Everywhere in the RightWingoSphere…

I’ve been seeing it treated as axiomatic that, of course, workers killed Hostess.  It never even seems to have occurred to the Party of Personal Responsibility that the people who were, oh what’s the world I’m looking for?, responsible for managing Hostess might have just a teensy weensy something to do with the company’s death:

It’s fascinating to me the endless amount of excuse-making that is made for the rich and powerful and the blame so easily heaped on the families who suffering at their incompetent and corrupt hands.  Dry your tears.  Hostess had already awarded the company’s top four executives raises of between 75 and 80 percent, even though the company had already hired restructuring lawyers, according to the WSJ. So long as the right sort of people get obscenely rich as a reward for this incompetence and greed, that’s all that matters.  It’s not like depriving the worker of his wages is a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance or anything.  It’s just “prudential judgement” doncha know.

  • Comfy

    the story you linked to is incorrect – you have a cute graphic but not accurate. Try a bit of research other than leftie HuffPo

    • Andy

      Since you have done the research at a neutral site – what killed Twinkies – I know those damned unions which the church says have a right to exist and negotiate for salaries. A left-leaning site is not more inaccurate than a right leaning site.

      • Andy

        Comfy – a follow up since you asked for research -
        On Monday, Greg Rayburn, CEO of Hostess, which also owns Dolly Madison bakeries and Merita bread, announced that the company intended to close plants in St. Louis, Cincinnati and Seattle in response to the strike. St. Louis mayor Francis Slay said in an interview on Tuesday that he was given notice earlier this year about the closing in his city.

        “I was told months ago they were planning on closing the site in St. Louis,” he said. And there was no indication at that time that it had anything to do with the strike the workers were waging.”(Raw Story)

        But the new private equity backers loaded the company with debt, making it difficult to invest in new equipment. Earlier this year, Hostess had more than $860 million of debt. (NYT Times).

        • Sean O

          The “Bain” of every union member or working stiff, a “Romney” type “Rescue Plan”. Load the ailing company with tons of debt, extract wealth & let the overburdened company collapse in debt. Really, thank God for our intrepid MBA saviors. How could we fail w/o them.

          Sliver of a silver lining: while workers & their families may lose their jobs & come under enormous financial pressure, at least the MBA guys can make bonus & write it off as a tax loss. God Bless Vulture Capitalism.

  • Elaine S.

    Situations like this remind me of the poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant”, in which six blind men each touch a different part of an elephant — one touches his trunk, another his tusk, others his tail, his ears, etc. — and each insists that this part is what the whole elephant is like, because they can’t see the rest of him. Well, seems to me the Left and the Right are like that — they each touch a different part of what is wrong with society, but fail to see the big picture. Here you have the Right screaming “It’s all the union’s fault!” and the Left screaming back “No, it’s management’s fault!” when the truth just might be… wait for it… they are BOTH to blame. Yes, I think the union made a really bad decision this time around but so did those CEOs who utterly failed at the job they were hired to do (turn the company around).

    • TMLutas

      The really fun bit is that the private equity guys this time seem to be a bunch of pro-union Dems.

      • Karen

        I’m no expert, but I read that the last private equity holders tried to do the right thing, but were saddled with so much debt and bad decision from the previous four or five groups of vultures that there wasn’t much that could be done. They did, however, pay themselves huge bonuses.

    • Kristen inDallas

      good analogy… and neither one of those “blind men” seems to have touched the high-fructose-corn-syrup-diabetes-epidemic portion of the elephant. The fact is, not every product is wanted. And despite all the cries of facebookers mourning the loss of the belovedly nostalgic ding-dong, when’s the last time someone actually bought one?
      I feel bad for everyone out of a job now, but no more bad than I feel for the (admittedly fewer) workers at some more obscure low-profile companies that go under everyday. Giants too can fall, and nothing of this world is meant to last forever. I hope the individuals affected are well-prepared to transition into other industries, and i don’t think blaming them for their own job loss is very helpful (many people who strike don’t feel like they have much choice in the matter). But blaming the evil corporate geniuses seems weak as well. All things end, and no one is entitled to a job anymore than we’re entitled to a twinkie-filled grocery store (perpetually awaiting the day when we deign to buy one). My heart goes out to those that are struggling, but it’s hard for me to have any role in the commentary other than gratefullness (for the job I still have and my luxury item of choice – Diet Dr. Pepper, still widely convinient and cheap.)

  • Elaine S.

    Also, I have past personal experience working for a (newspaper) company that was loaded with debt by hedge fund/private equity backers and it totally sucked. They ran every newspaper they bought into the ground. The newsroom staff at several of them have since joined a union in a desperate attempt to protect themselves from the constant attempts of management to balance their company’s budget on their backs. It probably won’t work in the long run, though.

  • Tom

    The idea that is a rich vs. poor deal is just not accurate. I don’t doubt that Hostess was mismanged. The fact that they were in bankruptcy says it all. Hostess may have just been looking for an excuse to close the doors. But, that point is moot. The fact is that the Bakers Union chose this end, even as other Unions including the Teamsters Union were willing to work with Hostess – is what lead to 18,500 people losing their jobs. They had a choice. How can they not be responsible for it? In the end, I am not shedding a single tear for either Hostess or their workers.

    • http://mondayevening.wordpress.com/ Marcel

      The more I read about Hostess the less sympathy I feel for any of the people involved, except ironically for the Teamsters – not usually objects of pity. What puzzles me is why Washington doesn’t bail them out like GM. Michelle, intercede with Barack to buy the company and preserve those jobs. Then the bakers can bake healthy cakes instead of Ho Ho’s®. True, three-dollar whole-grain “cupcakes” filled with whipped tofu might not sell like fifty-cent Twinkies®, but surely some regulatory mechanism could be developed to deal with recalcitrant consumers.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        The Twinkie worker base isn’t in a swing state. Don’t look for a bailout.

        • Will

          Detroit is not in a swing state either.

          • http://znfrey.com/blog/ Zach Frey

            Lots of auto workers in Ohio, though…

  • Kirt Higdon

    Seems to me that Hostess is simply the USA in miniature. Our rulers are loading us up with debt and enriching themselves while driving the country into the ground at 300 MPH. And now they want to cut our wages (already cut by debasement of the currency) still more by raising taxes. We can’t collectively strike by insurrection or passive resistance or collectively quit by secession since these alternatives would be crushed by force. That leaves the alternative of accepting and offering up progressive impoverishment or moving abroad to some place not currently being controlled, sanctioned or bombed by the evil empire.

  • Dan C

    Agreed. The forensic analysis of most of these companies’ failures is bad management and bad decisions. Even routine business functions fail with bad risks and inability to receive revenue that the company is due (it is often that simple a matter- having a back office following invoices). Size, and Hostess was big, does not protect against those simple failures.

    How does one get to a point in which bills don’t go out or there is no one to make sure bills are collected?

    One routine failure starts with assessments of function within a company. Some people function to create the product and are assessed as vital. These folks are considered the productive members of the company. The business office is often not such an area and gets underappreciated, with a bevy of salaries that “make” nothing, and thus is often underfunded, with unskilled individuals who are overworked. This often is a routine problem in companies, especially manufacturing. It is shocking how often underfunded billing and collection offices are really core to a businesses failure.

    This is an example of how these not-exactly-genius managements folks (with a pedigree stemming from undereducated, college frat boy days) fail.

    The “job creators” often are a real mess and incompetent.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    My guess is that it’s more complicated than Evil Group A vs. Virtuous and Beautiful Group B. Though I admit that the proposals offered by Hostess must have really sucked for the workers to accept total unemployment rather than accept what was offered. Haven’t gone into the details, but that’s the first thing that came to my mind.

    • Harpy

      Agreed: More complicated than A vs. B. Although I have not delved into the source documents, the offer they rejected did not seem that untenable (although I can see how they would be mad that management got them into that position in the first place). On top of that, it wasn’t them just rejecting the deal, the bankruptcy judge ordered them to take it to prevent Chapter 7 declaration. So they went on strike thinking that Chapter 7 was a bluff, and it wasn’t. So, management’s fault they got Chapter 11 in the first place, but it was the striking workers that put the final nail into the coffin (or the union – wasn’t able to see if the union authorized or encouraged the strikes).

      Incidentally, Hoff Po already has a number of corrections to their original article that Mark quoted. The corrections take a lot of the wind from the sails of the closing thought to this blog post. Mark – please review the original source and revise as prudent.

      • Harpy

        Interesting how most people who initial viewed the Hoff Po article, or this post will see this correction: (From Referenced Huff Po Article) CORRECTION: An earlier version of as well as an earlier headline of this post incorrectly stated that Greg Rayburn received a 300 percent raise as CEO of Hostess as the company approached bankruptcy. Rayburn wasn’t CEO of Hostess until after the company filed for bankruptcy. The post also incorrectly stated that he was paid a salary of up to $2,550,000 per year. His salary when he joined the company was $100,000 per month, according to a company spokesman.

        • Harpy

          …and yes 100k/month seems pretty excessive – but is still half of what was originally claimed.

          • Merkn

            It may or it may not be. It depends on what skills you need to run the company. Think about it for a minute. How are you going to get first rate talent to run a business if it is already in bankruptcy? You are going to have to pay him more than he can get somewhere else. also, if this is in bankruptcy, the court would have to approve a post petition expense like this so there likely is an argument to support it.

      • Harpy

        Argghh … can’t edit … can’t delete … should have been: Interesting how most people who initially viewed the Hoff Po article, or this post will *not* see this correction: …

  • Libby

    I’ve been wondering how the CEO’s of those ill-conceived ‘green’ companies companies like Solyndra are now poor. I’m cynical, so I think they’re probably more than fine. Meanwhile, the workers are out of work and we taxpayers are out billions.

  • http://disputations.blogspot.com Tom K.

    None of the barstool complaining I’ve heard about this blames the workers.

    Rather, most of it blames the union, meaning the professional union leadership. The distinction between union leadership (and their interests) and union rank-and-file membership (and their interests) is explicitly insisted upon (rightly or wrongly) everywhere in the rightwingosphere.

    • MarylandBill

      If what I read was correct, 92% of the workers in the striking Union voted to strike. How can you blame the leaders and not blame the workers? The leadership can make suggestions to the members, but a strike requires a vote of the members. I don’t know if the workers made the right decision or not, but it was the workers as much as anybody who are responsible for the strike.

  • http://stevenadunn.wordpress.com Steven Dunn

    Yes, well, that’s why you should never look to party hacks for a perspective that requires a modicum of intelligence and perception, whether they’re Right or Left.

    My take: this is simply the market in action, and I only shed a tear for those workers that will have trouble finding another job in this economy.

    Hostess made a product consumers increasingly didn’t want, had poor management (or, just as likely, methinks, were in an intractably bad no-win situation that no manager could fix), and a sufficient number of its workers had non-negotiable demands that Hostess couldn’t meet. There’s nothing awful here. The workers have a right to make those demands, and Hostess has a right to reject them. The management were hired because they were thought competent, and, looking beyond its (particularly idiotic) left-wing spin, there’s nothing in the infographic to suggest malice. I could be wrong, but it looks like they were cutting worker’s pay and benefits to save money that was spent paying off its bills. That they were trying to keep the workers employed for even a little longer when the company’s situation was so obviously dire suggests they were acting in goodwill, but even if the Baker’s Union conceded, how much longer would the company last? Hostess was a dead man walking.

    • http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/ Zippy

      That’s pretty much what it looks like to me too.

    • http://mondayevening.wordpress.com/ Marcel

      The same people who damn the rich bastards at Hostess for not coming up with money for the cupcake bakers, are the people who have been telling us for years to stop eating Hostess cupcakes.

      • Chris-KABA

        Exactly what I’ve been thinking lately.

        I listen in amazement to people who haven’t bought a Twinkie in ages talk about missing Twinkies & Ding Dongs even though for years they’ve been pointing out that those things are so toxic no one should eat them.

        • Dan T

          May be in the long run the economy will be better off if people stop eating this junk food crap.

          • Chris M

            It wasn’t just the junk food, though. Merita Bread was part of this snafu. Hopefully another company steps in to salvage some of this and get some of these folks back on the job. ..not holding my breath, though.

  • Phil

    This may have been a case of Hostess biting of more than it could chew. At one point, they decided to expand their business and ended up with several different union contracts and ofted having to deal with weird rules like twinkie truck drug drivers couldn’t deliver bread and vice versa(something which didn’t help costs I’d imagine).

  • Peggy R

    Hostess was having financial problems and new management was brought in. Whether the company would survive was already a question. This is a foolish time in the life of a company for labor to go on strike. To add to it, the federal government is in the process of launching a host (!) of regulations and costs on employers which will bring down many more businesses teetering on the edge and even some healthy small businesses that won’t be able to absorb the costs. And yes, Michelle’s demonizing of “junk” food is starting to harm the “bad” food industries. McD’s had its first loss of revenue in several years this year. Between the husband and wife in the WH, lots of restaurants and food manufacturers are likely to go belly up.

    I don’t know if the employees understood what they were voting for. I’d blame union leadership as well. The management was clearly in no position to offer much to labor. Wait til you see how O’s NLRB is seeking to tip the scales against management’s ability to deal with attempts at unionization. The unions are not for the workers anymore, but for the union’s and Dems’ own pockets. Make no mistake.

    • dpt

      “I don’t know if the employees understood what they were voting for. I’d blame union leadership as well.”

      Reminds me of the 2008 financial meltdown and the rapid decline in car sales. In December 2008, management at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA asked for concessions from the union because of the financial meltdown and stress. The union’s initial response was “whoa, we have a contract.”

      Ok union leaders, how did that work out when NUMMI closed its doors for good.
      My father was UAW and felt unions were a necessary evil and in his experience, very undemocratic institutions.

      Of course on the other side, the CEO/executive pay is dementedly high. Back in 2008, some of the Wall Street executives had $25M-$40M annual bonuses written into their contracts.

  • Peggy R

    I know it might be shocking, but some people in the “rightwingosphere” have degrees and experience in economics, business and/or public policy. They could be speaking from a basis of knowledge and experience. Just a thought.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      You go too far!

      • Peggy R

        Yes, it is I who has a “derangement syndrome.”

        We are the Know Nothings, you know.

    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

      I’m trying to figure out where he got this idea of what’s being said in the “rightwingosphere”. His link to the google search had… I see 2 sites listed. pjmedia and townhall. (there’s one site called “angry white dude” but I doubt it’s that much of an intellectual collasus on the right)

      Looking at daily Kos… I can’t find any links or sources for who’s blaming what. Huffington post has… no links or statements about what the “right wing” believes. Heck, a lot of sites I’ve hit personally just report (and morn) the twinkie’s death. Where does Shea get these ideas? Anyone else starting to suspect he has some “conservative” or “libertartian” derangement syndrome?

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        I must admit, I was curious upon following the links. There seemed to be plenty blaming the Unions, and there weren’t many pointing to upper management that I found. But I didn’t find a load of links saying the workers themselves were to blame. It seems to be the age old The Right vs. Unions that I’ve heard about since I started paying attention to the world.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          Well partially true, but that’s because the first link is a google search of “labor unions kill hostess” (so one would expect to find links that blame unions). Doesn’t seem to be fair to blame that you searched for something and then found it. Example: if I type in “catholics worship mary” why… I get those results in google. ;) So… yeah, doesn’t seem like Mark was fair there.

          Though I also notice that the google page has changed since I posted. One big change is at the top:

          Was Hostess killed off by the sugar trade tariff?
          Alaska Dispatch ‎- 2 hours ago
          Since 1934, Congress has supported sugar trade tariffs. In a sign of the power of the sugar lobby, Hostess picked unions, not the lobby, to fight …

          Which is an interesting thought. I haven’t been a fan of the sugar tariff. Now it could be interesting to see if any rightwingers latch onto regulations as the twinkie killer.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            Yeah, and I’m not saying there aren’t any conservatives out there who aren’t blaming the workers. There probably are. Unless conservatives are unique, they probably have their bad apples just the same. But I’m a bit concerned that too often the evidence seems to be the same approach that could, as you point out, be posted on some fundamentalist blog to prove Catholics worship Mary.

  • Blake Helgoth

    What really is missing from this conversation, and from the rights discussion in general about big business is the employer’s obligation to pay a living wage and take care that his employees has a decent working environment. It is unjust to pay a low wage, even if a worker agrees to it. If you can’t market a product with just business practices then it should not be marketed. A major part of the problem is that the owner, i.e. investors, are only in it for a short term profit. Wall Street is used as a huge casino with no regard for the moral obligations that from investing in a company. In the end, these practices usually leave the employees high and dry style the Bain Capitals of the world rake in the dough. Here’s the deal, as B XVI has taught us, business involves people. It is primarily make up of transactions between PEOPLE and people cannot be treated as objects or as only a means by which to profit. We have moral obligations to those with whom we interact, even if it is by means of an electronic trade made from a smart phone.

    • Carbon Monoxide

      I take it that you will be closing your 401(K) plan and putting your retirement into a cash investment?

      • Seamus

        Considering what I expect to happen to the stock market when we fail to solve the fiscal crisis at the end of the year (by which I mean we either sail over the cliff or we kick the can down the road once again), I haven’t closed my 401(k) plan, but I’ve shifted most of it from equities into cash investments.

        • dpt

          I’ve done the same over the past half year.

          The stock market rise seems to be inflated as interest rates are so low, thus folks are looking some where for a return. I think a lot of companies are buying back shares too.

    • TMLutas

      Restated, you are saying that it is unjust to improve a worker’s economic position by an insufficient amount and it is better to not improve it at all. I am not that sure that I agree with this vision of justice at least with regard to a free market. If this arrangement is combined with forcing other buyers of labor out of the market then, sure, it makes sense to call the whole affair unjust. But I see the repression of better labor offers to be the source of the injustice, not low wage offers per se.

  • Will

    One or more companies could pluck up the viable parts of the company, without the debt, and re-employ at least some of the employees. That is the way things work in the good old USA!

    • Will

      I should add I am not sure that is the best outcome, but it is the best outcome at this point.

  • Billy Bean

    Well, I — I just know that Twinkies were good.

  • TMLutas

    From the perspective of social justice, Hostess is guilty of violating legitimate provisions. They are not paying accumulated vacation time. That actually is denying workers their wages. I condemn it. That is a fairly trivial financial issue compared to the contract terms but it should not be overlooked. Hostess management is being evil here.

    I do not believe that this is what the author means to accuse Hostess of and would really like clarification. Is bankruptcy enabled contract renegotiation unjust in your opinion? What was the unjust wage offered by Hostess to its bakers?

  • tz

    In order to pay wages, you need to have something to pay them from.

    I consider every dollar paid into then stolen from the social security trust fund as crying out, but having Wall St. steal it is no better. Then there’s withholding for income tax – robin hood robbery. Now the Bishops say I have to buy insurance from a crony insurance cartel.

    Hostess was victimized by the typical Usury by loading it with unpayable debt while strip-mining capital to pay one big dividend to the financiers. There was a reason it was a sin. That hasn’t changed.

    The poor, or labor can also be greedy. When health care for retirees cost $1000/yr promises might have been made that cannot be kept when it costs $12000/yr.

    Tell me of any bishops who, like 75%+ of the USA was against TARP, giving tax money to billionaires so they could pay themselves bonuses. #occupy might be stinking hippies, but they at least were identifying real evil in the streets. One of the symbols of the office of bishop is the crook. I’ve read church history. It is both ironic and appropriate. They are crooked and wonder why they lack moral authority.

  • Obpoet

    It’s their right to strike, it’s their right to close shop. Who wins?

  • Seamus

    Let’s take as given the management of Hostess was behaving like a drunk driver careening around on the highway at 300 mph. But if a drunk driver is headed toward straight toward you in your lane, and you say, “Hey, I’m the sober one here. I shouldn’t have to swerve off the road into the ditch to avoid a head-on collision,” and as a result the drunk hits you head-on, killing not just the 5,000 family members you had in the car with you, but also the 13,000 of the neighbor’s kids who happened to be riding with you, I think you can fairly be called irresponsible. Yes, driving into the ditch probably sucks, just as being forced to take cuts in wages sucks. But it’s better than dying, just as having your wages cut is better than having them cut to $0.00, which is what Hostess’s employees are pulling down now.

  • http://www.westchesterinstitute.net Daniel

    At the end of the day, no one will pay $5 for Twinkies. Our nation can no longer afford blue collar labor. We have subbed out nearly everything to China who has a talented and educated work force – they make all of the Apple products and all of the GE Medical products (CT, MRI, etc.) – the quality is there. We can not make Twinkies in China nor can we pay them what they need, want or deserve here. Ergo, Twinkies end. Even if we took those evil CEO’s total salaries, it would only be a year or two of baker’s wages. Twinkies bakers, like buggy whip manufacturers, have entered the dust bin of history.

    • TMLutas

      Actually, Chinese wage increases combined with their lower productivity means we are closer to parity than most think. We are already starting to see onshoring happen and Boston Consulting Group projects productivity adjusted parity to happen in 2015 which will accelerate the movement of jobs back to the US.

      Canada is making twinkies et al under license. Maybe the two companies will expand into the US.

  • Lloyd Petre

    For those of you who look at the news for other reasons than looking for an excuse to crank up the ol’ Smug-a-Tronic2000 this will be a good place to start. Of particular interest will be the part where you will find that to the extent that people of identifiable politics are involved it involves two prominent Democrats, one of whom, Dick Gephardt, will be known to you all.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-16/hostess-liquidation-curious-cast-characters-twinkie-tumbles

    • Mark Shea

      You seem to think this is about defending/attacking Democrats? What’s the matter with you? Thousands of people are without work as winter is coming on while some a few rich incompetent vampires walk off with a ton of their money and all you can think about is scoring points? What is wrong with you? I could not care less if Dems look bad. If they are part of the problem, they should pay along with the rest of the rich vampires. The important thing is the poor jobless people. Get your head out of your Party and think about human beings. Sheesh!

      • Richard Johnson

        Aborted children…unemployed workers…innocents killed in “precision” bomb strikes…it’s doesn’t matter, Mark. The only thing that matters these days is that someone gets to make political points with them. For the Republicans, every aborted child is yet another log on the fire of the “anti-abortion movement”, which conveniently has been brainwashed into voting for a political party that won’t do jack to help the children who are dying, but will do everything in their power to attain political power using the blood of these pour souls. The Democrats are baby-killers, undeniably. But the GOP turns them into vampires to suck votes from trusting, decent people.

        And the unemployed, the victims of our compassionate capitalist system. The GOP, the “pro-life” party, cares less for these hard working folk. “They’re lazy!” “They’re greedy!” “They want something for nothing!” The party of Lincoln has turned the middle class into wage slaves and doesn’t give a rip.

        Ah, but then there’s the Democrats…riding in on their white horse with all the relief programs you could want. Just like the doctor who keeps the patient alive…alive enough to experiment experiment with, write up wonderful reports, publish books, and raise up whole political movements dedicated to keeping the poor alive, just barely. Yes, the GOP co-opts the middle class, pulls away the safety net, and kills the middle class on the altar of profits. Then along comes the Democrats and raises the zombies with just enough life support to become dependent, but not enough to become independent.

        Both sides, dedicated to keep the people at war with each other. All the while laying waste to our economy as sure as any locust. Both sides, with their infomercials, political action committees, non-government organizations. Joe Goebbels is no doubt proud of this as he looks on from his special place in hell. Our rulers have learned his lesson well. Repeat the lie often enough and the people will believe it.

        Meanwhile human children die. Human families lose homes. Human families go hungry. Human workers lose what little dignity they can find in this world. Human fathers go to bed wondering how they are going to give their child just a little better life than they have. Remember the American Dream? It’s now a nightmare, playing out daily in the living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms of middle America.

        So go ahead. Argue over your political parties. Make your points for your puppet-masters while they pull the last few pennies out of your pocket. Democrat…Republican…what difference is there between the two? One robs you blind and makes you feel good about it, the other robs you blind and makes you feel it’s your fault. But have at it…enjoy the bread and circuses that you have been given.

        • Mark Shea

          I don’t get it. Which side are you on: Democrats or Republicans? What are these “human beings” you speak of? You make no sense. Declare your team loyalty. I don’t like having to think outside my comfort zone.

          • Richard Johnson

            LOL…Mark, from your writings it appears that, with respect to modern culture, you not only have built your home outside the comfort zone, but you are thriving there by every measure that is meaningful.

            On person at a time. One heart at a time. That’s how this battle will be won.

        • ivan_the_mad

          Richard, I experienced a curious mix of satisfied agreement and sadness upon reading your post. Satisfied agreement because I think you paint an accurate picture and in the popular political dichotomy we’re on opposite ends, and sadness because you are so very right about the wrongs and the abject cynicism with which those in power conduct themselves.

          • Richard Johnson

            Alexis de Tocqueville had it right when he wrote, “We get the government we deserve.” With our focus on tribalism, wanting to make sure the other team’s lizard stays out of power, and acceptance of the notion that the only choice we have is a choice between two evils, we are seeing the fruit of our actions. Evil prevails. And until the people of God come together and decide to stop supporting evil, even if it is the lesser of two evils, we will continue the slow slide further into evil.

      • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

        Thousands of people are without work as winter is coming on while some a few rich incompetent vampires walk off with a ton of their money and all you can think about is scoring points?

        WAAAAAAAIIIIIIITTTT a sec.

        I see the huffpo link in the original post is now gone. And it’s replaced by a WSJ link that goes to…

        “Hostess Rolls Back Some Executive Pay Raises ”

        Which, I note, btw, is behind a paywall.

        So, we have no way of checking your statement, but by the headline, if the raises were “rolled back” then it doesn’t seem to me that any “vampires” walked off with a ton of money.

        Get your head out of your Party and think about human beings.

        He said in a post that just dehumanized a bunch of other people. (unless Hostess really did hire vampires, in which case maybe this was all a plot by the children of the night to reduce the cholesterol in their diet)
        Sorry, just had to savor the irony.

      • TMLutas

        Hostess is a great example of the dirty politics game called “name that party” where party affiliations are touted when it hurts Republicans and left tastefully absent when noting them hurts Democrats. That is one of the risks of using Huffpo as a source. You either correct for it by noting party affiliations across the board or get tarred for furthering the game.

  • Ted Seeber

    I personally thought they started going downhill back in the 1970s when IT&T bought them to run the company into the ground to fund retirements for old telegraph workers.

    It did not help that people started being more conscious about their diet in the 1990s, which led to the 2000 plant reduction, and as you say, the rest is history. The threatened union strike was just the last nail in a very elaborate coffin.

    And I’m surprised that in 50+ comments on this subject, nobody else mentioned transfats and polysaturated oils in their twinkie filling as a MAJOR cause of their demise.

  • Bill

    The Atkins Dirt fad hurt them, but what killed them were Americans moving away from accepting mass produced stuff as the norm and refining their palates.

    We are now a craft beer, wine, coffee and pastry culture. The TV dinners and cans of Stroh’s, which dominated from 1946 through 1989 are passé.

    We aren’t the suburban baby boomer, plastic pink flamingo, Cape Cod house, station wagon in the driveway mom at home dad working an office job at the steel plant kind of culture anymore.

  • Bill

    For good or ill. We’ve moved from a blue collar dominated culture to a bourgeois decadent one.

    I saw a milk frother for coffee sold at Target. I immediately thought “this is what Marx and Lenin would bitch about.”

  • Peter
    • Richard Johnson

      Peter, thank you for your timely illustration of exactly what is wrong with so many people in this nation. I look forward to your follow-up article on why this should matter a whit to the 18,000+ people who are entering winter with no job.

      Meanwhile, I’ll let Fred Sanford have his say on this notion of yours.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMTrthePKU0

  • Michael Elohim

    Let me get this straight. Catholics just helped re-elect the most pro-abortion/pro-gay president in our history- a man whose HHS mandate violates the Church’s religious liberty, a man who is arming Muslim terrorists who are slaughtering Christians in Syria… and you’re biggest concern is who’s to blame that you can’t get twinkies? Maybe when Rome is finished burning, you can lend me your fiddle…

    • Mark Shea

      Um, no. My concern is that 18,000 people are out of work. I can’t stand Twinkies.

      • TMLutas

        18k people out of work is not a problem per se. If we had 4% unemployment and 3% growth, they would quickly find jobs. The problem is that U6 unemployment is 14.6% and they are likely going to have trouble finding work. Badly managed companies should go under. Our task is to make sure that the resources move to higher uses quickly. The way Hostess ended is not good for that which is why Chap 7 liquidations are avoided by normal people. The union played Chap 7 chicken, lost, and wants everybody to overlook that they were playing chicken with the livelihoods of 18k people. No way. They own that.


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