Vernuccio Cited on President's Ann Arbor Visit

Most Americans can't afford a $14 sandwich for lunch

Labor Policy Director F. Vincent Vernuccio is cited in The Detroit News today regarding President Obama’s recent visit to Michigan in his quest for a higher mandated minimum wage.

Vernuccio wrote in Michigan Capitol Confidential Wednesday that some 500 economists have signed an open letter opposing President Obama’s call for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts such a move would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs.

While in Michigan, the president ate lunch at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. Its owner, who pays entry level workers $9 an hour and wants to raise that to $11, is a proponent of a higher minimum wage. As Vernuccio wrote, Zingerman’s caters to a high-end clientele and can afford to pay its workers more than its competitors. According to media reports, President Obama ordered a small Reuben for $13.99, a salad for $6.50 and tea for $2.50.

“Paying $13.99 for a small sandwich for lunch is considered a luxury for most Americans,” Vernuccio noted. 

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