I just love how these business leaders and CEOs develop their business decision making skills. Since Barack Obama has become President, it has become evident that the real money making companies are those who are thinking outside the box and innovatively instead of businesses that are focused solely on one thing and one thing only: profits.
Now of course, any business does care about profits. Why wouldn't a business care about this?
However, I'm getting a sense that neither any of these businesses that are complaining about Obamacare really have read the law nor are they recognizing the real problem that's at hand: It's not President Obama and its policies but the ever-changing marketplace and the global economy.
First you have Papa Johns, then you have other business leaders threatening to lay off workers if Obama is re-elected, now you have Applebee's owner thinking of not expanding restaurants or hiring more workers. Now really, do you think Zane Tankel, chairman of Apple-Metro (which owns Applebee's) is thinking about the workers at the same time? No, he's really thinking about just costs and profits, nothing else. What an outstanding business leader we have in the 21st century!
Look, I live in Berkeley and have spent a lot of time in San Francisco. New restaurants, both hole-in-the-wall and upscale restaurants, are opening up these days yet I don't hear those restaurant owners complain about Obamacare (at least not unless the business owner is politically conservative)
Here's Zane Tankel (courtesy of Huffington Post):
"We've calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say -- that says we won't build more restaurants. We won't hire more people," Zane Tankel, chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro, told Fox Business Network on Thursday.
And Mr. Tankel, did you read the actual Affordable Health Care Act bill? No, I'm sure you didn't. I'm not sure where you'r getting your calculations although if you are doing your math correctly, I'm sure employee empowerment and productivity like at companies such as Google, Facebook, Salesforce and Zynga are not important. Obviously it's just about costs and profits alone.
Here's the flipside to this whole story:
Apple-Metro, which runs 40 Applebee's restaurants, employs from 80 to 300 people at each of its locations. Obamacare mandates that businesses with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.
So I don't know what Mr. Tankel's big problem is. Offer a legitimate health insurance plan and you guys are ok! End of discussion. Is this such a hard thing to do? Oh gee, I guess finding a great health insurance plan is so difficult for Mr. Tankel that it will be even worse due to Obamacare.
I don't know what Mr. Tankel's mind is at but Obamacare actually allows flexibility for businesses. The paragraph I cited just above explains that. Maybe Mr. Tankel doesn't want flexibility and believes everything should be done "My way or the high way."
Tankel also felt he had little choice in what he called a "fragile environment" but to cut employees or their hours: "In this environment, you can't raise prices, particularly in our space. It's not possible. Efficiencies, hopefully we got all of our efficiencies. We've just faced three terrible years in the environment and the economy. We've been enforcing and putting more and more in every year. So then it's cut back on overhead."
I'm so sick and tired of business leaders saying we're living in a fragile environment. Come on, this isn't 2008, 2009, 2010 or even 2011. It's 2012 and the economy is growing, depending of course where you live. I attend an MBA program at Golden Gate University, a school focused mainly on practical exposure to businesses and economy, and I'm learning that profitability issues aren't a factor anymore due to Obama's policies: They are due to the unfortunate hard truth that businesses haven't fully adapted to the ever-changing, competitive, global economy. Until they do and adopt more forward thinking business policies, they're going to continue to bitch and moan about Obama.
11:55 AM PT: Just quickly: I updated the title of this diary and content in the body paragraphs. I recognize that the Applebee's owner is not CEO of Applebee's but Chairman of CEO of the franchise that owns Applebee's. I'm still feeling a bit cranky today so I apologize. hahaha