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Applebee's CEO and Millionare Zane Tankel vs. Working Americans

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Monday, 12 November 2012 14:39

Republicans want us to think millionaire Zane Tankel, the CEO of Applebee’s New York Franchise and owner of forty Applebee’s restaurants, is a “job creator.” But after Tankel went on the Fox Business network last week, we know him for who he really is: a Scrooge who can’t be bothered to give his employees health insurance.

Since voters last Tuesday rejected House Republicans attempts to repeal Obamacare, it is now – to quote Speaker of the House John Boehner - “law of the land.” That means beginning in 2014 corporations across America that employ more than 50 people will have a new civic responsibility under the law to provide health insurance for their workers. This is the employer-mandate at work.

Health insurance is not a luxury in America. Obamacare isn’t forcing employers to give their workers a new big screen TV or monthly spa treatments. The law simply recognizes that 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance and that large employers – those that employ 50 or more people – are best equipped to be the source of life-saving medical care for millions of working Americans. It’s an idea first proposed by that “socialist” who wanted to take over America’s healthcare system back in 1971…Richard Nixon.

In fact, providing health insurance to employees is a good business decision. It not only attracts more qualified workers, but also leads to higher job retention rates and higher employee satisfaction.

But don’t tell Zane Tankel that – he’s outraged. Since he employs more than 50 people, he will now be required to provide health insurance to his workers, which many of his competitors and small businesses already do. If Tankel wants to keep screwing his employees, then he’ll have to pay a $2,000 free-loader fine for every worker who’ll now have to rely on government programs like Medicaid to get the care they need.

Appearing on Fox Business, Tankel said, “We’ve calculated it will be some millions of dollars across our system…that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in best-case scenario we only shrink the labor force minimally.”

Poor Zane Tankel says that if he’s forced to give his employees health insurance, then he’s going to have to fire some of them first. A hundred years ago, he’d likely have said the same thing about bathroom breaks for his employees, having 12-year-olds run his fryers, or letting food inspectors into his restaurants.

The vast majority of Americans have clearly conclude that if a business owner can’t run his business in the best interests of the community and its workers, which includes providing health insurance, then he or she doesn’t deserve to run a business.

There used to be a business ethic in America that put the community ahead of profit. It goes back to when Henry Ford wanted to pay his workers enough so that they, too, could afford the Model T’s they were producing. It’s a business ethic that was enforced by law when state governments could – and often did – revoke the corporate charters of businesses that were operating against the best interests of the community.

But that ethic has been replaced by Wall Street’s “greed is good” ethic, which finds its roots in Victorian England and stories like “A Christmas Carol,” where working people are condemned to Bob Cratchit poverty, forced to toil long hours under modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges, with crappy pay and no benefits.

Charles Dickens – whose father once went to debtor’s prison – would have blown his lunch at the idea of Ebenezer Scrooge being honored with a title like “job creator.” And now Fox is treating Zane Tankel as if he, and not his customers, is a “job creator”?

Tankel claims the math just doesn’t add up to be able to provide health insurance to his employees, without firing some of them first. “There’s three ways it has to come back,” Tankel said about the money needed to pay for health insurance. “[M]ore efficiencies, reduce overhead, or raise prices. Let’s look at each…we can’t raise prices…hopefully we’ve got all our efficiencies…so then, it’s cut back on overhead.” As in, let’s either fire people or pay them even less.

Tankel doesn’t want to admit he actually has more than three ways to pay for health insurance. He can cut his own salary. He can also reduce the dividends he pays to his stockholders. The math is there, but Tankel would have to reconsider his own greed. And since Scrooge wouldn’t do those things, neither will Tankel.

Tankel is also stupidly acting as if he’s the only one who’ll be affected by Obamacare. All big businesses will have to cover their employees’ health insurance now, so whatever business hit Applebee’s takes will also be felt by his competitors. He is at no disadvantage whatsoever.

But on outlets like Fox Business, the victims of this insane right-wing thinking aren’t the 45,000 Americans who die every year because they don’t have health insurance. Instead, the victims are millionaires like Zane Tankel who will have to sacrifice some of their bottom line to keep their employees healthy. As one of the Fox Business talking heads asks Tankel, “Is this the most challenging time you’ve ever seen because of the regulations?”

To which Tankel agreed.

Unlike what you hear on the Conservative media outlets, President Obama hasn’t deployed his brown shirts to confiscate private property and redistribute Zane Tankel’s wealth. He hasn’t choked out the private sector with big government regulations.

In fact, corporate profits under President Obama are astronomically high. The average annual real corporate profit growth rate since President Obama took office is 77.9% - making him the best President for corporate profits since 1900. In second place is Warren Harding who ran on a campaign platform in 1920 of “less government in business, more business in government,” and corporate profits only surged 17.7% during his term.

President Obama has been corporate America’s best friend. And after swimming in astronomically high profits, corporations are now being asked to reinvest some of that wealth back into their employees by providing them health insurance. It’s the very least they can do.

And, seriously, do you really want to eat at a restaurant filled with sick employees?

So-called “job creators” like Zane Tankel have to understand that the letters C-E-O in front of their names do not give them the right to abuse workers, or exploit them as political pawns. Those letters indicate that they do business in our communities because “we the people” gave them permission to do so, and we can revoke that permission any time, if we so choose.

Corporations, as President Grover Cleveland famously said in 1888, should be the “carefully restrained creatures of law and the servants of the people.”

Zane – take a course in American history. And pay special attention to that part about the rights of workers. We ended slavery and indentured servitude in this country, and we’ve decided that working people are entitled to be treated decently in the workplace. Even if it means that Papa John’s founder John Schnatter may not be able to add another guesthouse onto his castle.




SAM SACKS

Sam Sacks is a Progressive Commentator and former Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill. He is currently the Senior Producer of The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann airing weeknights at 7PM EST on RT and Free Speech TV.

THOM HARTMANN

Thom Hartmann is a New York Times bestselling Project Censored Award winning author and host of a nationally syndicated progressive radio talk show. You can learn more about Thom Hartmann at his websiteand find out what stations broadcast his radio program. He also now has a daily independent television program, The Big Picture,  syndicated by FreeSpeech TV, RT TV, and 2oo community TV stations.  You can also listen or watch Thom over the Internet.
 
 



 
 

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 1:44 AM
Replies (31-40):
macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:13 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

romalove
by Roma on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:25 AM

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Each individual employer has the right to make acceptance of the insurance a condition of employment. 

And personally, when you look at some of the lavish lifestyles of the CEOs, it is obvious greed.  How can you morally justify not providing for your employees, while you are out doing whatever you  like???

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?


candlegal
by Judy on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

You  mean people are actually going to start getting what they voted for.  They were warned.

romalove
by Roma on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:34 AM

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Each individual employer has the right to make acceptance of the insurance a condition of employment. 

And personally, when you look at some of the lavish lifestyles of the CEOs, it is obvious greed.  How can you morally justify not providing for your employees, while you are out doing whatever you  like???

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?

 

 Do you not think that having the companies force the employees to take the offered insurance won't cause problems for employees who don't make enough money to pay bills plus cover their insurance responsibility?  The ACA doesn't say employers have to pay for the insurance in full, employees can be made to kick in.  If you pay someone 10 bucks an hour in your restaurant do they want to take on a $200 or $300 responsibility per month?  Especially if they are a single person, young, not thinking they will need much healthcare?  I have a son who's 27 and single, works for a large retail corporation, and I begged him to take insurance coverage.  He couldn't see the value, he's young, healthy, and single and would rather the dollars in his pocket than paying for insurance.

I have mixed feelings about your statement on CEO's who can do anything while the underlings have little.  They are mixed because, while I do not run business that way and am generous with employees, I also think I don't want to legislate someone else's morality or how they operate their business or quash how much money is "moral" to earn. 

 

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM

There isn't a monetary value on morals, but if you are living in the lap of luxury while your hard working employees can't even go to the doctor, it is definitely a moral issue.

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Each individual employer has the right to make acceptance of the insurance a condition of employment. 

And personally, when you look at some of the lavish lifestyles of the CEOs, it is obvious greed.  How can you morally justify not providing for your employees, while you are out doing whatever you  like???

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?


 Do you not think that having the companies force the employees to take the offered insurance won't cause problems for employees who don't make enough money to pay bills plus cover their insurance responsibility?  The ACA doesn't say employers have to pay for the insurance in full, employees can be made to kick in.  If you pay someone 10 bucks an hour in your restaurant do they want to take on a $200 or $300 responsibility per month?  Especially if they are a single person, young, not thinking they will need much healthcare?  I have a son who's 27 and single, works for a large retail corporation, and I begged him to take insurance coverage.  He couldn't see the value, he's young, healthy, and single and would rather the dollars in his pocket than paying for insurance.

I have mixed feelings about your statement on CEO's who can do anything while the underlings have little.  They are mixed because, while I do not run business that way and am generous with employees, I also think I don't want to legislate someone else's morality or how they operate their business or quash how much money is "moral" to earn. 

 


romalove
by Roma on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

There isn't a monetary value on morals, but if you are living in the lap of luxury while your hard working employees can't even go to the doctor, it is definitely a moral issue.

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Each individual employer has the right to make acceptance of the insurance a condition of employment. 

And personally, when you look at some of the lavish lifestyles of the CEOs, it is obvious greed.  How can you morally justify not providing for your employees, while you are out doing whatever you  like???

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?

 

 Do you not think that having the companies force the employees to take the offered insurance won't cause problems for employees who don't make enough money to pay bills plus cover their insurance responsibility?  The ACA doesn't say employers have to pay for the insurance in full, employees can be made to kick in.  If you pay someone 10 bucks an hour in your restaurant do they want to take on a $200 or $300 responsibility per month?  Especially if they are a single person, young, not thinking they will need much healthcare?  I have a son who's 27 and single, works for a large retail corporation, and I begged him to take insurance coverage.  He couldn't see the value, he's young, healthy, and single and would rather the dollars in his pocket than paying for insurance.

I have mixed feelings about your statement on CEO's who can do anything while the underlings have little.  They are mixed because, while I do not run business that way and am generous with employees, I also think I don't want to legislate someone else's morality or how they operate their business or quash how much money is "moral" to earn. 

 

 

 I live in NJ.  Anyone who has that low income and a child is eligible for NJFamily Care, and could go to a doctor, and that's without ACA.  Anyone single can't, but they would be choosing not to have the insurance at that point, and insurance for a single person is far less than a family.

I still have mixed feelings on the topic of how much money it is moral to have/earn.  I think we should be making people want to work harder and earn more and build businesses, not make them out to be bad guys.

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Working in a homeless shelter, I see people daily suffering because they cannot get insurance.  It's a shame.  KWIM?

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

There isn't a monetary value on morals, but if you are living in the lap of luxury while your hard working employees can't even go to the doctor, it is definitely a moral issue.

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Each individual employer has the right to make acceptance of the insurance a condition of employment. 

And personally, when you look at some of the lavish lifestyles of the CEOs, it is obvious greed.  How can you morally justify not providing for your employees, while you are out doing whatever you  like???

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?


 Do you not think that having the companies force the employees to take the offered insurance won't cause problems for employees who don't make enough money to pay bills plus cover their insurance responsibility?  The ACA doesn't say employers have to pay for the insurance in full, employees can be made to kick in.  If you pay someone 10 bucks an hour in your restaurant do they want to take on a $200 or $300 responsibility per month?  Especially if they are a single person, young, not thinking they will need much healthcare?  I have a son who's 27 and single, works for a large retail corporation, and I begged him to take insurance coverage.  He couldn't see the value, he's young, healthy, and single and would rather the dollars in his pocket than paying for insurance.

I have mixed feelings about your statement on CEO's who can do anything while the underlings have little.  They are mixed because, while I do not run business that way and am generous with employees, I also think I don't want to legislate someone else's morality or how they operate their business or quash how much money is "moral" to earn. 

 


 I live in NJ.  Anyone who has that low income and a child is eligible for NJFamily Care, and could go to a doctor, and that's without ACA.  Anyone single can't, but they would be choosing not to have the insurance at that point, and insurance for a single person is far less than a family.

I still have mixed feelings on the topic of how much money it is moral to have/earn.  I think we should be making people want to work harder and earn more and build businesses, not make them out to be bad guys.


romalove
by Roma on Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Working in a homeless shelter, I see people daily suffering because they cannot get insurance.  It's a shame.  KWIM?

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

There isn't a monetary value on morals, but if you are living in the lap of luxury while your hard working employees can't even go to the doctor, it is definitely a moral issue.

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Each individual employer has the right to make acceptance of the insurance a condition of employment. 

And personally, when you look at some of the lavish lifestyles of the CEOs, it is obvious greed.  How can you morally justify not providing for your employees, while you are out doing whatever you  like???

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting macbudsmom:

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

If a business is not providing healthcare plans for their employees they are in fact immoral business owners. I think there are enough of these chain type restaurants to stand up i Applebees place, if they don't want to compete for workers and business oh well.

I pledge to not eat at any establishment that pays the fine versus providing affordable health care.

 ANY business that doesn't provide healthcare plans is immoral?

How do you know who is paying the fine?  Do you know they can be providing insurance AND paying the fine?

In the case of Applebees and many other major corporations it is immoral.  Top management and stockholders may see a little less profit, but not enough to justify not providing it or laying off workers. 

Bottom line, corporate greed is immoral.

 Well, at least you are choosing to parse out major corporations from all business.  The other poster did not do that.

My question to you is, how do we know how much profit is healthy and how much is greed?  And what do you feel about the fact that workers may choose not to take offered insurance and the employer is still responsible for paying fines for those employees?

 

 Do you not think that having the companies force the employees to take the offered insurance won't cause problems for employees who don't make enough money to pay bills plus cover their insurance responsibility?  The ACA doesn't say employers have to pay for the insurance in full, employees can be made to kick in.  If you pay someone 10 bucks an hour in your restaurant do they want to take on a $200 or $300 responsibility per month?  Especially if they are a single person, young, not thinking they will need much healthcare?  I have a son who's 27 and single, works for a large retail corporation, and I begged him to take insurance coverage.  He couldn't see the value, he's young, healthy, and single and would rather the dollars in his pocket than paying for insurance.

I have mixed feelings about your statement on CEO's who can do anything while the underlings have little.  They are mixed because, while I do not run business that way and am generous with employees, I also think I don't want to legislate someone else's morality or how they operate their business or quash how much money is "moral" to earn. 

 

 

 I live in NJ.  Anyone who has that low income and a child is eligible for NJFamily Care, and could go to a doctor, and that's without ACA.  Anyone single can't, but they would be choosing not to have the insurance at that point, and insurance for a single person is far less than a family.

I still have mixed feelings on the topic of how much money it is moral to have/earn.  I think we should be making people want to work harder and earn more and build businesses, not make them out to be bad guys.

 

 I do know what you mean.  I donate to a food bank in a neighboring small city on a regular basis because I worry about people who don't have enough to eat (my pet peeve in America).  Private citizens and good businesses do what they can.

I am not saying that there aren't excesses, I wrestle with where we draw lines.  You have an easier time than I do of drawing them.

And my thinking that ACA is not going to be a good law in the long run doesn't mean I don't think everyone should have access to good medical care.  I think there has to be a better way to get it done.

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Nov. 13, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Welcome back! Were you effected by Sandy?

I would *much* prefer universal healthcare. I find 45000 deaths a year in a supposed "1st world" nation due to a lack of health care unconscionable, immoral, & unG-dly. My mother shouldn't have died for this reason & no one else should either.

We can tax everyone & businesses much more, like Canada, & then we'd have universal healthcare, & businesses wouldn't have to provide insurance. Sounds great to me, but no way could Obama have gotten that passed, so he worked with the capitalist insurance program. This benefits insurance companies & that's great for big business. Because, don't forget, that's what insurance is, big business. If we had universal healthcare, & no insurance, big business would surely suffer then.


Quoting candlegal:

They shouldn't be and many of them can't afford to and stay in business so they won't.

Quoting Healthystart30:

I grew up with universal healthcare, it was not paid for by my employer, but my taxes. Employers are already paying taxes and salaries so I just don't understand why they should be obligated to pay for health insurance as well.





Quoting Goodwoman614:




Quoting Healthystart30:

I don't understand why employers have to pay for health insurance.

Everyone should contribute. Universal healthcare. Funded as in every other 1st world country. It makes sense on all levels: fiscal, moral, and of course health.





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