Column: A case of bosses going berserk
AUSTIN, Texas -- 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.
Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer and public speaker. He's also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.