Two Minutes Hate, Extra Cheese, Please

Well, the Obamacare Fan Club have found a new designated villain, in the person of restaurateur (and alumnus of my Ph.D. institution) John “Papa John” Schnatter, founder of the eponymous pizza chain. He started his pizza business out of his father’s bar, selling his car to start his first pizza joint. There are now some 4000 Papa John’s franchises (although there isn’t one in Mondoville), and he’s now worth about $240 million. This seems like the sort of thing that should be encouraged.

However, he has had the temerity to note that Obamacare is likely to raise his costs (which he will pass on to the consumer), and consequently he and his franchisees may have to cut employee hours in order to stay successful, particularly since Obamacare classifies employees who work 30+ hours a week as full-time. After this statement, he left

to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims. He told students he hopes to present the American Red Cross with a $1 million check on Friday.

Schnatter’s reluctance to eat the costs of government diktats (presumably with garlic butter) has apparently become the Class Envy Squad’s outrage du jour, as I have seen the following images on my Facebook feed this evening.

As an extra bonus, the friend who posted the first image said, apparently without irony, “First a disclaimer: I am not a socialist. How much capital does any one person need? Can you say excess?” Now, I could be wrong, but if someone else said that they should say how much capital she needed and judged her accordingly, I suspect she’d be miffed.

So I guess Papa John’s will be the new Chick-Fil-A, the designated Running Dog obstructing Dear Leader’s path to the sunlit highlands of utopia. Because remember, folks, it doesn’t matter if you do good things with your wealth — the people on Facebook have the moral authority to tell you what you should do with what you’ve earned.

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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3 Responses to Two Minutes Hate, Extra Cheese, Please

  1. Jeff says:

    Papa John may be an outlier on this, so here’s another perspective.

    For the past several years, the small business I work for has asked all of us to pay 50% of our own health-care premiums. It’s truly eye-opening to be privy to the cost. Every year, our cost goes up, which is like the opposite of getting a raise. In just this past year, the cost of simply having health care rose 13%, the biggest increase yet.

    What that means is that a single woman in our office paid an additional $353 this year (yay, “free” birth control), while a married woman with her husband on our plan paid $639 more. (A woman with her whole family on our plan said goodbye to $805 more than she did last year.) At businesses similar to ours where the bosses cover 100% of health-care costs, that would be thousands of dollars not going toward equipment upgrades, employee raises and bonuses, profit sharing, salaries for new hires, etc.

    I’m not qualified to judge Obamacare in its entirety, but I wish its defenders would stop pretending it’s not going to cost anything. Given the new coverage mandates, I don’t see any signs that the cost of my health care will be coming down. My personal best-case scenario is (over several years) losing thousands of dollars I’d rather put in my house-buying account; worst-case scenario is unemployment.

    I’d also add: If the figures in that info-meme are correct, then yes, both Papa John’s Pizza and its founder can easily afford another 14 cents per pizza. But if Papa John’s and thousands of other large, publicly-held companies are forced to incur millions in new costs, then middle-class people shouldn’t be surprised when their mutual funds, 401k’s, etc., don’t grow and prosper as they once did. Many people may consider that a fair and even morally necessary trade-off, but I’m not sure the vast majority of Americans even understand the connection between corporate profits and the money they hope to see pullulate in their retirement accounts.

  2. bluesun says:

    I didn’t think it would be possible, but this just made the Papa John pizza I had thursday taste retroactively more delicious.

  3. Pingback: Hold Still While We Beat You… | Professor Mondo

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