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Papa John CEO, John Schnatter has become the poster boy for New Normal Affluenza (NNA), a virulent and debilitating disease that has been mutating and spreading across corporate America for 50 years (See side bar lower right).

Back in November Papa Schnatter Pizza suffered an attack of affluenza when his delusional love of personal wealth moved him to make the statement that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees. Not for lack of business, but in order to keep the hours  below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require him to provide his employees with healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Affluenza so skews the perception of its victims so that they believe that it is the mission of the the mass of Americans to contribute to their personal wealth. So sad.

   Rick Ungar, Contributor Forbes

It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.

If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

Pizza Pop Delusion is a tough crust to swallow

By: Ted Marzilli BrandIndex

Papa John’s, Applebee’s, and Denny’s were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" Results were filtered adults 18+ who have eaten at casual dining restaurants in the past month.

Papa John’s Buzz score high point for the month came on Election Day – November 6th – with a score of 32. Eight days later, the score had dropped 10 points down to 22. A few days later, Papa John’s dropped below Pizza Hut’s score and is presently at 4.


The first outbreak of Affluenza was documented in a film way back in 1954 when it was a loose term to define wealth in general, in 1997 the term described the overload, debt, and waste involved in the pursuit of wealth. Today, in the latest ugly outbreak, the illness has been sited as a legal excuse of vehicular manslaughter. The argument is that the wealthy few are killing the rest of us for our own good.

How is that for delusional?
The virulent strain arrives as an excuse for greed and the promulgation of the belief that profit driven organizations are living and breathing people, sort of like the "living dead".  Symptoms often include some form of fantasy with the most prevalent delusion that all human beings are gifted in exactly the same way at birth. So, it follows that any lacking encountered over the course of life is always the fault of the victim – laziness, irresponsibility, lagging, loafing, lethargic behavior.

Affluenza reaching epidemic proportions among most wealthy

Papa John Schnatter's delusional behavior is not an isolated case. Other fast food CEO's have demonstrated similar delusional perceptions of self importance.

Zane Tankel (pictured left) holds one of the largest franchises for Applebee's, and went on television while suffering an Affluenza breakdown. He went on a self possessed rant to threaten the public with pulling back. He said he would not build any more restaurants or hire any more people if the affordable care act were to force him to provide insurance to his minimum wage workers. Sort of a "Stay where you are or I'll shot myself in in the foot." kind of demented threat.

All that happened as a result of his rant was that his "Buzz" (from the Brandindex link above) fell from the 35 points to a pathetic 5 points after his public tantrum.

New Normal Affluenza is spreading through the ranks of the wealthy and we will be reporting on the growing epidemic and possible cures for this devastating illness.

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