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By Mr. Curmudgeon:
Nothing in my youth was more ubiquitous than Wonder Bread, Twinkies and the Hostess chocolate cupcake with its signature white frosting swirl on top. These cultural icons will soon go the way of the Dodo Bird thanks to Americas’ contracting economy and union entitlements. According to the Teamsters Union, which represents 6,700 Hostess workers, the company demanded a 30% cut in worker’s wages and benefits. The union responded by telling their members to strike.
“… We do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Hostess Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn in a statement released to the press. According to the Los Angeles Times, Hostess filed for bankruptcy in White Plains, N.Y., asking the court “to allow the company to shut down and sell its assets.”
When Hostess goes belly up, 18,500 employees will join the ranks of the unemployed … thanks to a failed attempt by unions to save the unsustainable. You can’t redistribute corporate wealth when said corporation has none.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once said, “The unions might be good for the people who are in the unions, but it doesn’t do a thing for the people who are unemployed. Because the union keeps down the number of jobs, it doesn’t do a thing for them.”
A New York Times photo showed a striking Hostess employee holding a sign, “Wall Street Greed is Killing Us,” it said. Last spring, the private equity firm Sun Capital offered to step in and help the company reorganize, but the Teamsters refused because the proposal altered the existing union pension plan.
“There’s a box of Twinkies in that grocery store,” says the character Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) in the movie Zombieland, “Not just any box of Twinkies – the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Someday very soon, Life’s little Twinkies gauge is gonna go … empty.”
Hostess, which gave us Wonder Bread and Twinkies, is a lot like the United States of America: It produced life-sustaining bread and tasty treats once upon a time. But all that was undone by an unsustainable “social safety net.” Last November 6, Americans – like the Teamsters membership – voted to preserve a Ponzi scheme at the expense of their future.
… What a bunch of Twinkies.