|Matt Bors is a God of Cartoonists http://www.mattbors.com/|
I work near a restaurant-supply grocery store, and it's open to the public, so I sometimes go there to buy some stuff for making lunches. I see restaurant owners there--you can tell they are owners because they treat the folks who work at the grocery store like crap. People who do service work for a living (who aren't also owners) generally treat other service workers at least moderately well. And you can tell they are owners because they are putting their restaurant groceries into expensive SUVs, the payments for which they are undoubtedly writing off on their taxes.
I know some restaurant owners are kind-hearted people who really want to treat their employees with respect, and would love to provide health care--but it is expensive. But I think (educate me if I'm wrong) these folks are the exception to the rule. I work at a small company, and a huge part of my compensation are my health benefits. I know it's expensive. But the folks I work for want to treat me like a human being who deserves health care. I really appreciate that, and it is part of what keeps me working here--not just the money that it represents, but the feeling behind it. Owners of companies who don't want to pay for health care because it cuts into their profits, but who still want to pretend they respect their workers while they themselves live in the Oakland hills and put their kids in private school and the like, these folks just don't make sense to me, and they make me angry.
My last job was at a corporate coffee shop. I had a regular customer who created restaurants and then "flipped" them for profit. He had already done so with a couple of restaurants when I met him. At the time, San Francisco had just voted to increase the minimum wage of any workers in the city, and he was talking restaurant Armageddon--he would go out of business, most restaurants in SF would go out of business, he said. I told him I doubted that. He said he knew, because he was in the biz. A year later I asked him about it, after he had sold another restaurant, and he shrugged it off. I suspect a lot of the hand-wringing around health care by corporate CEOs of chain restaurants is more of the same.