Sunday, February 7 , 2016, 7:21 am | Fair 44º

Jim Hightower: Lord Help Us — Bosses Gone Berserk

By Jim Hightower |

The sky is falling! The end times are upon us! It’s all over for America! And it’s all because of you execrable voters.

This is the wretched wail of a few corporate chieftains who claim to be somewhere between flummoxed and furious that President Barack Obama is back in the White House. With his diabolical Obamacare and tax-the-rich attacks on us wealthy job creators, they moan, this president is out to destroy American business. “There’s a tsunami coming,” cried one, so we must save ourselves.

How do these trembling titans of free enterprise intend to do that? By firing employees, thus sending a message to workers that voting for Democrats is bad for their health.

“Elections have consequences,” exclaimed a Las Vegas boss, after offing 22 workers the day after Obama was re-elected. Echoing this self-serving political ethic, a Georgia owner of an aviation outfit 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, spewing spite.

Then there’s Papa John’s, the billion-dollar-a-year fast-food chain. John Schnatter, the present “papa” of Papa John’s, had warned this summer that he would jack up the consumer price of the chain’s pizza if Obama won, because he wasn’t going to eat the cost of ensuring health coverage for employees.

Post-election, however, Schnatter has decided not to slap his customers, but to slap Papa John’s workers instead, by cutting their hours to part-time so he doesn’t have to pay for their coverage. “That’s what you do,” Schnatter snapped. “You pass on costs.”

Yeah, and what an exemplary way for the millionaire boss to boost productivity and loyalty (not to mention morale of those who do the actual work that make customers want to buy Papa John’s pizza — or not).

Despite all of Schnatter’s qualifications to take top prize in the “Political Boss Man of the Year” contest, he really didn’t come close to our winner. Numero Uno for 2012, hands down, is Robert Murray, multimillionaire chief backer of the coal giant Murray Energy.

A die-hard right-winger and Mitt Romney backer, this one-percenter required coal miners in his company to be stage props for Romney at an August rally he sponsored, and he also pressured his salaried employees to donate money to the Republican’s run for the White House.

Alas, though, Murray’s man lost, and the coal baron is not taking it at all well. In fact, he’s taking it out on some of those very employees he coerced into Mitt’s campaign — and he says it’s all your fault, you Great Unwashed who voted for the radical socialist Democrat.

First, the workers. Only hours after the election, Murray announced the firing of more than 160 of them at his various subsidiaries around the country, blaming disastrous policies that he claims Obama will now enact in order to bring about the “total destruction of the coal industry by 2030.” Peering into his politically warped crystal ball, the corporate soothsayer said he will be “forced” to fire more employees in coming months.

Why? Bob explained it all in — believe it or not — a post-election prayer that he delivered to staffers at corporate headquarters.

“Dear Lord,” he lamented, “the takers outvoted the producers.” (Guess which group he puts himself in. But I digress.) “The American people have made their choice ... away from capitalism,” he mourned. “We are a country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living.” Thus, pleaded the sanctimonious boss, “Lord, please forgive me ... for the decisions that we are now forced to make.”

So, see, it wasn’t Bob who fired those people. It was YOU, you Obama supporters — or, and Murray sneeringly calls you, the “receivers” of government giveaways who elected that communistical destroyer of enterprise.

Dear Lord, indeed! Please save us from the pathetic pieties of such messianic political bosses.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.

» on 11.22.12 @ 11:04 PM

These employers have given an appropriate tribute to a major loser in picking up where Romney stopped in terms of job losses. I don’t know if there were any employees laid off or fired in California, but if there were, we know Abe Maldonado’s tax payments won’t contribute to their unemployment checks.

» on 11.23.12 @ 05:41 PM

Jim Hightower on the money, as usual.

» on 11.23.12 @ 08:25 PM

Says the man whose only private sector job was editor of a magazine for a few years. The rest of this man’s life has been working for politics and government. Tell us Jimmy how do you balance the books at the end of the day?

So Jimmy is beside himself that some in business didn’t roll over. Oooh, and some union workers took a bath, of course I suppose the makers could do like Hostess and throw in the towel completely. Hmmmm, not bad, that’s one way to teach unions that their new found goal in life, extortion and greed, has consequences.

We’ll see how well the entitlement class does trying to add value to this ponzi scheme economy while on welfare.

» on 11.25.12 @ 06:20 PM

This is the darker face of free-market capitalism that their paid mouthpieces in
Washington don’t want people to see this candidly.

Not as bad as the robber baron era, post Civil War, but pretty bad nonetheless.

Want a national perspective on how “job creators” are really just after a fast buck? Check out Michael Hiltzik’s column in the LA Times about why Hostess really shut down.

Want a local perspective?

Head down to the old Miramar site, and as you look at the decaying ruin of what
had been an old, but functioning, seaside hotel, until speculators like Schrager,
and now self-proclaimed “billionaire” Rick Caruso got their mitts on it.

Caruso had been pitching the County that the only way he could afford to meet
his conditions of approval (i.e. maintaining his property until he built his new hotel) was if the County taxpayers loaned him the money to do it.

But that said, these guys Hightower has found are pretty good, too.

On the tv commercials for the pizza place, the smiling, happy CEO never lets on
how he’s chiseling his minimum wage pizzeria workers to make an extra buck for himself, by making them ineligible for the new, federally mandated health
insurance. Nice guy.

» on 11.29.12 @ 08:46 PM

The darker side of capitalism? Are you daft? This is the darker side of selfish, shallow parasitic human beings and buster they exist in unions, governments, churches and communist countries.

It just astounds me how you idiots on the left cannot separate human behavior from economies, institutions and organizations, which is most likely why all leftist societies end up failing. You really believe that a person is greedy because they are a capitalist and if you take ownership away from them they become a saint. Good grief!

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.