Biden Gives Great Answer to Republican Food Mogul John Lanni

President Joe Biden gave a very satisfying answer to restaurant mogul and Republican John Lanni , who wanted to know what the government...


President Joe Biden gave a very satisfying answer to restaurant mogul and Republican John Lanni, who wanted to know what the government could do to help him find workers to staff his establishments.

At CNN’s town hall Wednesday night, moderator Don Lemon introduced Lanni by saying “This is John Lanni. He is the owner and co-founder of a restaurant group with 39 restaurants across the country, Mr. President. He is a Republican.”

Lanni, co-owner of the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, complained about having trouble finding workers, then asked the president “How do you and the Biden administration plan to incentivize those that haven’t returned to work yet? Hiring is our top priority right now.”

Biden’s full exchange with Lanni lasted longer than five minutes, and was chock full of the president’s trademark folksy amiability, including this quirky digression:

BIDEN: My deceased wife’s father-in-law was a restauranteur up in Syracuse, New York. And, by the way, he tried to — he had a restaurant that was in a town called Auburn, about 20,000 people, which was a flagship 24- hour-a-day restaurant that — and he offered it to me, which I would have been making five times what I would in law school to try to keep me in Syracuse. But I spent too many times at home hearing — in his home hearing a phone call, “The cook didn’t come in? He’s in a fight with his wife? What’s going on?”

LANNI: Exactly.

BIDEN: So I would — God love you, doing what you do.

But Biden opened and closed with two points that were as satisfying as a playlist full of AMSR videos of people cutting soap or popping bubble wrap.

“Well, two things, one, if you noticed, we kept you open,” Biden said in his opening response. “We spent billions of dollars to make sure restaurants could stay open.”

He added that “a lot of people who now — who worked as waiters and waitresses decided that they don’t want to do that anymore because there was other opportunities at higher wages, because there’s a lot of openings now in jobs and people are beginning to move, beginning to move.”

And when Lemon followed up by asking what Biden could do “to help [Lanni] out,” the president put an even finer point on it.

“Well, John, first of all, I — you know, the thing we did to help John and the Johns out is provide billions of dollars to make sure they could stay open, number one. So you all contributed to making sure John could stay in business,” Biden said, to applause from the audience.

He went on to draw more applause by saying “But, secondly, John, my guess is that people being $7, $8 an hour plus tips, that’s — I think, John, you’re going to be finding $15 bucks an hour or more now.”

Over the din, Biden added “But you may pay that already. You may pay that already.”

It was a welcome antidote to all the businesses putting up signs whining about how they can’t find people to fill their low-wage, no-benefits jobs because of “government handouts” after the government literally handed out money to keep them afloat, and the TV pundits who insist that extra unemployment is the only thing keeping Americans from stampeding into jobs that, for the past year-plus, could get them killed.

As Biden himself acknowledged, ending the extended unemployment may reveal some effect, but not nearly as much as the pandemic has revealed about low-wage jobs, particularly in restaurants. Maskholes and other assorted Covid-era jagoffs have shown the level of abuse that these jobs subject people to, and if the extra unemployment gave people the leverage to hold out for more money to take that abuse, I’m all for it. Even better would be a service industry realignment that values its workers and doesn’t tolerate abuse in the name of the customer always being right.

Watch above via CNN.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden Gives Great Answer to Republican Food Mogul John Lanni
Biden Gives Great Answer to Republican Food Mogul John Lanni
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