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Will Gov. Cuomo Kill the Economic Opportunity James Franco Extols?

Kudos to actor, writer, and director James Franco for his Washington Post piece yesterday explaining an important benefit of McDonald’s and the fast-food and franchise industries writ large—they are there for you when you need them.

James Franco explains that in his case the McDonald’s job was essentially a starting job after being fired from two others. Franco explains that that job sustained him when other avenues were not available. Furthermore, Franco tells how he used that time to develop skills that launched his current career.

Franco demonstrates the value of a good work ethic and shows how he made the job fun and kept a good attitude.

Franco’s story points out that in many cases the jobs are starting jobs as skills are developed. The story doesn’t end there though, because it makes the point that such jobs are there for you when nobody else is and at whatever stage of life you may find yourself.

Women hold 73 percent of these fast-food jobs, writes New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an opinion editorial in the New York Times yesterday. Unfortunately, raising the minimum wage is going to do is keep a notable percentage of these women at home, making McDonald’s and other franchise jobs unavailable for them when they need them.

There are jobs that are going to be lost, and disproportionately it’s the women who will be losing them. If someone has to be let go due to rising labor costs for employers, then there is a 73 percent chance it will be a woman fired from these fast-food jobs.

About 80 percent of economists surveyed recognize the job-killing reality of minimum wage hikes and 85 percent of econometric studies demonstrate this job-killing phenomenon. 

Franco’s story about McDonald’s providing the economic sustainment that allowed him to get a better-paying job echoes the sentiment of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), reported by The Daily Caller during last year’s debate about the minimum wage:

What we want is more people to enter the workforce. We don’t want to make it more expensive for employers to hire people… We want everybody to make more money, but more importantly with these horrible labor force participation rates, what matters most is getting people into the workforce — then getting the skills and the economic growth that allows them to get a better-paying job.

Following promptly on the heels of the Democrats’ announcement of a political strategy based on forcing increased costs on employers, Gov. Cuomo used his op-ed to introduce his push for a minimum wage hike exclusively focused on fast-food employers.

Today both the International Franchise Association’s press release and the National Restaurant Association’s press release hit back at Cuomo’s unilateral targeting of one sector of employers.

When Gov. Cuomo is done, struggling workers may not have the economic sustainment that allowed James Franco and millions like him to survive during hard times and eventually to get better-paying jobs. Beware workers and employers across the full spectrum of commerce, after Gov. Cuomo is finished with the fast-food sector, he might well target you.