It's 2013 and look what Obama hath wrought! I asked TSH's own financial expert, noted economist Tim Dimas, to comment on some of the trends we observed sprouting up from the Hoople Heads on the left as 2012 came to a close. A fitting way to ring in the New Year!
Clearly Joe hasn’t discovered the photos or videos I posted online under a pseudonym involving a pair of jumper cables, a saddle, and a gallon of motor oil, since he’s asked me to return for another round of economic and fiscal commentary.
Poor Papa John’s
The boycott against Papa Johns is puzzling, because if we pretend that all those hippie fools with “co-exist” bumper stickers actually DID boycott and it hurt Papa John’s bottom line, people would get laid off and even more hours would be slashed. But that would require medium term logical thinking on the part of said liberals. Clearly, I’m expecting too much. But here’s the defense of Papa John’s, friends. If you’re a liberal, it’s complex, so bite your lip and keep reading (for the articles, of course!):
It’s his company. He can do whatever the hell he wants.
That’s it. Period.
“Oh, but all food employees should have access to…” (yawn)
“But he’s making so much money off of...” (yawn)
It’s his. He owns it. He can pay them all minimum wage (I’ll save my anti-minimum wage rant for another day). His employees are there voluntarily. If they don’t like making $20 16” pizzas (I mean, seriously, Mr. Schnatter), they can go work at Domino’s. Or Pizza Hut. I don’t care. They aren’t beholden to the joint. The only defense necessary for Papa John is that it is his company to conduct however he wants. That’s a very difficult concept for some people. I suppose if you want to go through with the boycott, you’re certainly welcome to do so, as long as you are cognizant enough to understand that what you’re boycotting is the right of a CEO to conduct his company however he wants. I know, I know, you don’t like how he’s conducting his business. So I presume you approve of the politics of all the companies you buy from? Do all the places you give your money to meet your pathetic liberal litmus test? After all, liberals hate Wal Mart, but Sam Walton was one of the largest contributors to Obama’s Super PAC (http://washingtonexaminer.com/wal-mart-heir-funding-obama-big-time/article/2511391#.UKmQRY7A8Rk). Figure out on which side your bread is buttered before you start boycotting.
Who the f*** is Rick Ungar?
When I read Rick’s piece (that felt funny) I scratched my head. His main issue with Papa John’s is that by the company denying their employees medical insurance, they will go to the emergency room, where hospitals will pass the cost onto medical insurers, and thus him. That’s an odd stance for a liberal to take. “Yeah, healthcare for everyone, including illegal immigrants. But if I have to pay one cent for a Papa John’s employee…” It’s bizarre, especially coming from a lefty. Rick is funny, but I don’t think he means to be. “Token” would be better off just going back to sketching Rogue or Gambit.
Twinkies and the Unbearable Lightness of Hostess
A. A company has no obligation to anyone but it's owners. That obligation is to make money. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fiscal fact. This is a MANTRA in business school.
But understanding the relationship between stockpiling weapons and Democrats that call for gun control requires self-reflection. Allow me to illustrate:
D. Here in Maryland, Democrats are proud individuals. I don’t just mean that they are self-absorbed; they are genuinely pleased with being Democrats. One of the ways they do this is by caking their cars with bumper stickers that say “DEM” with a Maryland flag under it, accompanied with a plethora of stickers for as many Democratic candidates as they can fit on their car. As a rule, Democrats are insulated: they are wholly ignorant to a world outside of their own. Democrats in blue states are ignorant to the idea that there are conservatives that live amongst them. But they are also ignorant to how silly their pride is – they live in a state that favors their opinions 70% - 30%. In lay terms, 7 out of 10 of their fellow citizens believe exactly the same things they do. But to them, that is cause for celebration. They’re proud of that homogeneity, and when someone dares to speak up, they shout them down in a chorus. I don’t believe that Democrats are evil people – I just believe they lack any power of self-reflection. Progressives are dangerous not only because they are statists, but because they genuinely believe in their hearts that they are the only ones capable of leading the nation into a state of progress. They believe that the world would truly be a better place if tomorrow all conservatives and Republicans and libertarians were dead. Republicans have enough cognizance and suspicion of government to know that you need checks and balances. Make no mistake about it, ladies and gentlemen, them Dem's hate you. But they need each other, and I think that is partially why they are so energized and pat themselves on the back when they insulate themselves into their islands. This is why, when they are in the overwhelming majority, they cake their cars in bumper stickers proclaiming that fact. I spent most of my undergraduate years arguing against professors and entire classes that believed exactly the opposite of what I did. I cannot imagine a world where a liberal would get up in front of 50 conservatives and attempt to plead their case logically. It doesn’t happen.
How is this related to economics? In the financial world, there are always opportunities because of inequities in the markets. I don’t own a Ford vehicle, but I buy Ford stock because I believe in their business model and think they are undervalued. I see an opportunity and I take it (Full disclosure: This is an illustrative example, not stock advice. This article is not and never will give stock advice. Invest at your own risk). Democrats are unwilling to be that objective. A Democrat can’t see the situation for what it is. You can’t argue whether GM’s stock price is going to rise or fall, because all a Democrat sees is that Obama propped up the stock, therefore it has to be good, and all you wind up getting is “If you don’t like GM stock you hate America.” They really aren’t capable of further thought. Which brings us back to the Papa John’s boycott. I don’t care for their pizza, and I think their product is overpriced. I can admit that, still patronize their company, and have a conversation with someone about the pros and cons of said company. Democrats don’t have that ability. They see a policy that challenges their worldview and they cry foul. Remember the Maryland Democrat example: they need each other; they can’t be objective. A Democrat can’t say “Eh, I don’t like their union stance, but I love my Twinkies so I’ll keep buying.” I can proudly say “Apple is a super liberal company but I just cannot live without my iPhone.” These issues and approaches to business, boycotts, and finance are inherently wrapped up in their worldview. The savvy conservative will seek to exploit these weaknesses for social and economic gain.
Footnote: I liquidated my position in Ford (F) in early December. I have no plans to short or long the stock in the next 72 hours.