Stryker Corporation has announced that it will close its facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs next month. It will also counter the medical device tax in Obamacare by eliminating 5% of their global workforce, an estimated 1,170 positions.
Jon Stryker is heir to the Stryker Corporation, one of the largest medical device and equipment manufacturers in the world. Stryker’s grandfather was the surgeon who invented the mobile hospital bed. The company now sells $8.3 billion worth of hospital beds, artificial joints, medical cameras, and medical software every year.
Stryker, a member of the Forbes 400 list, was one of the top five donors to the Obama campaign. Having donated $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC, Stryker also gave $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democrat Party.
Stryker’s corporation is part of an industry that has been a big loser at the hands of Obamacare. Having refused to get on board with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee when the law was being crafted in 2009, the medical device industry was punished with an excise tax of 2.3% of their revenues, regardless of whether they make a profit.
Republicans in the House have attempted to repeal the excise tax with a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act. The Democrat-led Senate, however, has refused to cooperate, saying that withdrawing the tax would cause Obamacare to come unraveled.
Last June, while the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, Stryker Corp. announced that it was tying plans to slash 5% of its global workforce to the tax if the law was upheld.
Denny’s is the latest to admit that this will make them raise costs, hurting those who depend on their services using allotted retirement funds for eating (the retired elderly), as well as those single mothers the Left profess to love… no work.
President Obama’s election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centerpiece of his first term in power – but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring.
Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny’s and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers’ bills and will reduce his employees’ hours.
With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is “the only alternative. I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer.”
Lately, a lot of people who are in the restaurant business have said the same, here are a couple of short videos on the matter:
NY Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel
A Papa John’s Pizza franchise owner
Rermember my old story about the Burbank Country Club and how liberal city councils feel good in passing legislation without second thought to those they hurt in the process — whom they profess to be helping. Here it is used in a reponse to a small paper near my town:
Here is the answer with a great example from a few years back, right down the road a bit from both John and I… it comes from an article I have saved from the June 26, 2002 Daily News, Editorial Section, entitled “Killing Jobs”:
Billingsley’s Restaurant at the Van Nuys Golf Course may soon fall victim to the economic illiteracy of the Los Angeles City Council [almost all liberals by the by].
Five years ago, the council pandered to organized labor by passing a measure requiring all businesses that contract with the city to pay their employees a “living wage,” an hourly salary tied to the Consumer Price Index that tends to run about three dollars more than the California minimum wage.
The measure, intended to bolster economic status of the city’s working families, was a classic example of arrogant politicians thinking they could magically legislate wealth into existence.
But grandiose schemes have consequences. Extra money for salaries has to come from somewhere. Usually from customers, workers or taxpayers who end up paying the bill.
Billingsley’s is a case in point of what’s wrong with this scheme [which Santa Monica has made policy].
Because the restaurant’s lease on the city-owned golf course is up for renewal, it will soon have to start paying the living wage, which owner Drew Billingsley says will cost him $100,00 a year [keep in mind this is not only in wages, but the time and money spent on the mountains of new paperwork to make sure he is following this new regulation]. In an effort to meet that expense, he has laid off as many employees as possible, but its not enough.
Thus Billingsley now has two choices: Either he can raise prices and alienate his loyal clientele (which consists largely of retirees on fixed incomes), or he can close up shop altogether.
Either way, the community will suffer. That’s what happens when feel-good posturing, not sound policy, governs lawmaking.
City Hall has done its best to chase away well-paying jobs, and public schools have done their worst at educating people so they aren’t qualified for well-paying jobs. Artificial living wages won’t solve real people’s problems.
Loss of jobs and customer dissatisfaction are the result of government interference. Here are more examples noted by Dennis Prager:
CS LEWIS hits the nail on the head when he said:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
What did Reagan say? Oh Yeah. Well, many business owners are feeling this fear right now.
This story comes from the Orange County Register and documents yet another company leaving the sunshine state:
California has changed dramatically since 1941, when Carl and Margaret Karcher scraped together about 325 bucks to start a hot dog cart in Los Angeles – a precursor to a drive-through restaurant they opened in Anaheim and which grew into the Carl’s Jr. fast-food empire. The Karchers were household names in Southern California, not just for their restaurants but for their activism in conservative politics and Catholic charities.
Whatever you think of the Karchers’ politics, you’ve got to love the entrepreneurial story that surrounds their success and what it said about California in its heyday. The Karchers – he died in 2008 and she in 2006 – came to the Land of Opportunity from the staid backwater of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
California has beckoned many Midwesterners – and people from every part of America and the globe – not just because of its pleasant weather, but because of a culture of openness that allowed creative people to go as far as their ideas would take them. Unfortunately, people with energy and creativity are now likely to go elsewhere, to places where the state government has different attitudes toward the private sector.
Indeed, CKE Restaurants, parent of Carl’s Jr., is likely to move its headquarters from Carpinteria, near Ventura, to Texas and is undergoing a rapid expansion of restaurants in the Lone Star State. Right before the budget circus got going Wednesday, CKE CEO Andrew Puzder spoke at the California Chamber of Commerce, blocks from the Capitol dome. Like most of us, Puzder loves California and has no interest in leaving it, but he told harrowing tales about doing business in a state that has gone from an entrepreneurial heaven to a bureaucratic nightmare.
“It costs us $250,000 more to build one California restaurant than in Texas,” he said. “And once it is opened, we’re not allowed to run it.” This explains why Carl’s is opening 300 restaurants in Texas and only maintaining its presence in California. Texas has lower taxes than California, but the reason for the shift has more to do with regulation and with the attitude of the respective governments.
Puzder complained about the permitting process here, where it takes eight months to two years to open a new restaurant compared to an average of 1 1/2 months in Texas. In California, restaurants have to provide new curb cuts, new traffic lights, you name it. The company must endure so many requirements and must submit to so many inspections that it becomes excessively costly – and the bureaucrats are in charge of the project.
Once the restaurant is open, Puzder said, the store’s general managers are not allowed to run the business as if they own it. That’s the key to the company’s customer service approach – allowing general managers to do whatever it takes to make customers happy. But California’s inflexible, union-designed work rules, for instance, classify general managers as regular employees. They must be paid overtime for any work beyond an eight-hour day. They must take mandated breaks at specified times.
California is the micro of the growing Federal Government. Obama-Care is just another layer of the boot of government on the backs of business owners, who hire a lions share of people in the U.S. The reporter above says “the regulations are well-intended, but piled-on…” And do take note, we (as a body politik) add layers and layers of laws. Here is an old quote I often use:
This is most evident in the fact that Americans today must obey thirty times as many laws as their great-grandfathers had to obey at the turn of the century. Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry… (adapted from: James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty [St. Martins Griffen; 1994], p. 1.)
All these private people want, really, is for the boot to be lifted. But not for 4-more years. Sad. Which brings me to another quote that explains the egalitarian thinking behind legislation based on feelings:
There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)
The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.
We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.
But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….
….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….
….”Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immediately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….
…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government programs, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a program, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the proprietor a bad business decision.)*
Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority contracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men. †
*No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”
† As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will necessarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.
One might say that the politician, the doctor, and the dramatist make their living from human misery; the doctor in attempting to alleviate it, the politician to capitalize on it, and the dramatist, to describe it.
But perhaps that is too epigrammatic.
When I was young, there was a period in American drama in which the writers strove to free themselves of the question of character.
Protagonists of their worthy plays had made no choices, but were afflicted by a condition not of their making; and this condition, homosexuality, illness, being a woman, etc., was the center of the play. As these protagonists had made no choices, they were in a state of innocence. They had not acted, so they could not have sinned.
A play is basically an exercise in the raising, lowering, and altering of expectations (such known, collectively, as the Plot); but these plays dealt not with expectations (how could they, for the state of the protagonist was not going to change?) but with sympathy.
What these audiences were witnessing was not a drama, but a troublesome human condition displayed as an attraction. This was, formerly, known as a freak show.
The subjects of these dramas were bearing burdens not of their choosing, as do we all. But misfortune, in life, we know, deserves forbearance on the part of the unafflicted. For though the display of courage in the face of adversity is worthy of all respect, the display of that respect by the unaffected is presumptuous and patronizing.
One does not gain merit from congratulating an afflicted person for his courage. One only gains entertainment.
Further, endorsement of the courage of the affliction play’s hero was not merely impertinent, but, more basically, spurious, as applause was vouchsafed not to a worthy stoic, but to an actor portraying him.
These plays were an (unfortunate) by-product of the contemporary love-of-the-victim. For a victim, as above, is pure, and cannot have sinned; and one, by endorsing him, may perhaps gain, by magic, part of his incontrovertible status.
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 134-135.
Excerpted, column by Howard Rich, Investor’s Business Daily, “ObamaCare Mandate To Cut Worker Hours, Leaving The Poor Worse Off”:
Having secured another four years in the White House, Obama can now block any effort to overturn his socialized medicine law — although states can (thankfully) still stop much of its new spending if they reject ObamaCare’s “exchanges” and refuse its Medicaid enrollment expansions. For the sake of our future deficits, let’s hope they do so en masse.
One provision of ObamaCare that can no longer be stopped, however, is its “employer mandate.” While nowhere near as infamous as the “individual mandate” compelling citizen participation in the health insurance market, ObamaCare’s requirement that companies provide coverage to all employees working more than 30 hours a week will be a job killer nonetheless.
Not only will this mandate prevent job growth among small businesses, it will also result in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies. These are people struggling to make ends meet on limited income — people who cannot afford to lose these hours.
Last month Darden Restaurants — which employs 185,000 people at nearly 2,000 Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster restaurants — revealed that it was scaling back many of its employees’ workweeks to 28 hours. Ordinarily such a move would result in high turnover and an influx of less-competent employees — but not in Obama’s economy.
This month Kroger — the grocer that employs 350,000 people — announced that existing part-time workers and new hires would be limited to working 28 hours per week. “Kroger is doing this to avoid paying for full-time health care for employees who currently only receive part-time benefits,” one employee explains. “And (so) they will not get hit with the $3,000 penalty.”