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Take Your Twinkie and Shove It!

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Ten years ago, my English professor talked about the the “dumbing down of America”. He addressed the fallen educational standards allowed in our primary and secondary education system. I think it has gone further than research papers and grammar. It isn’t about the teachers and the education system, it’s about our society. We have dumbed down on levels that are driving us into poverty. We have become a lazy, blame-assigning, cumbersome society.

Now, it isn’t a secret that I have said Romney was the example of what happens when a billionaire is told no. I don’t understand why the true, tea partying, Republican base didn’t see the corruption in the beginning, when their party was using voter fraud against one of their own, Ron Paul. Their hate for President Obama far outweighed the corruption. They hopped on the anti-labor force bandwagon and they bashed unions, when the destruction of our economy is a blatant result of telling billionaires, “no”.

Papa John’s Pizza whines that paying for national health care will boost their costs by 14 cents per pizza. Now, simple economics will prove that 14 cent per pizza will be passed on to the consumer by at least a 25 cent per pizza increase in price. Instead of admitting that truth, they say they can’t afford it, “Oh, we are going to have to close our doors and cost American jobs, all because of Obamacare.” Horsepucky. If they close their doors, it will be because the owner is making a point. He is going to starve his employees, the same ones who helped him acquire his wealth. Is that American? Isn’t it like holding your breath until you turn blue? Infantile?

Now, along comes Hostess. They say they are closing their doors. People are in a tizzy, because they may not get their Ding Dongs. Are you serious? Is this really the America that stood tall? We look like a country full of idiots, not innocents, because the truth is apparent. The whole world can’t even feel sympathy for our position, because it’s based on chosen ignorance. The truth about Hostess goes far beyond the bakers’ union. These workers have conceded to the hilt.

Hostess receiving clerk Mike Hummell said he was making $48.000 a year in 2005. This was before the first Hostess bankruptcy. The union members voted in concessions due to reorganization last year, dropping Hummell’s income to $34,000, or $16.12 per hour. The latest Hostess demands would have dropped Hummell’s income to about $25,000 per year, with significantly higher insurance costs. How is he supposed to live? Hasn’t this employee conceded enough? Should he simply be thankful for a job in this economy?

But the bigger problem is that, as Hostess is demanding their employees take another concession, costing over half of their previous wage and benefit package, 12 of the company’s executives have increased their income by 300 percent. Tell me, Tea Partiers, how does that work to help America? How can the poor continue to lose and become poorer, while executives are using their labor force to secure their own insurance, income, and retirement? What you don’t give, they take, and if you try to stand up for yourself, you will be jobless; you will pay for saying no. Republicans, tell me: is this what your party considers “legitimate rape”?

How can companies continue to ask employees to take huge hits when they are already struggling to pay their bills, while CEOs reap millions, securing their personal wealth?

Gregory F. Rayburn, CEO of Hostess, says that the problem has always been the cost of structure, the union rules, the pension legacy, the pension cost and cost structure. Just before the bankruptcy, Rayburn’s salary soared from $750,000 to a whopping $2,550,000. This is a CEO who is asking his employees to work for $25,000 a year with less health coverage, higher health costs, and pension slashes. Hostess wanted to cut pension costs from $100,000,000 a year to $25,000,000, while the CEO is securing his own retirement package: wealth.

Only in today’s America.

All the while, America is up in arms at paying high prices for a Twinkie. Are the people so dumbed down that they are clueless of the fact that Hostess will not die, but will pretend to sell, open under another name, and push Twinkies once again? Your Twinkies are safe. The Ding Dongs aren’t going to let it die, be realistic.

Mexican billionaire Daniel Servitje Montull, Chairman, Grupo Bimbo, the largest bread baker in the world, showed interest in purchasing the 82-year-old Hostess. Rayburn quashed that idea quickly, saying that tariffs wouldn’t allow for the purchase. Rayburn did say he had many potential buyers, though he wouldn’t disclose the names of the proposed bidders or private equity investors, but he did say the company was “more attractive to buyers without the unions”. Of course.

It’s another union busting move. Yes, Hostess will liquidate and reopen. It will pay minimum wage, no benefits, and you will all still get your Twinkies. Obviously, that is what is important in America: the comfort principle.

Then people will complain that the food stamp rolls have grown again, blame the president, say liberals are out for entitlements, and make up whatever else their shortsighted minds can come up with.

This is the new way of America. The billionaires are angry; they tried their best to buy this election and again, just as before, they lost. We will sink to a new poverty low: wages will drop, the cost of living will go higher, and jobs bills will languish in a Congress that presses on for recession to get their way. No, it’s not the president. It’s the hold the billionaires have on the nation. Food stamps, low wages, and poverty will be the new way of the land. Get used to it. It is the new American principle.

Till the next time America, Wake Up!!!

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About Pam Messingham

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But Pam, this is capitalism! It makes life for everyone better when CEO’s come in and take all the money and leave the people with squat! This is PATRIOTISM in its purest conservative form, don’t you know?

  • Pam Messingham

    Oh Glenn, I so do. It’s pathetic patriotism…the new American Way!!!!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Isn’t Papa John’s the pizza chain that’s so hard up they’re running commercials during Sunday primetime featuring the not-very-cheap Peyton Manning announcing their intention to give away 2 million free pizzas?

    Hard, hard times indeed.

  • Pam Messingham

    Yep, that’s them. Amazing, isn’t it?

  • Mike Hummell

    I am Mike Hummell from the article you reference. Thank you for addressing this issue. We need to make sure that the average person understands the actual reasons for our refusal. We intend to still win this. We expect to produce these same products with the same people in at least most of the same places. We need no tombstone. Here is a link to my blog entry that details the contract offer. I hope it is cool to post it here. I only ask your readers to directly email any news sources that do not properly represent the Wonder worker. [Personal contact info deleted]

  • Doug Hunter

    No one is stopping the unions from participating in the auctioning off of Hostess parts. If they haven’t already spent their whole wad reelecting democrats they should be able to fork over a bit at the firesale prices, gain control of some brands, then they can pay whatever they want to the workers. The value of Hostess is chump change to some of the outspoken liberal billionaires, maybe they could buy it as a charity and show us how well it can be run by the workers… it might even work and change some minds. Saving good ole American union jobs, proving the liberal model, and rescuing an American icon (does anyone actually eat twinkies though?), what could be better advertisement?

    The silly American liberal still thinks it’s the very tiny slice of the ‘rich’ makin 50-100 times the salary of the average worker, when in reality it’s the American worker making 50-100 times the average of billions of workers around the world that is the problem.

    You like wealth redistribution so much? You go it in spades right in front of your eyes. What you never realized or appreciated is that you were the rich one all along, so fixated on the few above you, forgot about he billions behind.

  • Igor

    The executives are doing exactly what their (personal) plan calls for: liquidate the company and take the assets as booty!

    They’re going to burn the Hostess village to the ground and pick up the gold fillings from the peasants teeth. Just the way that Bain Capital would.

    There’s no mystery about this at all. And it’s happening all over America in every industry: execs are managing the companies into deep problems and declaring bankruptcy as soon as possible and as deep as possible. Then, they claim the liquidated asets as soon as possible to get the highest yield for the least time and effort.

    Hey, it’s easy.

    Federal corporate law allows them to cash in pension funds and healthcare funds as they wish, unless controlled by unions (those damn busybodies!)

    It’s a scam, pure and simple. Trillions of dollars in company assets across America are on the chopping block.

    The execs have NO interest in saving the company. For them, personally, their best return is to crash the company. They’ll get the assets, both as ‘retention’ bonuses and as stockholders (by this time they’ve converted all their common stocks from the ESO to Preferred stocks so they’re first in line at the bankruptcy payout window.

    It’s a scam, plain and simple. A quick killing. And it’s spreading across the American business world like a plague of locusts.

    There is NO good business reason for this corporation to fail. They make a popular retail product and they OWN the most valuable properties in the grocery business: the quick food shelves in the grocery and convenience stores. Salesmen for competitors would kill for those properties. More valuable per linear inch than mansion lots in the Hamptons! More expensive than ocean front lots in Malibu or Biarritz or the Riviera!

    Scam, folks! That’s spelled S-C-A-M. SCAM!.

  • cindy

    Great job, Pam, laying out the facts in the face of the traditional right wing constructed fantasy of blaming the worker.

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