bureaucracybusters

A CEO’S TEARS

In Business, Law, Politics, Social commentary on August 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

Break out the handkerchiefs.  A CEO is about to cry.

When the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, Papa John’s Pizza will change in two ways.

First, it will be forced to do something it hasn’t done since its founding in 1984: Offer healthcare coverage to its 16,5000 employees or pay a penalty to the government.

Second, according to the company’s CEO, John Schnatter, the prices of his pizzas will go up.

 John Schnatter

How far up?

By as much as eleven to fourteen cents price increase per pizza, or fifteen to twenty cents per order.

But Schnatter isn’t going to take this lying down.  He’s determined to pass along those costs to his customers.

“If Obamacare is in fact not repealed,” Schnatter told Politico, “we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders’ best interests.”

After all, why should a multi-million-dollar company show any concern for those who make its profits a reality?

Consider:

  • Papa John’s is the third-largest pizza takeout and delivery chain in the United States.
  • Its 2012 revenues were $318.6 million, an 8.5 percent increase from 2011 revenues of $293.5 million.
  • Its 2012 net income was $14.8 million, compared to its 2012 net income of $12.1 million.

Click here: Papa John’s turns in strong domestic and international Q2 | PizzaMarketPlace.com

Nor should anyone expect Schnatter to take a pay cut, just so his employees can obtain medical care when they need it.

Schnatter’s total calculated compensation for 2011 came to $2,745,219.

Click here: John Schnatter: Executive Profile & Biography – Businessweek

“We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry,” Schnatter–a supporter of Mitt Romney–admitted in an interview with Politico.

To demonstrate his opposition to providing medical insurance for all Americans, Schnatter hosted a fundraising event for Mitt Romney at his own Louisville, Kentucky mansion in May.

The luxurious setting for the fundraiser gave Romney a rush of pure, plutocratic ecstasy.

“What a home this is,” gushed Romney.  “What grounds these are, the pool, the golf course.

“You know, if a Democrat were here he’d look around and say no one should live like this. Republicans come here and say everyone should live like this.”

John Schnatter’s estate

Of course, Romney conveniently ignored a brutally ugly fact:

For the vast majority of Papa John’s minimum-wage-earning employees–many of them working only part-time–the odds of their owning a comparable estate are non-existent.

John Schnatter is not the first pizza magnate to attack proposed changes to federal health care.

In 1993, Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain charged that President Bill Clinton’s proposed health care reform law would cost his company Godfather’s Pizza money and jobs.

“For many many businesses like mine, the cost of your plan is simply a cost that will cause us to eliminate jobs,” Cain told Clinton in a famous exchange.

In a typical demonstration of corporate thinking, Judy Nichols, a Papa John’s franchise owner in Beaumont, Texas, said:

“I have two options, I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could keep my number of staff under 50 so the mandate doesn’t apply,” she told Legal Newsline.

In short: Defy the law, and employee healthcare needs be damned.

Nichols added that the the law might cost her $20,000 to $30,000 in taxes: “Obamacare is making me think about cutting jobs instead,” she said.

Translation: If you force me to behave responsibly, I’ll just have to take it out on willing-to-work Americans.

So how can America cope with behavior that destroys not only lives but the economy as well?

By passing–and vigorously enforcing–a nationwide Employers Responsibility Act.

Among its provisions:

Employers would be required to provide full medical and pension benefits for all employees, regardless of their full-time or part-time status.

Increasingly, employers are replacing full-time workers with part-time ones—solely to avoid paying medical and pension benefits.  Requiring employers to act humanely and responsibly toward all their employees would encourage them to provide full-time positions—and hasten the death of this greed-based practice.

The seeking of “economic incentives” by companies in return for moving to or remaining in cities/states would be strictly forbidden.

Such “economic incentives” usually:

  1. allow employers to ignore existing laws protecting employees from unsafe working conditions;
  2. allow employers to ignore existing laws protecting the environment;
  3. allow employers to pay their employees the lowest acceptable wages, in return for the “privilege” of working at these companies; and/or
  4. allow employers to pay little or no business taxes, at the expense of communities who are required to make up for lost tax revenues.

Employers who continue to make such overtures would be prosecuted for attempted bribery or extortion:

  1. Bribery, if they offered to move to a city/state in return for “economic incentives,” or
  2. Extortion, if they threatened to move their companies from a city/state if they did not receive such “economic incentives.”

This would

  • protect employees against artificially-depressed wages and unsafe working conditions;
  • protect the environment in which these employees live; and
  • protect cities/states from being pitted against one another at the expense of their economic prosperity.

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