There has been a number of centi-millionaires and billionaire business moguls lately railing about Obamacare and how it is going to negatively affect their bottom lines. The most talked about is John Schnatter claiming obamacare will cost his company $3-4Million more and he would have to raise prices by $.10-.14/pie because he will now be “forced” to provide healthcare for all his full-time employees. The economists who analyzed his math realized it would really cost $.03-.05 per pie, not the .10-.14 he claims, but that isn’t the point. He is politicizing something yet missing the point entirely. This should be about his employees happiness and retention. He talks about passing on the cost to customers, because he can’t lower wages, they are already at the federally mandated minimum!

If Schnatter and others just took a second to realize the other costs they incur with high employee turnover, training costs, and recruiting costs, then they would happily raise their prices if thats whats needed in order to provide healthcare and other basics to their employees. I would happily pay $.50 more per pizza if they could then provide ALL of their employees with healthcare coverage, or at the very least everyone working 20+ hours a week. My gut tells me they don’t see their employees as their partners or even assets, but rather purely liabilities.

If Schnatter wasn’t so busy throwing away $250k on a stupid car then maybe he could worry about making his company an example of a great place to work and someone who can help the community by offering living wages and benefits to his employees. Once you improve the quality of life of your employees, you will improve the experience your customers get in stores, which in turn will lead to better sales and your business growing.

In a world where low-end jobs are a dime a dozen, it becomes a competitive advantage to offer more competitive wages and benefits if you want the best employees available. Who knows, maybe I’m missing something, but I suspect every Papa Johns employee and customer would side with me on this. As is, Papa Johns isn’t competing directly on price with the likes of Dominos as a Papa Johns pizza costs 50% more in some cases for an arguably marginally better product.