Belmont Club

Osama bin Laden is Dead and So Are Ho Hos

A petition at the White House is urging president Obama to “nationalize the Twinkie industry”. (Real, click on the link) The iconic cake manufacturer declared bankruptcy after it failed to reach an agreement with the union. Politico reports that the AFL-CIO is blaming the company for refusing to operate at a loss.

“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a Friday statement.

The Los Angeles Times quotes consumer advocates who have joined the chorus of blame for the company.

In a statement, the National Consumers League threw its support behind the union, saying Hostess executives were “scapegoating” workers instead of “taking responsibility themselves.”

“It is years of poor management — not the reasonable demands to improve working conditions of the BCTGM — that led to the company’s demise, said the league’s executive director, Sally Greenberg. “What a terrible time of year to take away the livelihood of 18,500 workers and the dozens of communities with factories that will be shuttered.”

However, Twinkies will continued to be made in Canada. “Saputo holds the rights to the Hostess brand in Canada and operates it as a separate entity. It’s totally separate. We have nothing to do with the Hostess brand in the U.S.” Saputo spokesperson Sandy Vassiadis told in a telephone interview.”

There’s a new ethic in Obama’s second term. “Papa John’s CEO Should Take a Pay Cut, Not Lay Off Workers”, says one article.

And he is not alone. Walmart is cutting hours, as is Denny’s, and some other larger franchises like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, etc. …

As the owner of two small businesses, when times were tough, I took a paycut—I did not reduce my employees’ hours or their wages. How many zeros is in CEO John Schnatter’s paycheck? Or that of the Walmart CEO? This is a company that even during the recession posted profits.

In California, the state I live in, businesses are required to pay for 50 percent of their employees’ health benefits if the company has a group healthcare plan in place. This was long before Obamacare, long before the president was elected the first time around. And California’s not alone—other states have similar things in place.

Entrepreneurs forget that “you didn’t build that business”. Government and unions helped build it, or built it altogether. Hence they are obliged to give something back. And if they can’t, well give anyway.

The Man With a Hoe

The Man with A Ho Ho

Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands
How will the Future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
When a craving for a sugar fix shake all shores?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings —
With those who shaped him to the thing he is —
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world.
After the silence of the centuries?

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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