Papa John and the Redefinition of Maker vs. Taker

This was another one of those Facebook posts that ran a little long and became a short blog post.  Enjoy, share, and comment.

There’s some posts going around about Papa John’s Pizza’s owner, John Schnatter. I want to reiterate the posts and add a thought of my own.

People are angry because this man, worth a quarter-billion dollars and living in a 40,000 sq. ft. house, is bitching about all the extra money it will cost his company to provide healthcare to all the people working in his stores. Some reports say he’ll slash hours… others say he will increase the cost of the pizzas by about 50 cents apiece. Regardless, he is angry that he, the guy with a 22 car garage and a private golf course, will have to help fund the health and wellbeing of those who are doing all the work to support his lifestyle, most of whom are making minimum wage.

The labor theory of value says that your work is “worth” exactly how much you produce. In a capitalist society, the capital class owns all the equipment and a group of slaves which work for an ever-shrinking fraction of the value of their labor. They create, perhaps, $75,000 a year in wealth through baking and delivering pizzas, then are provided $15,000 a year, or 20% of the value they produced. The rest goes to the slave owner.

Some say “but there wouldn’t be a pizza place without the business owner taking risks and your version of society punishes that risk and that success!” I think that’s a terrible argument, first because the demand for pizza places could easily be satisfied without the need for a member of the capital class opening a wage-slave chain, and second, because in a well-planned and democratic local economy, this silly idea of “risk” is removed. Let the people buy what they choose and adapt local co-ops based on what’s selling… there’s still competition but there’s no losers.

Well, that’s all really extreme, you say… and you’re right. But how about this simpler solution? If it really would’ve only cost the company 15 cents more per pizza to provide every employee (the ones handling your food, mind you) with healthcare, why the hell didn’t this greedy piece of crap do it in the first place?

I’ll tell you why… because maybe then he’d have only had a 20 car garage, and that would’ve been sad. I mean, who wants to punish success, after all?

So, with that in mind, I was thinking about this whole “maker” vs. “taker” thing I’ve been hearing about recently.  Apparently “makers” are the slave owners that take profit from the labor of workers, and “takers” are the workers who produce and provide services for a meager wage.  I can’t comprehend how they’ve arrived at this backward logic, but that’s truly how it’s viewed amongst these Randian types.

But I’m not looking for an explanation because not much they say ever really makes sense to me… What I’m really wanting is for each of you to listen for this “makers vs. takers” nonsense and debunk it when it comes up.  Remind them that the capital class doesn’t actually make anything and that the working class doesn’t even get the value of their own labor, let alone taking something more than that.

And while you’re at it, remind them which class they’re in, because they’re likely defending their masters.