97 thoughts on “Saving The American Twinkie Industry

  1. Thomas Matula

    You know, what I find so funny is that the Auto Bailout actually was started under President Bush and the Republican Congress.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/12/19/us-autos-bailout-idUSTRE4BI34F20081219?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10276

    Bush throws lifeline to auto industry

    But like so many of the projects President Bush started, and remember TARP was passed by the Republican Congress and signed into law by President Bush, President Obama had to finish the job. And now Republicans use it against him. And you wonder why Governor Romney lost states like Ohio where the folks knew the truth about the auto industry?

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      Obama is being blamed for the crony socialist way in which he handed the companies over to his political buddies with taxpayer money, instead of letting them go through proper structured bankruptcy.

      Surely you’re not as ignorant of the history as your comment suggests?

      1. Thomas Matula

        Rand,

        Ahh, another President Obama conspiracy theory. Just like the one Governor Romney pushed about Elon Musk and Tesla… Or do you also believe that one?

        You know that is another difference between Democrats and Republicans that probably helped the former win. The Democrats, like President Reagan and most Americans, are focused on the future while the Republicans, and their fellow travelers, are stuck on crying about the past. And trying to rewrite it to fit their narrative.

          1. Thomas Matula

            Rand,

            So you are claiming Governor Romney was telling the truth about Telsa? Its a historical fact? I guess that is why you didn’t congratulate Elon Musk on his award…

          2. Rand Simberg Post author

            OK, I’m trying to figure out what new form of dementia would get you to that conclusion.

            It is an historical fact that Obama bypassed a proper bankruptcy court, and handed the companies over to the unions and foreign buyers. In case you didn’t notice, that was what this post was about.

          3. Thomas Matula

            Rand,

            Read my post. I asked you if you believed Governor Romney’s statement about the loan to Telsa and your next post said its a historical fact.

            As for the auto bailout, the President passed up a normal bankruptcy court because there was no sure path to saving the industry that way. But continue to argue the right wing talking points are “facts” when they are merely opinion…

            And you still wonder how the Republicans lost. Its called being out of touch with the real world.

          4. Karl Hallowell

            As for the auto bailout, the President passed up a normal bankruptcy court because there was no sure path to saving the industry that way.

            Why should we believe this conspiracy theory? Especially given that what was done wasn’t a “sure path” either.

          5. Big D

            So, in your world, the rule of law is irrelevant, and we should do whatever you or your favored leader says is most likely to “save” an industry, regardless of anything else?

            Yeah. I don’t think I want to live in the world you want to see. Reminds me too much of the despotism found pretty much everywhere until 1776.

          6. someguy

            As for the auto bailout, the President passed up a normal bankruptcy court because there was no sure path to saving the industry that way. But continue to argue the right wing talking points are “facts” when they are merely opinion…

            Thomas, the overall point being made is that if the industry couldn’t have been saved through normal law channels, then it shouldn’t have been saved. Yes, that means even if the suppliers go out of business. It is not the government’s job to save jobs with taxpayer dollars. No, it is not OK when Republicans do it either.

            Someone would have bought up the car companies and the out of business suppliers and restarted production, because there is always a demand for cars. Would it have been in Detroit? Maybe, maybe not. And it is completely irrelevant anyways. So, what we have now is a company owned by the unions and the government. That was my tax money that was wasted on these guys.

            And even if the government gets the money back, that is still irrelevant because it is not the government’s job to be protecting this or that company. The government is only supposed to be the law enforcement agency. Not to play favorites and bail out companies.

            What you are not understanding is that at the end of the day, my money was taken at the point of a gun (taxes) and handed over to the unions. So, you can understand why some of us might just be a little bit angry about how this was handled.

          7. Rand Simberg Post author

            Read my post. I asked you if you believed Governor Romney’s statement about the loan to Telsa and your next post said its a historical fact.

            Thomas, please stop polluting my blog with stupid.

          8. Thomas Matula

            Rand,

            Actually that seems to be what you have been doing since the election :-)

            History will view the auto bailout as less extreme than the Federal railroad (Conrail) bailout under President Ford or the Continental Illinois bailout under President Reagan and only a bit more extreme than the Lockheed bailout under President Nixon and the first Chrysler bailout under President Carter, who was the only presidential candidate you voted for that actually won. So you are the one that really needs to study some economic history.

          9. Gregg

            Rand,

            I’ve decided to ignore TM. He’s not worth a moment of my time. When it’s shown that his assertion is false and silly, he’ll change the discussion – just like he brought in Tesla when you were talking about GM. It’s a common lib ploy and they are used to having to resort to it a lot.

          10. Thomas Matula

            Gregg,

            I see. Its OK for the Telsa to get loans from the government, but not GM. I guess when presented with facts is easier to ignore them if you attack the person presenting them.

          11. Rand Simberg Post author

            Its OK for the Telsa to get loans from the government, but not GM.

            Now you’re making an idiot of yourself attacking a straw man. Who here has said it was “OK for Telsa [sic] to get loans from the government”?

      2. Gregg

        ….not to mention the fact that legal contracts were torn up by the government and the bond holders were forced to take a haircut. The contract said they get theirs first.

        1. Gregg

          Rand wrote:

          “Now you’re making an idiot of yourself attacking a straw man. Who here has said it was “OK for Telsa [sic] to get loans from the government”?”

          I certainly didn’t (nor do I think it’s good). Nor did you?

          I wonder what hookah TM got this particular straw man out of?

    2. Engineer

      “Republican Congress ” Ummm Thomas what republican congress was that? Other issue is a lot of Tarp and Auto bailout was done post OBAMA elect so Obama had a lot more say than Bush. The democrats in congress would of push their new presidents elects agenda and not what the dead duck wanted. If Bush has refused to sign , would of given the DEMs a loaded gun that with all their power they would make sure went off and run election campaigns off it for the rest of the decade and the next one.

    3. ken anthony

      Thomas, to hell with Romney. That’s over. Back on point. You have just lost any credibility you may have had. Are you trying to say GM went through the normal bankruptcy procedures? Of course not. Are you saying he didn’t give the bond holders the shaft? Ditto. The folks knew the truth about the auto industry? Right. They did. He handed it over to the unions. We all know the truth. Thieves do tend to support their benefactors.

      To say, “Bush did it” as justification (while glaringly ignoring the differences which isn’t the point anyway) is joining Mr. Strawman in the way of his juvenile arguments.

      You know my position Thomas. The government should not be giving out taxpayer money. They have just one responsibility as far as I’m concerned and that is maintaining national defense. Everything else is tyranny. Picking winners and losers is tyranny. Waving laws for your political allies is tyranny.

      Equal justice is the foundation of our country. Favoritism by government is tyranny.

      Tyranny must not stand. This means fighting all that would support tyrants.

      1. Rick C

        “Of course the Twinkie will survive.”

        But you can bet the bakers’ union won’t be a part of it.

        1. ken anthony

          Along with cockroaches; although the news said twinkies actually have a 25 day life (and with computer packaging they can stamp the ridiculous expiration date to the fraction of a second.)

      2. Thomas Matula

        Rand,

        Its been getting hard to tell when you are joking and when you actually believe what you post :-)

      3. Paul Milenkovic

        Yes, existing “reserves” of Twinkies are projected to last the American public . . . 100 years!

    1. Leland

      I bet you think that’s awesome, Teh Moby. You’ll still be able to buy Twinkies, which are useful when you are running from nuclear bombs. But do you have any heart for the 14,000 employees that lost their jobs because of the greedy union representing 4,000 other employees?

      1. Thomas Matula

        What? A Republican caring about workers? Stop the presses!!!

        But isn’t that how a market based economy works? And the market solution to a union?

        But in reality Hostess has been in trouble for years. It was picked up by Interstate Bakeries in 1995 when near bankruptcy, sold by Ralston Purina who picked it up after it almost went under in 1984. Interstate then went through a bankruptcy in 2004, when it emerged from it in 2009 it changed its name from Interstate Bakeries to Hostess Brands which was its most famous brand line. So basically having skirted failure since the 1980′s Hostess is finally going under. The reasons are complex, far more than a union strike including changing eating habits which they didn’t adapt to.

        1. Leland

          What? A Republican caring about workers? Stop the presses!!!

          Not much of a surprise viewpoint coming from Teh Moby.

          The reasons are complex, far more than a union strike including changing eating habits which they didn’t adapt to.

          Yep, there’s those people who support Mayor Bloomberg, right Teh Moby?

          1. Thomas Matula

            Leland,

            Actually the Paleo Diet which Rand promotes is worst for Hostess Brands since all their product lines involve gluten and/or wheat based products. Indeed the firm blames the Atkins Diet fad (similar to the Paleo Diet in being heavy on meat and avoiding wheat) as a cause for their market decline and a key factor in the 2004 bankruptcy.

            http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2004/Wonder-Bread-Interstate23sep04.htm

            [[[KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In recent months, Interstate Bakeries Corp. blamed its growing difficulties on low-carbohydrate dieting. That made some sense, considering that Interstate makes carbs as celebrated as Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Ding-Dongs. And some other food giants, like General Mills, were blaming the fad, too.]]]

            In terms of the Mayor Bloomberg crowd Hostess actually have a number of health food brands like Nature’s Pride, Dutch Health, Good Health the satisfy their requirements. But there were slow to enter that market.

        2. ken anthony

          A Republican caring about workers?

          Yes, because they are the workers (uh, makers.) This fantasy that republicans are only elites is farcical. The democrats are the one’s that get their money from the fat cats. Even their smaller donations are just bundlers working the system to avoid getting caught with contribution fraud.

          1. Thomas Matula

            Ken,

            Maybe someone should tell the workers Republicans like them. Especially afterRepublican CEOs threatening them in stories like this one.

            http://www.nbcnews.com/business/koch-brothers-workers-vote-romney-or-suffer-consequences-1C6472913

            Koch brothers to workers: Vote for Romney or ‘suffer the consequences’

            And following up on the threats like this one.

            http://www.nbcnews.com/business/coal-company-fires-150-workers-response-obama-re-election-1C6977698

            Coal company fires 150 workers in response to Obama re-election

            Funny thing about Americans, they don’t like bosses threatening them like its a third world country and they are serfs, especially when it comes to how they vote.

          2. Rand Simberg Post author

            Funny thing about Americans, they don’t like bosses threatening them like its a third world country and they are serfs, especially when it comes to how they vote.

            This is stupid. They weren’t “threatening” them. They were describing economic and business reality under a second Obama term. Should they have lied to their employees and said that everything would be fine for them with Obama’s continuing war on business in general and coal specifically?

          3. rednecktech

            Around here there were several employers making non-credible threats about shutting down the company if Obama won. The manner of delivery was insulting to people that actually think about the meaning of words. Part of Obamas’ victory was idiots alienating people that agreed with them, except for the excessive stupid verbage that was unrealistic.

            As a business owner, I find it unrealistic in the extreme that someone that has struggled for years and decades to build a business will fold it because of one elections’ results, no matter how distasteful. The truth is bad enough without using extreme retoric.

          4. Leland

            You want threats, here ya go:

            “If Obama doesn’t win, I will actually start a riot. This is not a joke,”

            I know, nothing to see there, MoveOn, move on…

            Alas, make a movie mocking a religion; that will get you thrown in jail. Right Teh Moby? Mocking religion is like yelling fire in a crowded theater, according to you.

          5. Thomas Matula

            Leland,

            There is a difference between some clown posting on twitter and your boss sending you a letter about who you should vote for. Or else. Pity you don’t see the difference.

          6. Thomas Matula

            Rand,

            Yes, advice delivered in the spirit of a mob enforcer pointing out all the bad things that might happen if you don’t do as they advise…

            And I used to think you really were a Libertarian…

          7. Rand Simberg Post author

            No, in the spirit of a benevolent employer who wants them to keep their jobs, but it’s beyond his control. Again, would you have had them lie to them, as the administration bribed Lockheed Martin and others to do about the WARN Act?

          8. Leland

            Teh Moby: Who said anything about the employer lying?

            You responded to Rand. I realize you gave a non-response, but did you actually read his question to which you responded:

            Again, would you have had them lie to them, as the administration bribed Lockheed Martin and others to do about the WARN Act?

            It was the second time he asked the question, yet you refuse to answer it.

    2. Der Schtumpy

      OK, TM, so ‘somebody’ will buy Hostess, but NO ONE would have purchased GM, so Obama HAD to step in, is that what you are saying? It sure as h3ll looks that way from MY laptop!

      And having worked for employers who let the employees know tough times were coming and that we might lose our jobs or be required to take pay or benefit cuts, I NEVER thought of it as a ‘threat’ or ‘intimidation’.

      With prices going up on everything I buy, it’s a no brainer that companies are paying higher prices too. Back when I used to work, when times got tough or money was short, we had to cut back on spending. It works that way for everyone I know.

      So if costs go up for companies, unless they raise their product prices accordingly [which evidently triggers a liberal boycott] the company is courting disaster, unless they cut back. All the companies are saying that in order to keep the doors opened they’ll have to cut hours and pay and benefits.

      WHY is this so damned hard to understand for SO many people?

  2. George Turner

    In “Zombieland”, Woody Harrelson played a character in a post-apocalyptic nightmare who was obsessed with finding the last surviving Twinkies among the country’s scattered ruins – while hiding from scores of zombies. It won awards for best horror movie, best cameo, and best ensemble.

    “Zombieland II” will feature the same crazed search for Twinkies in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, but this time around I predict it will be nominated for Oscars in best dramatic presentation and best documentary.

  3. B Lewis

    @Rand Simberg, November 16th, 2012 at 2:00 pm: “Of course the Twinkie will survive. Who said otherwise? Do you have no sense of humor whatsoever? ”

    Humor be raciss. Also, Twinkies have only white filling, a shameful legacy of segregation.

      1. B Lewis

        Black Twinkies? More like Uncle Tom Twinkies. These tame “Twinkies of Color” are an insulting and patronizing attempt by Hostess to create a “house Twinkie”, a deracinated, “nice”, subservient black Twinkie that white racists can accept.

        White people are afraid of real Black Twinkies.

        Black Twinkies be raciss.

    1. Gregg

      Perhaps Michelle will convince The One to nationalize the Hostess company and change production to tofu filled quinoa cakes.

  4. Gregg

    Unions are stuck in their 1930′s heyday mindset: workers vs Heartless bastard Businessmen.

    Times have changed – as the liberals exhaustively tell conservatives. Nowadays Unions MUST start to think of what is good for the business in addition to it’s workers. Otherwise you get dead twinkies.

    1. Raoul Ortega

      What these 1930s era unions fail to realize, and the Bakers Union just demonstrated, is that sometimes the best interest of the company may actually coincide with what is best for their membership. The problem here, it seems, is that this solution was not in the best interest of the Bakers Union leadership, all the way down to the shop stewards, and that’s the problem.

      As for Twinkies, its interesting that a product that was supposed to survive Nukular Armageddon, the Zombie Apocalypse and the Heat Death of the Universe couldn’t survive the union that produced it. Maybe the solution to cockroaches is to unionize them?

    2. rickl

      Unions are stuck in their 1930′s heyday mindset: workers vs Heartless bastard Businessmen.

      Hell, that describes 90% of Democrat voters.

      1. Gregg

        Peterh,

        I was being sarcastic – I don’t think businessmen,as a class, are heartless bastards. I think the Dems portray them as such.

  5. ken anthony

    The President passed up a normal bankruptcy court because there was no sure path to saving the industry that way.

    Wow. I would love to see your face when you tell this whopper.

    Bankruptcy is how you save an industry. It is the reason for its being.

    Again, you risk your credibility by spouting such BS.

    Perhaps you think ‘sure path’ saves your bacon. Sorry, you aren’t slick enough by half.

    1. Thomas Matula

      Ken,

      Gee, you really have drunk deep from the right wing kool-aid haven’t you? Maybe President Obama should have just followed President Ford’s example and created ConCar rather than letting the firms stay private :-)

      1. ken anthony

        I’ll take that as a non response. Bankruptcy exists for a reason. You and Obama seem to think you are smarter than the history of the world.

        Let. me. speak. slowly. Government distorts. I kept it to two words so you can easily digest it. Government is the problem. Ok. That’s a bit tougher, four words. Obama didn’t save a damned thing.

        Republican CEOs threatening

        Do you know the difference between a threat and a warning? The threat is not the CEOs. They’re just trying to run profitable businesses. The threat is Obama and his policies that result in these warnings.

        These warnings were not heeded which means the results will be ‘unexpected.’

        The only real problem is the sane have no place to turn. We are stuck in the asylum with the inmates. This was no plainer than Bill Whittle’s last video.

        This is why the talk of secession. This is a serious problem with no good solution. This is the kind of thing that leads to civil war. That will not happen as long as things are manageable. However, when things, as they will, get worse…?

        1. Thomas Matula

          Ken,

          You really don’t understand do you? What President Obama saved wasn’t simply GM and Chrysler, but the numerous firms in the supply chain and communities that depended on them.

          The bankruptcy system is not really designed to handle such large firms easily. That is why the government needs to step in when they go under, because it difficult to know just how far the economic damage will go. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and George W. Bush all understood that as well as President Obama.

          The real fault is the government allowing firms to get so large in the first place. Smaller firms are better both in terms of generating innovation via competition and the economy which is the theoretical basis of anti-trust laws.

          Economic philosophies are nice in the theoretical world they are created in, but the real world is much different.

          1. Leland

            The bankruptcy system is not really designed to handle such large firms easily.

            It is, and it has. For example, see Chrysler, which was simply sold to Fiat. The only thing Obama accomplished was making sure it was sold to Fiat rather than Hyundai. Obama also made sure Penske didn’t buy the Saturn plant in Tennessee, which would have occurred under a normal bankruptcy liquidation.

          2. ken anthony

            Obama didn’t save a damned thing.

            Now you’re making me repeat myself. You haven’t been reading about what his ‘saving’ did to Delco employees, have you?

            The government never saves anything. Ever. It redistributes money. That’s it. It does it less efficiently. It destroys value. Always.

            The government does two things…

            Takes money that would have been used more productively if they had not.

            Makes a big show of spending that money for the purpose of buying votes.

            Government is the problem. More govt. means a bigger problem.

            Unless you think like Obama’s father that taking 100% in taxes is ok because the government can ‘fairly’ redistribute it all.

        2. Thomas Matula

          Ken,

          In terms of the CEO’s threatening workers, do you research. Workers feared them so it was just pointing out consequences, ti was a threat.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/wynn-employee-voter-guide_n_2018595.html

          Wynn Employee Voter Guide Pressures Workers To Vote Right

          Posted: 10/26/2012 8:38 am EDT Updated: 10/26/2012 11:20 pm EDT

          [[[one Wynn Resorts employee, who agreed to speak about the mailing on the condition of anonymity, said there was little doubt in her workplace for whom employees were supposed to vote.

          "If I had an Obama bumper sticker, I'd be scared for my job," she said. Other Wynn casino workers refused to talk to reporters.]]]

          But I guess its OK with you when CEOs suppress freedom of speech of their employees in their personal lives and try to intimidate voters…

          1. ken anthony

            Employers don’t have the power to suppress speech. They have the power to fire. These are not the same thing. Your argument is specious.

            Thomas, Nobody has a right to a job. Nobody.

            I believe in free trade. Don’t you?

            A job is just one kind of trade. Time and skill for money. That’s it.

            Should people fear for their jobs? Yes. It doesn’t matter who their employer wants them to vote for. It’s a secret ballot.

            If you think the answer is no, how do you justify that? You want a world where an employee can’t be fired? That’s like forcing people to buy from one company.

            Freedom means: Free to hire. Free to fire. Free to buy. Free to not buy. What part of freedom do you not understand? What part of freedom are you against? How could you possibly justify a position against freedom?

            How can any company intimidate their employees if the employee can choose other options? Instead you would destroy options and steal an employers right to make a fool of themselves.

          2. Thomas Matula

            Rand,

            We are not talking about the workplace, we are talking about the employee’s personal lives. Or do you believe the employee’s vote belongs to the employer?

            And do you believe that employees shouldn’t be allowed any freedom of speech outside the workplace?

          3. Thomas Matula

            Ken,

            You seem to be the one with a problem with freedom, namely with employees having the freedom to chose who they wish to vote for without intimidation by anyone.

            For me free markets also means political freedom. You need both for a democracy to be successful. But I guess that is not the world you believe in.

        3. someguy

          Thomas, political freedom means the government cannot censor you, because the government has the exclusive power of legal force. It has nothing to do with employers. An employer cannot censor you with force. He can say I no longer wish to associate with you, but that is the extent of it.

          An employer has a right to do as he wishes with his private property, and also has the right of free association. Free association means I can associate with you or not associate with you for any reason whatsoever, including that I don’t like your political views.

          If you join a church group, and they don’t like your political views, do you think they have the right to kick you out of the group if they find your views to be the opposite of theirs (for example, if you support abortion and they don’t because they believe it to be murder)?

          If the answer is no, then you don’t support freedom, because the logical implication is that now you are going to use government force (men with guns) to force them to accept you into their group.

          If the answer is yes, then it is no different than an employer-employee situation. You can join or leave as you please and they can accept you or not accept you as they please.

          The difference is that employers cannot use force on you, except maybe to kick you out of their property with security guards if you are unwilling to leave. But they cannot jail you for anything or kill you. The worst case scenario is that you get fired, which is saying that they are exercising their right to not associate with you.

    2. Josh Reiter

      “Sorry, you aren’t slick enough by half.”

      Heh, every time I read a Matula post, which I usually just pass him over, I think “too cute by half”. Or I think, “like a dog chasing his own tail.”

  6. ken anthony

    It difficult to know just how far the economic damage will go.

    You are partly right. Fewer, bigger firms cause economic fragility. They should fail and become many smaller firms. Not letting them fail causes even bigger systemic problems.

    The quicker they fail the less pain for everyone and the quicker the recovery. Instead you want to peal the bandage, the skin and perhaps some fat and muscle over a long time because apparently you like suffering.

    Hey, anybody up for a good Chinese water torture?

    1. Thomas Matula

      Ken,

      No. I think the government should aggressively enforce anti-trust laws to prevent firms getting that big in the first place. Free Markets work best when you have multiple buyers and sellers. When you only have a few sellers they distort the freedom of the market by limiting consumer options. Its no longer a competitive market but becomes an oligopoly with high barriers to both new entrants and innovation.

      Just look at the explosion of innovation that occurred in the phone market, innovation driven by competition, once AT&T was broken up.

      Too big to fail is a consequence of decades of the government failing to keep firms from getting so large they endanger the economy in the first place while retarding innovation.

      The government bailouts you are ranting against that have gone on for the last fours decades are not the real problem, the real problem is the negative impact the concentration in those industries have on the economy and competition. Rather than keeping those firms together the government should have linked the bailout to a breakup into smaller units so it wouldn’t have to do it again because they were too big to fail.

      To bring this around to Hostess Brands again, the 18,000 workers at Hostess brand represent only about 3% of the total bakery workforce of 633.000 in the United States according to figures of the American Bakers Association

      http://americanbakers.org/industry-data/

      Which means that the plants will be purchased by competitors if they are worth buying, the best workers will find jobs with competitors as they expand production to make up for the lost of Hostess products from markets and the brands themselves will probably be purchased by competitors and returned to the market.

      This is very different to the U.S. auto industry where a majority of auto workers in the U.S. were employed by the big three and the supply chain was depended on the sales of the big three for its survival.

      Also, rather than having multiple competitors in the U.S., as in the bakery industry, the main competitors were foreign firms, who were also being helped by their respective governments at the time (not to mention Canada bailing out the GM and Chrysler subsidiaries in Canada…) so its difficult seeing those workers, the plants or the supply chain continuing if the firms were liquidated.

      In short, the American bakery industry will go on without Hostess without major changes while its unlikely the U.S. auto industry would have survived its meltdown. Instead it may have followed the American T.V. industry into extinction.

      1. ken anthony

        once AT&T was broken up.

        I saw part of it as a member of the telecommunication management and operations (TM&O) dept. working in the FAA NW Mountain regional HQ (ANM) where we took the lead in contract negotiations.

        It was the 1934 Telecom Act that insured that Ma Bell would become the giant that it did. If not for that act, rural competition would have had a chance to grow bigger (they even used barbed wire at part of some networks!) But the government stepped in to protect their crony AT&T, killing or sending others overseas to try to find markets.

        Your tax dollars at work.

  7. ken anthony

    Was wrong for Telsa to take the government loans?

    This is revealing Thomas. No it was not wrong for anyone to take advantage of the environment they find themselves in.

    IT IS THE GOVERNMENT THAT IS WRONG FOR USING TAXPAYER MONEY TO PICK AND CHOOSE WINNERS AND LOSERS.

    Sorry for yelling everybody, but apparently Thomas is a bit deaf.

    Paraphrasing: Is it wrong when republican government does it?

    Yes Thomas, unlike for democrats, it is still wrong regardless of who does it.

    Too big to fail is a consequence of decades of the government failing to keep firms from getting so large…

    Leave it to you to see govt. inaction as the problem when it’s mostly political action that allows them to take over so much market share in the first place. You simply can’t get that big in relation to others in the first place when the market is open and free. It is the anti-competitive actions of govt. (always couched in terms of more competition ironically) that allow entities to dominate markets that way. Then they bail them out just when economic laws finally work against the tide of government protection of cronies.

    Finally, regarding worker speech. Workers, like their employers, can say anything they like. The universal truth is actions have consequences. Employers can be boycotted. Employees can lose their jobs. But speech has not been limited. The unions have not been limited to demand so much they put a company out of business. This is a problem that fixes itself.

    Bigots exist. You can’t legislate them out of existence. What you can do is let market forces eliminate them over time by using free speech.

    As the emperor said to Luke, “Your confidence in your government friends is your weakness.” er… or something like that.

  8. Thomas Matula

    Ken,

    Its was the Jeda, the group that was suppose to keep government in check by defending freedom…

    So where would you draw the line in government’s role in helping an industry? You seem to think SpaceX is acceptable, although justification of the ISS itself is thin and there are alternatives from other national partners.

    Instead of a loan would you have favored a “COTS” approach to electric automobiles, especially as the federal government is probably the biggest individual buyers of automobiles?

    In terms of employee voter rights, the problem is the issue of how the threat of economic retaliation might influence the democratic process. I assume you don’t believe in votes being bought for money, but isn’t that essentially what these employers are doing? “You vote the way I say and I will let you keep you job” – isn’t that “buying” votes?

    1. ken anthony

      I drew the line in bold caps above. Respond to that.

      What is acceptable is to play by the rules which SpaceX does.

      Let me try again. Any involvement in commerce by government is a bad idea and has more costs than rewards. The rewards are easy to see and the costs are easy to ignore. None of which changes the actual relationship of government and commerce.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Ken,

        I am glad you finally agree with me on COTS/”Commercial” Crew and that NASA should not be picking the winners and losers in “Commercial” HSF.

        Also the main point about the government enforcing anti-trust, and perhaps making it clearer (example – no single firm shall have more than a specific percent of the market) is so the government doesn’t have to pick winners and losers. Instead the losers are free to go under without taking the entire industry with them.

        And no, you wouldn’t be limiting revenues since a firm that has desirable product would just raise the price (and profit margin) to stay within the percentage of market share allowed.

    2. ken anthony

      I assume you don’t believe in votes being bought for money

      Bad assumption. That approach would at least be honest. As you point out, there are other ways to achieve basically the same thing that are not quite so honest (not quite how I want to phrase that… I believe that dishonesty is satanic.)

      how the threat of economic retaliation might influence the democratic process.

      Now you’re telling me you’re a virgin? Politics really is hardball with one side doing thing they accuse the other side of doing. That’s just reality.

      Your solution is government rules. Guess what? Those rules will always favor the rule makers. That is not acceptable to me. I’d rather people take responsibility for their completely transparent actions. So if a company is intimidating its employees, the solution is that everybody knows about it and the employee is responsible for their actions.

      Trying to fix this with rules only makes it worse.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Ken,

        Maybe that is the real solution to the voter ID issue, use “George” and his “friends” as the ID :-)

        Instead of one vote, one citizen go to a system of one vote, one ballot and then counties sell the ballots for $25 a piece. If you wish to buy 100 ballots for an election, and have the $2500, you get 100 votes. If you wish to buy a million, and fill them out, so be it. This way individuals who really care about an election could act on it by simply buying more ballots. And imagine how much revenue the counties would raise in the process of holding the election :-)

    1. ken anthony

      Perfect. Jobs will go away. The company will be liquidated. But in the mean time, let’s reduce the value before liquidation by wasting time with a union that cut off it’s own nose. I look forward to seeing the eventual result.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Ken,

        But its also an illustration of both the power of bankruptcy judges and why major bankruptcies, especially ones with a lot media attention, may take unforeseen routes.

  9. ken anthony

    Ken, You seem to be the one with a problem with freedom, namely with employees having the freedom to chose who they wish to vote for without intimidation by anyone. For me free markets also means political freedom. You need both for a democracy to be successful. But I guess that is not the world you believe in.

    That’s rich. I worked almost a decade for a couple that voted for people like Howard Dean and Ralph Nader. They let me go over the phone one Friday at end of day. Then called my sister to ask why I didn’t put up a fight. Why didn’t I? Because I don’t say one thing and do another. It was their company. It was their decision. I considered it a bad one, but that’s life.

    In your world I should have called my congress critter and demanded… what?

    A company belongs to its owner, not its employees. As an employee I have the freedom to make my case, but not the freedom to demand I keep a job. That would be ridiculous.

    Your idea of freedom has a different name. It’s called theft.

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