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Jim Hightower
Other Words / Op-Ed
Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012
“With his diabolical Affordable Care Act and tax-the-rich attacks on us wealthy job creators, they moan, this president is out to destroy American business.”

Bosses Gone Berserk

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The sky is falling! The End Times are upon us! It's all over for America! And it's all because of you working-class voters.

That's the wretched wail of a few corporate chieftains who claim to be somewhere between flummoxed and furious that Barack Obama is getting another four years in the White House. With his diabolical Affordable Care Act and tax-the-rich attacks on us wealthy job creators, they moan, this president is out to destroy American business.

How are these trembling titans of free enterprise responding? By firing employees, thus sending a message to workers that voting for Democrats is bad for them. "Elections have consequences," exclaimed one Las Vegas boss, who asked for anonymity when he explained on a radio show why he fired 22 workers the day after Obama's re-election.

Echoing this self-serving political ethic, a man who also claimed to be a business owner but wouldn't identify himself other than as "Stu" told C-SPAN that his fear of Obamacare made him fire enough workers to exempt his business from providing health care. "I tried to make sure that the people I had to lay off voted for Obama," he noted.

Then there's Papa John's, the billion-dollar-a-year fast food giant. John Schnatter, the company's CEO and founding "papa," had warned this summer that he'd jack-up the consumer price of the chain's pizza if Obama won, because he wasn't going to eat the cost of assuring health coverage for employees.

Post-election, however, Schnatter decided not to slap his customers, but to smack Papa John's workers instead, by cutting their hours to part-time so he doesn't have to pay for their health coverage. "That's what you do," Schnatter snapped, "you pass on costs."

Yeah, that's what bosses like you do — and what an exemplary way for the millionaire boss to boost the productivity, loyalty, and morale of those who do the actual work that make customers want to buy Papa John's pizza — or not.



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ABOUT Jim Hightower
National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

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11 comments on "Bosses Gone Berserk"

muratftasar

November 22, 2012 3:57am

Most of these "bosses" who claim to have fired employees will re-hire them (or different people at lower wages if that is possible), re-hire them on a part time basis, etc. No business owner is going to cripple his/her business just to spite Obama and the Democrats. This is just political posturing.
(And the guy who claims he fired people who voted for Obama broke the labor laws. He should be investigated by the Dept of Labor and sued by the people he unfairly fired.

jussmartenuf's picture
jussmartenuf

November 22, 2012 3:38am

The Vegas boss was/is irrational. A basic trait of many Republican voters or they would not be voting for billionaire benefits when their own benefits suffer in the process.
I have seen comments on right wing web sites that call Democrat voters "Marxist pigs" and suggest it is time to take the government by force and imprison leaders of the Democrat party.
Totally irrational people that need to be identified and isolated.

dwdallam

November 21, 2012 6:03pm

If a boss actually fired workers based on who they voted for, and not their performance, that's an irrational business decision--since he or she could have been firing high performers.

Being that as it is, we are dealing with irrational behavior. Speaks volumes, no? This is a simple case of control at any cost, even one's own self interest.

kbarrand

November 21, 2012 5:53pm

As the owner of a very small business I am trying to make a living. But I'm also trying to serve my community. When the ONLY thing that matters is the bottom line $$$, corporations fail in their responsibility to serve the community. This guy makes Ebeneezer Scrooge look like Albert Schweitzer. What a slime ball. I wouldn't buy a Papa John's pizza if I was starving.

COTO

November 21, 2012 4:31pm

Another disappointing article by what was once a relevant writer.

Sunflowerbio

November 21, 2012 3:10pm

Passing on costs is what those without health care coverage do to those with it and to the public at large. If Papa John wants to pass on the costs to his workers, we need to ensure that he picks up his fair share through increased taxes. He might even find that the rational thing to do is to participate. After all, health care costs are tax deductible, but income taxes are not.

sally mckinney

November 21, 2012 11:27am

It is obvious to those who understand health care and insurance and employment that the "Berserkers" do not. In the long run, they'll suffer the economic consequences of being willfully stupid. In the meantime, however, I personally refuse to do business with them.

irateconsumer

November 21, 2012 12:57pm

I second Sally McKinney's comment. That part of the health-care bill hasn't even happened and won't til 2014? Shame on those business owners who have laid-off employees. For one thing with a group policy their own insurance cost will go down. Secondly, if your business is really on the margins of solvency you can put more of the cost of the plan onto the workers where they can decide if they can or can't afford it. It will still offer them the opportunity to get health-care at a reduced price. However I suspect that you can be counted into the rolls of "greedy bastards" who want it all for themselves regardless.

pitch1934

November 21, 2012 11:25am

Let's see, Papa John's wans to give out 2 million free pizzas this football season but can't afford to pay a little more for health insurance? Right. This isn't retaliation, it's stupidity.

Jeffrey Hill

November 21, 2012 11:17am

It's time to financially boycott businesses that bribe politicians to rig the game in their favor.

William Bednarz

November 21, 2012 11:11am

. . The question is whose pulling their strings ?? do you think they're smart enogh to dream this up all by themsleves ???
>> John Schnatter, the company's CEO >> he'd jack-up the consumer price >>
Schnatter decided not to slap his customers, but to smack Papa John's workers instead......
..WalMart justifies its low pay differently ( article above) >> OR >>
. . . . his fear of Obamacare made him fire enough workers to exempt his business from providing health care. ............"I tried to make sure that the people I had to lay off voted for Obama,"
a quiet conspiracy?? whose pulling the strings ?? Hostage gave its executives 300% pay raises and filed for bankruiptcy ???