it had told the president-elect that they were no longer moving an MKC production shift from Kentucky to Mexico. However, the jobs at that Kentucky plant were never at risk, as The Washington Post reported, because plans were already afoot to increase production of the Ford Escape.

“Whatever happens in Louisville, it will not lose employment,” a union vice president of the United Auto Workers told The Detroit Free Press on November 9. “They cannot make enough Escapes.”

Never mind. Trump’s tweets, and the misleading news reports that ensued, have taking hold the internet, morphing into even more inaccurate news reports, and reassuring Trump’s rabid social-media followers that he is, indeed, the savior of the American manufacturing industry. No amount of fact-checking will change that.

Lost in all this, and of course unmentioned by Trump, is that Ford is still shifting its small-car production—of vehicles like the Focus—to Mexico. This despite Trump’s threats that he institute a 35 percent tariff on imports of vehicles made there.  

Stalled at the Federal Level, Democracy Advocates Look to the States

Republicans control Washington now, but a string of successful campaign finance ballot initiatives at the state and local level has buoyed the democracy movement.

(Photo: Every Voice) Demonstrators listen to speakers at the Democracy Awakening rally outside the United States capitol this past summer. D emocracy advocates who had hoped to reverse Citizens United under a President Clinton now face the prospect that a GOP-controlled Congress and White House will instead move in the opposite direction, and blow the campaign-finance rules even further out of the water. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Capitol Hill’s consummate booster of campaign-finance deregulation, is already plotting how to dramatically loosen contribution limits to political parties and candidates, and block disclosure for dark-money groups. Instead of overturning Citizens United, the Supreme Court will likely tilt further to the right under Donald Trump, and is primed to take up a case that could bring back the soft-money era , when corporations and unions poured unlimited contributions into campaign coffers. But even as their hopes of playing offense at the...

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