The 2012 Presidential election: a corporate viewpoint

Lots of stuff has happened since last week’s election – almost more than I can keep track of. But here are two wonderful stories:

The day after Barack Obama won his re-election bid, the chief executive of Murray Energy, Robert E. Murray, gathered his staff and began to read a prayer. He asked God to forgive America for its choice of president, and he prayed for “guidance in this drastic time with the drastic decisions that will be made to have any hope of our survival as an American business enterprise.” He closed with a heartfelt “amen.”


Then he fired 156 people.


Murray explained that the layoffs were inevitable in light of Obama’s re-election. He’s not the only coal baron to cite the president as the cause of the industry’s supposed death knell. CONSOL Energy Inc. President Nicholas Deluliis blamed Obama for 145 planned layoffs, while Alpha Natural Resources CEO Kevin Crutchfield cited the Obama-created “regulatory environment” as the basis for 1,200 job cuts this fall. (See the full story on Slate.)

Isn’t that nice?

Here’s another story:

Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter, who previously said that President Obama’s health care program would force the company to raise the price of pizza, now says the health care law could cause franchises to slice full-time employees’ hours.

Schnatter, who supported Republican Mitt Romney, made the comments Wednesday night to students at Edison State College in Naples, Fla., where Schnatter has a vacation home.

The Anchorage resident’s initial comment came in August when hetold stock analysts during a conference call that the cost of the Affordable Care Act will lead the company to raise its prices 11 to 14 cents per pizza. (From the Louisville Courier-Journal.)



Some thoughts:

–      I’m sorry to get all Marxist on you, but I need to remind you that owners will always exploit workers, and owners will always howl when government tries to make them treat workers better. This is why regulation is necessary.

–      Unions are vital to uphold the interests of labor. This ain’t just my philosophy – it’s in my bones. My mother (who grew up in a coal-mining area near Seattle) told me that, when she was a little girl, she used to go down to the mines during strikes and throw lumps of coal at the scabs.

–      Is Schnatter serious? Fourteen cents a pizza? That’s horrendous. Imagine! Just to make sure his employees have health care!

–      The coal industry is horribly corrupt as it is. It’s sweetly evil to see that the coal CEO quoted in the first piece began with a prayer for the salvation of America. I imagine a lot of his employees are praying for something quite different.

Now the good news: a majority of American voters backed Obama. Republicans are losing seats – not enough to make a huge difference, but the tide is turning.

So remember not to buy Papa John’s pizza.

(Not that you would anyway. It tastes like cardboard with pepperoni on top.)

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

3 Responses to The 2012 Presidential election: a corporate viewpoint

  1. starproms says:

    Obama has the right idea. What amazes me is that so many Republicans call themselves Christians and yet they don’t agree with the health care suggestions. Surely they should believe that everyone deserves health care and if that means the fat cats doing without a little pizza now and then, so be it. Over here in England we have an excellent health care system, despite what you may hear over there. I myself am testament to it. I have had lots of treatment over the years and I have nothing but praise for the system. It’s not perfect but it is fair.
    It’s all so hypocritical over there in my opinion.

  2. Rory says:

    I am a little slow with keeping up the word press reading list! However, I wrote this in response to several of my facebook friends the day after the election:

    I have read several times somethings that strike the tone of “may God have mercy on our country…etc”. Frankly, I feel this language punctuates, that we truly get lost in our first world problems. What does that mean? From my perspective, I have food to eat; and, I can feed my baby. My wife and I have had the luxury of a world class education, and so will my baby. Last I checked, there is not a warlord that is threatening to slaughter my family. If our country degrades to the point where I need to pray to find food or for my life; then, I can accept the phrase “may God have mercy on our country”. I don’t live in Syria; where, my house may be shelled indiscriminately by the dictatorship that is in control. I don’t live in Somalia; where, I might have to endure famine and genocide. For that matter, I do not live in Rwanda enduring wholesale slaughter and rape. I do not live in Russia where I can be jailed for criticizing Putin. I do not live in Iran where I can be stoned to death for adultery. In fact, I do live in the greatest country on earth that allows me to like kittens and puppies on Facebook while in the same breath complain about how bad things are for me. I may incite you with what I am saying; however, I strive to keep things in perspective.

    Thank you

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