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11/16/2012

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Ben

"Upon hearing the news, we don't know whether to laugh or cry." Exactly how I feel.

I just hope something comes along for the people who are losing their jobs. I know there probably wont be anything for them, but damn it I wish the best for them. Have a nice weekend Dave, everyone, peace.

JohnWDB

One of the videos linked after that Twinkie video ends is Ron Paul's farewell speech from Congress. He says a lot of good things, but perhaps this is best, "...we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates while ignoring freedom itself". And this is the most succinct statement of the problem, though it will be largely ignored. We got duped, friends. We let politicians tell us that rising GDP was all that mattered, even if it meant borrowing against future generations and devaluing assets of the middle class. We let them tell us that the ability to buy cheap stuff manufactured abroad was worth steady loss of middle income jobs, so long as multinational corporations were enriched and GDP went up. We let them tell us that protecting a steady supply of petroleum was worth endless conflict paid for by raiding social safety nets, mounting casualties, and having terrorist attacks on our own soil. We let them tell us that massive financial institutions were crucial to our phony economy and that pilfering the middle class to prop them up was necessary because they were "too big too fail". We let them tell us that an abundance of cheap, ready made meals and snacks was worth the wholesale subsidy, homogenization, and centralization of our food industry, at the expense of nutrition and sustainability.

We sold ourselves, our futures, and our freedom for a bunch of cheap stuff that makes us depressed and obese. That supply of that stuff will dwindle and increase in price, and the void that's been left will become glaringly apparent. The most scathing indictment against this latest charade of an election is that Ron Paul was universally considered a lunatic. He was decried by "liberals" and "conservatives", both of whom forgot the principles they once self-righteously proclaimed. Over a hundred million Americans wanted to believe that this election was the most important in history while they laughed at the only voice that was actually talking about the reasons for the decline of the empire. They got what they wanted, though, and they'll spend the next few months celebrating the "victory" while we circle the drain, then blaming the ultimate demise on "obstructionism" by "the other guys". Perhaps the great justice in it all is that human beings got exactly what they wanted.

Dave Cohen

@JohnWDB

... got exactly what the deserved

-- Dave

James

The brands will survive. Hostess was a trainwreck and this is its second bankruptcy (2005 they were in bankruptcy). Management blamed the strike, saying the reduction in wages and pension were necessary for sustainability (IE profits levels the investors could get behind). Of course, it ignored the fact that in 2005 the workers had made wage and pension concessions previously and that previous rounds of management had given up nothing (tried to hide bonuses and raises, in fact- CEO pay went from about $750,000 to $2.5 million during that time). Revenue was up, yet somehow despite hiring the consultant brought in during the last bankruptcy as CEO, debt was not going down. Imagine that.

So, they cut a deal with the teamsters (the union that includes all the non-baker employees) reducing wages and benefits further and stiff $2 billion to creditors, including vendors. But the baker's union said "no" and went on strike.

The response was to fire everybody and sell off the assets, which means the consultants, execs, and lawyers will all get paid and lots of workers, vendors, retirees, and others get nothing.

What annoys me is that bad management took an icon and ran it into the ground and people are delighting that the union strikers (as well as thousands of others) are now jobless. Yeah, that will show those stupid assholes to not take what the top thinks is best for them!

My bet is that a Chinese company picks them up and replaces flour with shredded newspaper.

Oliver

No doubt the "management" and their consultants had lucrative parachutes already devised, and then maneuvered the union into striking via a pay-cutting deal that was impossible to accept, so that over-lunched Rayburn and his cronies could sink the company, take the money and run.

With capitalism in terminal velocity descent - morally and financially - corporate executives get good returns for failure. They are nothing more than parasites, in a diseased system that rewards parasites for their cleverness in devouring other people's assets.

Anyone know where to find Madame Guillotine?

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