Monday, November 12, 2012

Papa John's More Than a Sore Loser

So there are some sore feelings around last week's presidential election. Some are along political partisan lines. Some of those sore feelings are clearly because of race. Others, I think are just spite.

The worst sore losers? Well one is John Schnatter. Maybe you don't know his name, but you know his face. He's the 'John' in 'Papa John's Pizza. Schnatter was an Romney supporter and, as you may have heard, Romney loss. 

Now in his concession speech, Mitt Romney did exactly what you are supposed to do. He expressed his thanks to his supporters and his family. He congratulated the President and he pledged his support and his prayers. That sends the signal to his supporters that the campaign is over, we accept the outcome and we come together as a country. 

Schnatter missed the memo. 

Because the candidate he supported lost the election, John Schnatter decided that he is so disturbed by one of President Obama's policies that he's taking desperate measures. The policy is the Affordable Care Act (I actually think 'Obamacare' is disrespectful. But since the President says its OK, I'll use it occasionally). 

Obamacare requires employers with over 50 full time workers provide health care coverage for its workers. John Schnatter believes this will increase his business costs, and add a whopping 10-14 cents to the cost of a pizza. So he's considering cutting his employees hours so he won't have to provide health care. 

"Schnatter...made the comments Wednesday night inside a small auditorium at Edison State College's Collier County campus. In August, he made national headlines after telling shareholders the Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare — would result in a 10- to 14-cent increase for customers buying a pizza."

""I got in a bunch of trouble for this," he told the students. "That's what you do, is you pass on costs. Unfortunately, I don't think people know what they're going to pay for this."
Schnatter, a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser, said he was not "pro or against" the reform law but likened the government's involvement in health care to its operation of the U.S. Postal Service, saying "the worst entity in the world for running the thing is the government.""

Of course, Schnatter's not the only electoral Grinch. There are others, including Applebee's restaurants considering similar action.

We now live in an era in which regular working stiffs have succumbed to the idea that businesses can do whatever they want to do. Unless it means that the working stiff proponent loses his or her job. The small business owner who believes he's one sale away from reaching Fortune 500 status is similarly committed to such ethos. 

But there's something wrong with this. And I refuse to believe that it's not seen by most of us. 
Now, I don't eat Papa John's Pizza. I've been to Applebee's maybe three times in the past 20 years. For me to say, 'I won't be back', won't make a dent in their business. But this is poor corporate citizenship. It's unfair to workers. And it is a sorry display of democracy. 

I think more people ought to at least say so...

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