2012 US Presidential Race Catch All

What's the free market answer to something like that? I don't want to give him my money or support his business practices, but boycotting Papa John's for retaliatory employee hour-cutting is just going to get the employees' hours cut more.

clover wrote:

What's the free market answer to something like that? I don't want to give him my money or support his business practices, but boycotting Papa John's for retaliatory employee hour-cutting is just going to get the employees' hours cut more.

If you are boycotting by choosing to buy pizza from somewhere else, then there is no net drop in pizza consumption, and therefore other pizza places see a rise in demand for which they would need to increase their headcount to meet. It won't be exactly as smooth as that, but ultimately I think the number of jobs Papa John's cuts that are not picked up elsewhere will be minimal.

Also, other pizza joints out there--now's a great time to win PR points by offering to hire employees fired by Papa Johns.

It's not just Papa John's. Red Lobster, Applebees and Olive Garden are all cutting employee hours to get around the new health care law.

Yep. Here's an article about Red Lobster/Olive Garden, owned by Darden.

The health-care law requires employers to provide health care for workers who work 30+ hours a week, or pay a fine. So they're limiting workers to 28 hours.

Could see this happening in a ton more of the food service jobs. Maybe movie theaters and retail stores? Most of those places only offer health insurance to store managers at this point. I'm sure they're all trying to figure out which will save them more money: expanding health care to all employees, or hiring lots more part-timers and spending more on training and turnover.

I guess the jobs numbers might go up if there are more part-time people working. But it's probably going to mean a lot of people trying to work two jobs to make ends meet.

I'd love to no longer give those businesses my money, but I already don't, they're pretty universally terrible. Papa John's uses too much cheap garlic, Olive Garden is boring and has annoying ads, and Red Lobster, come on, chain seafood? This far inland? Jesus.

Service industry chains have been keeping the weekly hours to just below the health care requirement cap for decades. It's by no means a new tactic, but with lowering the cap the cut hours were bound to happen. It's extremely sh*tty of these companies to blame the President because they'd rather not pay out, though.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I'd love to no longer give those businesses my money, but I already don't, they're pretty universally terrible. Papa John's uses too much cheap garlic, Olive Garden is boring and has annoying ads, and Red Lobster, come on, chain seafood? This far inland? Jesus.

That's a bit like the newspapers in the UK. I often want to stop buying them out of protest at their shoddy reporting but I already don't buy them.

Higgledy wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I'd love to no longer give those businesses my money, but I already don't, they're pretty universally terrible. Papa John's uses too much cheap garlic, Olive Garden is boring and has annoying ads, and Red Lobster, come on, chain seafood? This far inland? Jesus.

That's a bit like the newspapers in the UK. I often want to stop buying them out of protest at their shoddy reporting but I already don't buy them.

I use the Tea and Kittens plugin to make sure I don't accidentally visit the Daily Mail or Express web sites. They make so much off their click traffic these days I reckon it's a better form of protest than not buying the paper.

Maq wrote:
Higgledy wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I'd love to no longer give those businesses my money, but I already don't, they're pretty universally terrible. Papa John's uses too much cheap garlic, Olive Garden is boring and has annoying ads, and Red Lobster, come on, chain seafood? This far inland? Jesus.

That's a bit like the newspapers in the UK. I often want to stop buying them out of protest at their shoddy reporting but I already don't buy them.

I use the Tea and Kittens plugin to make sure I don't accidentally visit the Daily Mail or Express web sites. They make so much off their click traffic these days I reckon it's a better form of protest than not buying the paper.

That sounds like a good plan.

I'm shocked (not really) that you guessed the papers I was referring to. You must be psychic

Edwin wrote:

It's not just Papa John's. Red Lobster, Applebees and Olive Garden are all cutting employee hours to get around the new health care law.

This is a logical response.

Businesses don't have unlimited money - especially these chain restaurants, which operate on incredibly high volume but narrow margins and have a massive unskilled workforce. These guys are going to be the worst hit by Obamacare. They're not doing this just to be dicks, they need to find that money somewhere...

Of course, specifically blaming the President (which it sounds like Papa John's is doing) makes you look like kind of a dick and is arguably really bad PR.

yeah like Amoebic said, this is neither new nor should it be surprising. Every retail store I've ever worked at would jump through whatever hoops necessary to keep people at 39.5 or less hours a week in order to avoid paying overtime. And while this second part is secondhand (and therefore I can't vouch for it) I've heard of a few factories who would fire and rehire workers after the 90 day probation period to avoid paying benefits.

Businesses engage in skeevy practices to exploit financial law loopholes, news at 11!

If this causes huge, flair-filled but essentially personality-free food chains to stumble, affording new opportunities for locally owned and operated neighborhood diners, bistros, eateries, and seafood joints, then good.

I stopped eating at chain restaurants years ago, I don't like anything about them.

Spoiler:

Except Chipotle I cannot get enough of those burritos.

I somehow knew what was under that spoiler

NathanialG wrote:

I stopped eating at chain restaurants years ago, I don't like anything about them.

Spoiler:

Except Chipotle I cannot get enough of those burritos.

Srsly.

But as far as laying folks off and the future cost of business and everything, I agree that if folks are playing a numbers game and doing it, there's really little to complain about. But if they're doing it as a political statement, I find it pretty despicable. Especially so given that there's no real reason to think Romney was going to do anything to change "the problem", but we can all wrap ourselves warm and tight in a magical make-believe land where he would have*.

(*this magical make-believe land is only one of many, given how much contradictory stuff Romney said he would do. For pretty much any scenario, there will always exist a record of Romney saying, "I would have done something better!" that people will get to wave around and ignore the times where he said something different)

Bloo Driver wrote:

as far as laying folks off and the future cost of business and everything, I agree that if folks are playing a numbers game and doing it, there's really little to complain about. But if they're doing it as a political statement, I find it pretty despicable.

It's culture war, with capital as the weapon. "Job creators" were choosing not to invest in their businesses because of "uncertainty" before the election; now they're penalizing workers because of the "future cost" of Obamacare.

Just so I make sure I have the score square.

Papa Johns is joining Wal-Mart, and other similar shops who will only employ people below full time so as to avoid paying them benefits?

Now this is thanks to politics. Not this gem, their recent incentive program for franchisees:

No franchise fee ($25,000 value);

$50,000 in equipment, including two Middleby-Marshall ovens, which may be purchased by the franchisee for $50 after operating for three years;

A royalty waiver for up to 18 months; and

A $3,000 food credit with PJ Food Service, which operates Papa John's fresh dough and food distribution quality control centers, for each restaurant that opens at least 30 days prior to the scheduled opening date.

And this reads a lot to me like some of the predatory pricing work Delta and American did to snuff out competition. But Papa John will likely get away with it because they are a small dog.

I am not sad that business as usual continues, and it is low low income people who take the brunt for corporate gain. We fix that by getting skilled labor jobs pumping again.

The cost of adding healthcare for a part time worker is actually pretty substantial.

Link[/url]]The costs to this point (basic salary, employment taxes and benefits) are typically in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range- e.g. the cost range for a $50,000/year employee might $62,500 to $70,000.

When you add these same benefits to someone working less than 40-50 hours a week the proportional spending is even greater. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but it doesn't sound as if people really understand how much these changes actually cost.

For me Nomad, we are getting into the issue that neither Clinton, Bush, or Obama have grasped that it is the costs of the services, not the insurance that is the problem. We have a bloated and wasteful healthcare market. With no insurance it costs more to have a baby in a hospital than to send someone to Harvard Law.

We do not even need a single payer system to reduce those costs. You need Obamacare to go further on mandating preventative care over treatment, stronger AMA best practices to prevent unnecessary services, and you need true physician and hospital choice for all people.

We need to Stop pretending that Healthcare is something that typical market pressures can affect. They cannot, just like gas and utilities. That genie went out of the bottle in the 40's.

Or we just copy and paste the German or Japanese program. There is a lot less work there.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the US Healthcare system is both the world's most ludicrously cost-ineffective and the most market-driven. Why that isn't rolled up and repeatedly rammed down the throats of anyone who opens their mouth to crow that the private sector brings efficiency is beyond me.

There's very little about our healthcare system that's market-driven. This is because it's simply accepted as the natural order that health insurance must come from your employer.

What Quintin said. Remove the connection between employment and insurance, allowing competition between insurance options regardless of whether there is a public option or not, and there will be HUGE change in the industry.

Well Obamacare has given a bit more market power to consumers in the insurance market.

We have not solved the entire lack or market power the consumer has on care, however. You do not have true choice or bargaining power for care. That is all set by this perverse relationship hospital systems and insurers have set up.

Further proof that Obama has been excellent for the gun industry, if only because everyone seems to think he's terrible for it.

Clipped from spam I get at our general email box here at work. These ads come in regularly from a pretty large national gun reseller/retailer.

Unfortunately, the election of 2012 didn't go exactly as we had hoped.

As expected, gun sales went even more crazy after the election.
Just about every gun shop is totally cleaned out of AR type rifles.

I have some Stag Arms, Connecticut complaint rifles coming in probably tomorrow.

Scroll down to see details and specs, email if you want one, I only have 2 of each coming in tomorrow and I expect them to be sold before they even get here.

Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

Jolly Bill wrote:

What Quintin said. Remove the connection between employment and insurance, allowing competition between insurance options regardless of whether there is a public option or not, and there will be HUGE change in the industry.

Yeah, and that's not gonna happen overnight.

Obamacare was designed to solve one small aspect of the problem: the uninsured moochers driving up costs by visiting the ER for primary care. And that's pretty much it. It'd be nice to think that some of the "tax loopholes" the GOP keeps talking closing include the hugely beneficial status employer-provided insurance enjoys, but I'm not holding my breath.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

It's a pretty good example of the ripple effect of unintended consequences for bad legislation. You legislate that full time workers get health care from employers? The only rational solution is to have fewer full time workers. Of course, trying to mandate that part-time employees get employer-provided insurance would have driven a lot of corporations right out of business, and there's no way that could have ever been on the table.

On the plus side, at least the insurance exchanges and government subsidies might give some of those people who lost hours or were laid off some kind of health care option that they wouldn't have had otherwise.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

Yup. It's all about the bottom line. Which is the fundamental - and fatal - ethical flaw of our civilization.

And no, I'm not just talking about modern civilization, though we've certainly taken it to the greatest extreme yet. Throughout history, we're still motivated by the same thing we've always been: everyone wants to be a part of the oligarchy, and then once they're there they want to be at the top of the oligarchy.

Yeah, pardon, my naive idealistic hippie side is showing. But of all the things that I've learned and the views I've evolved and changed in the past decade of reading and posting in the P&C, the one thing I still hold to - and which has continuously proven true in my observations throughout my entire life - is that as long as we as a species continue to overvalue wealth and undervalue compassion, knowledge, our habitat, and the betterment of our civilization as a whole, we are going to continue spiraling towards a collapse.

You cannot, within a finite system, generate infinite wealth. And the more that wealth continues to concentrate amongst a ludicrously small oligarchy, the closer we get to where that teetering Jenga tower is going to fall apart (and the taller the tower, the more spectacular the demolition).

Even many of our greatest thinkers agree with this; they recognize that if our global civilization continues to advance the way it has (and there's every indication that's precisely what's going to happen), we will head to a collapse more spectacular than any in history unless we successfully spread beyond planet Earth (and thus change the formula by increasing the size of our finite system dramatically).

Farscry wrote:

Yeah, pardon, my naive idealistic hippie side is showing. But of all the things that I've learned and the views I've evolved and changed in the past decade of reading and posting in the P&C, the one thing I still hold to - and which has continuously proven true in my observations throughout my entire life - is that as long as we as a species continue to overvalue wealth and undervalue compassion, knowledge, our habitat, and the betterment of our civilization as a whole, we are going to continue spiraling towards a collapse.

I agree.

We have a system where CEOs are rewarded for increasing wealth in the very short term. Many of those CEOs only have wealth in the first place because there is a large and healthy middle class purchasing their products and services. Cannibalizing the middle class will kill their profits.