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A Death In The Family — And The Question Is: Whodunit?

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A Death In The Family — And The Question Is: Whodunit?


Born in 1930 in Schiller Park, IL, the deceased was 82 years old at the time of passing, which ironically was the day before Thanksgiving.

Having long enjoyed the sweet life, the end was a bit bitter, for the dearly departed’s estate had been mercilessly plundered in recent years by unscrupulous money managers. This left 18,500 surviving family members in dire straits. Indeed, the family contends that the octogenarian’s death was not due to natural causes, but to foul play — a case of corporate murder.

This is the drama behind the sudden death of Twinkies. Fondly remembered as “the cream puff of the proletariat” (and less fondly as a sugar-and-fat bomb that delivered a toothache in one bite and a heart attack in the next), this industrial concoction of 37 ingredients became, for better or worse, an icon of American food processing.

The father of the Twinkie was James Dewar, a baker at the old Continental Baking Co. who saw the goo-filled tube cake as a way to keep the factory’s confection machinery busy after strawberry shortcake season ended. Yes, the Twinkie was actually conceived as “food” for idle machines. How fitting is that?

But we humans happily swallowed this extruded marvel of comestible engineering. As a teenager, I probably downed my weight in Twinkies each year — and my long years on this Earth might well be due to the heavy dose of preservatives, artificial flavors and other chemicals baked into every one of those cellophane-wrapped two-packs I consumed.

The Twinkie was the best-seller of Hostess Brands, a conglomerate purveyor of some 30 nutritionally challenged (but moneymaking) brand-name food products, ranging from Wonder Bread to Ho Hos. In the past year, Hostess racked up $2.5 billion in sales — yet it suffered a staggering $1.1 billion in losses. Thus, on Nov. 21, Ripplewood Holdings, the private equity outfit that had taken over the conglomerate in 2009, pulled the plug, solemnly announcing that Hostess simply couldn’t survive.

Why? Because it was burdened with overly generous labor contracts, the firm’s executives declared, adding that greedy union officials refused to save the company by taking cuts.

Wait a minute. They claim that the bereaved loved ones of the Hostess family killed the Twinkie? Holy Agatha Christie, that can’t be right.

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a nationally syndicated columnist and one of America's most prominent progressive voices. His column carried by more than 75 publications across the country. Prior to becoming a writer, Hightower served as Texas Agricultural Commission from 1982 to 1991.

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  1. Dominick Vila November 28, 2012

    Times are changing and people are more aware of the dangers of eating things that are not good for our health. Those who read the labels on Twinkies will not give one to their children for anything in the world. Twinkies, like the Post Office, and stores like Hallmark are victims of increased awareness and new technologies that render them obsolete. Why mail a letter when yu can send an e-mail? Why send Hallmark card when you can send an electronic card? Companies that do not adjust to the changes that are taking place are doomed and they have nobody to blame for it but themselves.

    1. Ed November 28, 2012

      Dominick- Much as I love ya babe I have to disagree with ya on this one. Taking the time to find an appropriate card, or to wrie a letter on paper is uplifting to the civility of our society.

      1. Don November 28, 2012

        Lots of older people do not have computers to make and send these cards. I have made them , folded them, and sent them. I don’t like them. Hallmark i can save over the years. I even keep the cards that sing to you when you open them up. Can a Twinkie sing to you? I like something with chocolate inside. or chocolate outside and cream inside.

      2. Dominick Vila November 28, 2012

        I know, I still write letters and buy Hallmark cards for relatives and friends. Unfortunately, that is rapidly becoming the exception.

    2. Don November 28, 2012

      I will continue to buy Hallmark cards and send them with a 50 cent postage stamp. I keep telling the Post Office to raise the price on the stamp so you can pay the bills but Congress won’t let you and soon you may be brankrupt. That is the way the little Twinkie is going and who wants to pay $500 a box? Let Walmart make their own winkie.

    3. DurdyDawg December 10, 2012

      … And the ceo’s and upper management who ravishes the dying carcus before it loses it’s substance of course. These inhuman toads are the only dildos who won’t be standing in the unemployment lines.

  2. ronlar November 28, 2012

    RIP Twinkie – Now the fat cats have moved to the right of Marie Antoinette – they’ve removed the “gateaux.” As memere used to say, “Give ‘em an inch, and they’ll take a mile.”

  3. Dan MacIsaac November 28, 2012

    This sounds like the PERFECT opportunity for Mitt Romney … Get you mind off of your loss, show us what we “MISSED” and “GO SAVE the TWINKIE Mitt!

    1. Don November 28, 2012

      Yes, Rom, make it a mittie with some lying fudge in the middle.

  4. John Sehler November 28, 2012

    I’m Gonna cut my throat! No more twinkies. Ahhhhhheee. What’s a mother to do?

  5. Mike Martin November 28, 2012

    John McClain killed the Twinkie!!

  6. atc333 November 28, 2012

    Mitt will be proud. Vulture capitalism hard at work.

  7. BJ November 28, 2012

    Like most Fat Cats (part of the 3%) I won’t say all of them – they always blame the workers and the unions for why a company goes into bankruptcy. They always have memory lost because they always get their cut off the top. They can never understand why the workers are complaining, after all they get a check every two weeks. So what’s the problem??????
    It’s all your fault you workers and your union for wanting to take care of yourself and your family – you need to learn the true meaning of sacrifice.

  8. FredAppell November 28, 2012

    A health conscious America is what killed the Twinkie along with the rest of the Hostess brand. Here in the Northeast, snacks like that just weren’t selling the way they used to. Many more people have taken to riding bicycles, jogging and eating healthier. Should we blame that on the Unions too? The wealthy can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that people are waking up and wising up.

  9. Debbie Kiesel-Ryan November 28, 2012

    The unions have given concessions in the last few contracts only to see the management team take for themselves everything the workers gave back. The management team put nothing back into the company, only into their own pockest. This is not the style of successful business people, this is the style of greed and only greed. Yeah Mitt would be really proud and this is what we would have seen more of with him as our president. We need laws to protect companies from this type of thievery!!!

  10. JohnRNC November 28, 2012

    Gee, maybe if people were actually buying enough product they could pay their workers a living wage in a safe workplace and still turn a profit. But the market finally wised up and now we buy junk food that is far more nutritious than twinkies.

    On the other hand if Pop Tarts go down – I’m in deep dietary trouble….

  11. Don B November 28, 2012

    In a way I’m not sorry to see Twinkies pass away, BUT I am sorry for those 18,000 workers who have lost their jobs. What happened to their pensions? Were they raided to keep the company’s CEO’s afloat? What happened to any decency in trying to help these people find other employment in the last days of the operation of the company. Again, Wall Street types are rewarded for running a company into the ground, then taking their “golden parachutes” and leaving everyone else holding the bag.

  12. JIm November 28, 2012

    Nobody killed the twinkie it will come back

  13. Robert November 28, 2012

    The corporate honchoes of “Hostess”reminds me of the mafia in the movie “Goodfellows” where the owner of a restaurant asks the mafia Boss to help collect the money owed to him in exchange for part ownership. The mafia then charges with the line of credit for liquor and food and sells it out the back door putting the restaurant deeper in debt and then burning the place down for the insurance. The only difference was that the “take over company” was able to get rid of 18,500 employees.

  14. Jim Lou November 28, 2012

    What we are seeing is the result of Leverage Buy Out. This is where a company is bought with borrowed money and the company is left holding the bag. This is similar to what BAIN has been doing.

    RIP Twinkie.

  15. Ed November 28, 2012

    This is called the Bain style of management. Greed will destroy America!

  16. James Taylor November 28, 2012

    I truly hated to see wonder and all of it’s products go away like that and it’s a damn shame that the owners didn’t care enough about a quality company to help it survive. I feel for the employees they didn’t deserve getting screwed and when reports first started coming out I had a feeling that management just didn’t care

  17. Don November 28, 2012

    I have never liked the Twinkie. Now i can’t even taste anything as everything taste blaaaaaa

  18. I have not eaten a twinkie in 50 years. I think that pink and white snow balls were my preference. If everyone ate these products daily, we would not be talking about it. In the the current corporate agenda, it is always a good strategy to attack the employees to assign blame for nonprofitability in the corporate world. I hope that the individual bakeries will be bought up by organizations who want to produce healthy food for the public to eat. The Hostes employees will then be able to compete for job opportunities and move on. Hopefuly the former CEO will enjoy gambling on the stock market with his profits.

  19. ExPAVIC November 28, 2012

    Same Old Story

    Fat cat management in the Romney style where management fat cats get their pile, breaks the company, and then they blame the union employees. The same ploy used in the Reagan union busting era which started the path to oblivion for the middle class.

  20. Hal November 28, 2012

    This article reeks of Faux News. The company was already in bankruptcy years ago BEFORE they were bought out. Full disclosure here. Lots of guilty parties including the unions.

    1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

      Hal, right you are. But you must realize that this sea of leftist insanity called “The Memo” has absolutely NO interest in honest journalism. Rather, the useful idiots that write here are nothing more than a mouth piece and defender of their fearless messiah Obozo. And the leftist freaks that post on here wouldn’t give one sheet about it if Obozo was caught on tape performing lewd acts with children. Doesn’t matter, they’d defend him anyway. Trust me on this. It’s true. I’ve said that 100 times on here and I have never had a single one of them dispute that statement. Not a single one.

      Have a nice day!

      “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency…Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Czech Republic newspaper Prager Zeitung

      1. JSquercia November 28, 2012

        Of coursae no one disputes YOU your claim is just absurd but just for the record I DISPUTE you on this one . After all Obama is not a Priest

  21. David November 28, 2012

    Sounds just like what Mitt Romney did to Delphi here in Michigan, but in that case over 460,000 lost their jobs while Romneys hedge fund company kept the employees pensions and sold of the companies piece by piece and made multi millions off of the deal while he sent what remained of delphi to China and Mexico.

    Ever since the Corporate tax cuts of the Bush Jr. 2000-08 corporate greed has gotten out of control, the rich get richer while the middle class suffers in this on-slot of CEOs fattening there pockets while firing families and letting them rot!

    This all above is what America has turned into and yet the Republicans are blaming all of this on our current president when its the Bush policies that allowed all of this to happen.

    1. JSquercia November 28, 2012

      Yet all you hear on TV is how they had to close because of the unions . NO mention of the CEO getting a 300% raise or how the new owners loaded the Company up with debt . I have no doubt the company looted the Pension fund and so of COURSE the Taxpayers will have to pay for THAT via the Pension Guarantee Fund

  22. howa4x November 28, 2012

    I feel bad for the union workers, but in a way don’t feel bad that another nutritionally worthless item is being taken off the shelves. We are in an obesity epidemic with children where the rate is somewhere around 14%. I would like to see more of these dangerous products leave the shelves. I want every adult to think abot something. We have a scheme that pays for social securtity and medicare, and it’s called a payroll tax. I’m in my 60’s and actually contributed a lot for my benefits but those in their late 70’s , 80’s and 90s didn’t. They recieve much more than they ever contributed, so I’m paying for them and later generations will pay for me and so on. But now we have a situation where the young people will be too ill to work and obese children will develop heart disease and diabetes, so their ability to contributre in the future, is questionable. Who will pay for their medical care? The army is already sounding the alarm by saying 22% of recruits are too fat to fight. So don’t mourn the Twinkie. It is a product that has done much more harm than good, and should have been taken off the shelves a long time ago.

    1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

      Right on howie!!!!! Way to go, boy! I mean, finally I agree with you… the government should pass laws and regulations that tell all of us Americans what we can and cannot eat. You know, like a daily email from the government telling us what our menu will be for the day, right. After all, if they are paying for our healthcare, why can’t they tell us exactly what to eat? Good thinking howie. That stupid freedom thing is waaaaayyyy overrated, isnt it? After all, you need those young drones to get to work so you can live off their backs, right?

      You’re a dope, howie, and you’re dangerous because you vote.

      Have a nice day!

      “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

      1. JSquercia November 28, 2012

        Sorry Bozo , it looks like the President is STAYING for 4 more years .

      2. DukeDacat November 28, 2012

        Hey Creep, now that you have had your ass handed to you, just go crawl back in your hole………..

        By the way, Have a nice day!!!!!

      3. howa4x November 28, 2012

        Oh you again! I didn’t write that the government should pass laws telling us what to eat or not. I think you tried to take the point and fit it into your own anti government veiw of reality. The point is that we have a national crisis not said by me, but by the joint cheifs of staff, which is no liberal think tank, and the CDC . 35% of adults and 14% of kids are already obese, and more than 60% of adults are overweight. 22% of recruits could not pass the Army physical due to being overweight. The adults suffer from type 2 diabetes as do the kids. This disease requires a lot of medical intervention, and is a cost driver . People who are obese also have hypertension, and other heart ailments, which also require medical interventions, and some even need amputations which cost well over 100k per. All the kids wiht diabetes will develope heart problems as well. These are all facts something that usually eludes Republicans since they exist outside the bubble. The article was bemoaning the fact that twinkies will disappear, and the role that Mitt’s Bain company had in it’s downfall. Now I hope we are clear up to this point. I wrote that I’m not going to miss Twinkies beacuse they are worthless nutritionally and would love if all the other sugary foods and candy disappear. Now you as a republican have to right to eat all this garbage, and even shove down your kids throats, which I don’t care about. What we all should care about is who is going to pay for all these sick kids in the future. I sat on the board of a teaching hosp for 10 yrs and I know how cost intensive these diseases are. If we all are concerned about the high cost of health care, as I’m sure you are, then we can deal with it on the front end through better nutrition education, or deal on the back end by all of us paying higher insurance premiums, and health care costs. You are always complaining about government costs so how would you handle it smart ass.

        1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

          Howie… first off, I have a question: I constantly hear about how “we” have an obesity problem, but when I go to the supermarket or sit and watch TV, I am constantly asked to donate to help solve hunger problems. How can we have millions of kids that are hungry and at the same time have an obesity problem? I’m just asking. Do you have an answer? Is there anyone left who is normal? Please advise.

          Secondly, I do have a plan to solve the high cost of health care… it’s called, get the effing government the hell out of it! I have posted this many, many times before here on this site so you are free to scroll through my history, but the reality is that health insurance should be like car insurance. Widely available, extremely competitive, available in many different formats and choices, and priced to reflect those choices in consideration of the risks the insured presents by their history. Bad drivers pay more than good drivers. That’s the way it should be. What you dummies on the left fail to understand is that by taking away the responsibilities of paying for one’s own healthcare, the natural result of this is more people living without having to pay for the consequences of bad behavior. Hence, more bad behavior. You leftist freaks just simply do not understand these principles. When you finally do, you will no longer be a leftist freak. Remember, whatever you subsidize, you tend to get more of. Subsidize bad behavior by lowering the cost of that bad behavior, and you get more of it.

          Third, I don’t follow your premise that “we are all in this together” crap. That’s Marxist clap trap rhetoric. That’s all it is, and it’s an excuse for politicians to take advantage of morons that willfully sacrifice their own liberties in exchange for a recuction or elimination of personal responsibilities. Idiots who buy that lie deserve all the hell they get from an overbloated and tyrannical government where politicians hold the power and individuals are merely subjects. And don’t tell me that I’m overblowing this point. What the hell do you call it when a government controls your healthcare, your education, your retirement, your mortgages, and every other facet of life? You just don’t perceive it this way, howie, because somewhere inside your mind you think this march toward massive government is somehow good. You think there’s some truth to the belief that masterminds in government know better for everyone than they do for themselves. Guess what, you’re dead wrong!

          And America was not founded on the collectives ideals that “we are all in this together” and for the purpose of bestowing benefits on the masses through redistributive policies and debt financing, but instead was founded for the purpose of protecting individual sovereignty and rights to freedom and liberty.

          So while you may continue imagining there is some utopia that can be achieved through government policy, I’ll continue to know that you’re like that happy follower of the Pied Piper, gleefully marching off to your own demise. Unfortunately, too many of you exist that are beginning to be attracted to the principles of socialism and a religious-like faith in government where there isn’t a single shred of evidence to justify that faith. Like I have said before, liberalism is the disease that presents itstelf as it’s own cure.

          Have a nice day, howie!

          As William Voegeli put it in Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, “Liberals don’t want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now. The corollary of this stance is liberals’ refusal even to entertain questions on the dimensions of a welfare state that is exactly the right size.”

          1. howa4x November 28, 2012

            You are unbelievable. You really live inside the bubble and see the world in a rightwing way. 1st off I’m not a leftist, that is something from your own imagination that you use to try and degrade me. I’ don’t know where you live but I see obese people everyday, some so heavy that they can’t walk around and have a motorized cart, and I live in a thinner state. The south is the heaviest and some states like Misissippi and Tennese rank amoung the fattest. The south leads in the rate of diabetes and you can look that up anytime.
            I don’;t know where you get your information except you write like a Fox news watcher.

            As I wrote I was on the board of a hospital and know where health care costs come from and it’s not government regulation, that is a right wing myth. The only health care system that the government runs is th VA. Everything else is private or non profit. The only process the government regulates is patient care to prevent disease spread,and that is the state not the feds, since the state issues a license.The rules and regulations mostly refer to facilites. Ex. You need a operating room to do surgery
            There is no national standard of care for any disease. Lawyers are the biggest regulatory system since they sue when there is wrongful death or dismemberment. There won’t be any tort reform(another right wing slogan) untill there is a national standard that all doctors adhere to and are held accountable to, instead of the free for all that exists. No government agency challenges the decisions of a doctor,(bubble myth)only lawyers do.
            Doctors are licensed by the state and not the feds.

            Prior to the ACA Insurance companies ran the health care system, and will exert a lot of authority under the refomed system. They alone determined length of stay, and what procedure would be done or not on any patient, whether a patient qualified for surgery or not, and what treatments they would get. They are profit making organizations and made their money 2 ways. 1 deny care for pre existing conditions.ex So if you had scarlet fever as a youngster and developed heart disease later they could say that you had the condition all along, or drop you from coverage if you had marginal health status. Sometimes ins co’s would wait till after you had the surgery to tell you that they were not going to cover it. This was the primary cause of personal bankruptcies. They are the ones between you and your doctor, not the government. The feds audit medicare/medicaid after the fact to see if there is too much over teating or un need surgeries. It is estimated that there is 700 billion of waste, fraud, un needed surgery and over tesating in the currrent system

            Obamacare didn’t regulate the health care system(myth) it put regulations on the insurance companies. How much of your premium should go directly to your care and how much to profit, they can’t drop you for pre existing conditions or drop you from coverage, and your kids could stay on your policy till 26. In order for the insurance companies to not keep dropping people, the congress said ok then everyone has to buy it both sick and well, young and old. That way the ins co can keep their profit margins the same and wall st was happy since the ins industry is publically traded. I don’t see how this is socialistic and is actually an idea dreamed up by the heratige foundation a republican think tank. It revolves around personal responsibilty for you own health Once again only states have the authority to regulate the hospitals through their licensure.

            Insurance rates are determined through a risk profile, so if you are in a large group plan the companies determine what is the risk profile of the plan participants. That determines the price and it and is ajusted to area as well. So if you live in a state with a high rate of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, you will pay more for your private insurance. See how this all ties together? The socialistic system you on the right always yip about is the public option which we don’t have, but people on medicare do somewhat, so to say that Obamcare is socialistic or a tyrannical take over of health care is a bald face lie. Get that bucko! So go back to watching Fox and listening to Beck, Palin, Coulter, Hannity, O’Reiley, and of course that picture of health Limbaugh feed you a line of untrue crap. Stay away from thinking people because you will look silly.
            See how I wrote all that without call you names

          2. ObozoMustGo November 29, 2012

            Howie… you and I have had some good exchanges in the past, and frankly I like and respect your opinions. But for you to say that Obozocare is not “socialistic or tyrannical” flies in the face of reality. When government can force you into a private contract for goods and services, how is that not tyranny? My liberty and right to NOT purchase a product are harmed. If the government can force me to buy this product, where is the limit to what they can The fact that Obozocare relies on private insurance companies at first is nothing but a ruse. The entire act is designed to eliminate private insurance and slowly put the Feds in control of healthcare. This is a “camel’s nose in the tent” effort, and you know it. Millions of people will be dropped from employer provided plans because it will be cheaper for the company to dump them and pay the 8% tax than it will be to pay for government dictated coverage. Over time, the Feds will end up taking control. All of these socialist schemes end up that way. Witness SS. When it was passed, it was supposed to be voluntary, and only as a last resort for those that were in need. Look at it today. It has consumed all citizens into it’s retirement Ponzi scheme, except not surprisingly lawmakers and government bureaucrats. Obozocare will do the same thing.

            You leftists love this crap about “pre-existing conditions” but you fail to understand that forcing a health insurance company to cover pre-existing conditions is exactly the same as forcing an auto insurance company to cover a driver AFTER they wreck the car. And in places where they have passed such requirements, this is exactly what happens over and over and over again. How you guys on the left don’t understand this simple economic incentive that is created which makes it advantageous to avoid spending money on health insurance because you can get it after you are sick is beyond me. And the answer is NOT the tyranny of forcing people into buying a private product and service. Many people that are not insured are that way by choice. I would never buy an insurance plan that covered every sniffle and doctor visit and pills I could possibly need. I’m in my mid 40’s and over 26+ years of working, I can asssure you that the total expenditures that both I and my employer have put up for my health insurance is north of a quarter million dollars at least. My entire family over that time has not consumed even 10% of that amount. I would way rather have that money in a health savings account building up over my life to cover my needs when I am old. And just in case I need it earlier, buy a low cost catastrophic plan that picks up only the major crap that could happen earlier in life.

            You see, the principles that create efficiencies in auto insurance or any other market are exactly the same in health insurance. You lefties love to confuse the argument over health insurance by referring to it as the same as health care. They are 2 separate issues. After all, someone that doesnt have insurance can have access to health care. You worked for a hospital. How many people that were severly sick walked in your doors and were turned away? I’ll bet none. So the issues of getting care, and how it’s paid for are 2 different things. The types of plans that are offered and will be required are exactly the reason health care costs so much. Think of it this way. If your car insurance covered routine maintenance, how much more do you think auto care would cost? If a mechanic had to employ staff to file paperwork or get repairs approved before performing it, the shop overhead would go way up, and the costs would go way up. Add to that, the cost of the overhead at the insurance company that would be required to approve, track, compensate, and audit the transactions for all car repairs and you begin to see that the premiums consumers must pay will also skyrocket. And the spiraling cost increases that we have seen in health insurance and health care will replicate themselves. You see Howie, the economic system we have for healthcare is a complete incentive trap that creates the perverse results that we see. I am surpised that your working on a board at a hospital has not lead you to this understanding.

            Now, just to be clear, I am not suggesting that the least amongst us not have some form of healthcare safety net. And I’m not suggesting that there be no government oversight. Certainly some is needed. But I am suggesting that the system underwhich we currently operate and will operate under Obozocare is a false promise that will lead to horrible results. The only real solution is to completely scrap the perverted incentive system of health insurance and health care that we have today. Unfortunately, there’s too many people in this country that believe they can get something for nothing or next to nothing, or that someone else has a responsibility to pay for their needs. I am afraid we will need to see the breakdown in the system before we find politicians that have the guts and moxy to tell people the truth. Not sure I’ll see that in my lifetime.

            Thanks for the discussion, Howie. I mean that. Don’t take my calling you a dope too personally. I like to joke around and poke fun with friends, as well. And I take as much as I dish. You should see my inbox every day. 🙂

            Have a nice day, Howie!

            As William Voegeli put it in Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, “Liberals don’t want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now. The corollary of this stance is liberals’ refusal even to entertain questions on the dimensions of a welfare state that is exactly the right size.”

          3. howa4x November 29, 2012

            I don’t dislike you and at times you provide a good reasonable discourse. I agree with some of your points about the government forcing healthy people to purchace health insurance is not great, but you can’t have it both ways. Conservatives want prople to have responsibility for their own health care , and getting them to buy insurance is a republican thing to do not a democratic one. This idea was formulated by the heritage foundation(republican think tank), and 1st presented on the floor of the senate by Bob Dole, who is by no means considered a leftist, as the republican answer to Hilliarycare. Romney a republican governor, adopted this plan for Massachuttses, and went on CNN to say this should be a national model for heath care reform.
            You can’t look at the ACA in a vacum and you have to see what it was trying to correct, so let’s set the stage. During the Bush years there were approximately 32 million that lacked insurance and access to the illness intervention system. A Harvard study concluded that out of that number 50K died every year, men, women and children. The other issue is that every health care portal is this system is a profit making entity.

            The insurance companies didn’t want the uninsured since they are owned by Wall st investors and were expected to return a 20% profit on investment, and wanted only paying customers. One might ask here, is this an efficient way to run this system? A good example of this is Aetna Ins co. One yr they came through with an 18.5% profit. Wall st downgraded their stock and Aetna responded by cancelling the coverage for 8.5 million margially healthy Americans. This is what happens when private enterprise runs your system. In that system the first .20 of every dollar of premiums paid went to Wall st, and not to your care.

            Every doctor’s office is an LLc and is there to maintain a profit at years end. They work hand and hand with Big pharma in the dispensing of drugs. Big Pharma realized a long time ago that since they have to return a profit to investors, they really can’t make drugs that actually cure you, but rather they maintain your illness. So you can take insullin for diabetes for 20 yrs and won’t ever be cured of the disease. The problem with all these drugs though is that they have side effects, sometimes toxic ones like cancer drugs, so you always have to go back to the doctor either for testing or a modification to a different drug. Every time you walk into that office there is a charge since it’s a fee for service system. Unlike your analogy of a car, where you can always go back to the garage and demand a refund if they don’t fix it, you can’t demand a refund for a drug that dosen’t work, or causes you harm. Statins don’t really work as well as diet and exercise, but have toxic effects on your liver, which requires more tests and more money paid.
            Hospitals take a cut of every service preformed by a staff doctor or visiting specialist. They work off a payer mix of medicare/medicaid, private pay and insurance. They are also the last resort for the uninsured who stream into the emergency rooms for care, since doctors won’t see them in private practice, hurts their bottom line. They cost shift from low paying plans to higher paying ones so that’s where you get the $40. asprin. This is a very expensive form of care and it’s like you takikng an old care to an Accura dealer for repair. Your state taxes reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured.
            In the end we pay about 2.6 trillion for illiness intervention. Of that number around 700 billion is based on un needed testing, fraud, un needed surgery, prolonged hospital stays on vents, and could be cut out. We spend far more than every country in the world on illness because it’s all about profits. How do we rank? 34th in the world in terms of health of our population, just behind Costa Rica.
            France is # 1 and they have a public option.
            All the ACA said to the ins companies is spend .80 out of every premieum dollar on paitent care, so wall st is really pissed off, don’t drop anyone, and there are a few pilot programs to see how we lower costs and improve outcomes.
            It is not great but better than nothing

            How would you design a system that achieved the goals of a healthier America with lower costs?. Tell me what would you change? Don’t just complain about it. How would you cover everyone?
            Have a good day

          4. ObozoMustGo November 29, 2012

            Howie… First off, it’s not the profit in the system that drives costs higher. The profit is what drives costs lower. Have you ever worked in private industry before? The profit motive is what drives companies to continually make goods and services more efficient and more cheaply. I guarantee you that without the profit motive, there is no incentive to be more efficient and more cost effective. This is why anything the government ever does results in huge cost overruns and excessive costs. Any business the government runs is a huge debacle. Witness Amtrak and the Post Office and the billions in subsidies needed every year to stay afloat. Look at every major mass transit company that needs billions to stay afloat. They can’t do it.

            The study you cited about the US being 34th inthe world is a UN study that is absolutely completly false. The main criteria used in the study included the existence of government provided health care as heavily weighted variable. The point of the study was specifically to put the US system down. I think they even rated Cuba above us. Therefore, it has no credibility. As proof, I will ask you this question: If you have a heart problem, where are you going? Costa Rica? Cuba? Any other place on earth? Or are y0u going University of Pennsylvania Hospital? Or the Mayo Clinic? Or Johns Hopkins? Don’t lie. Be honest. Why do so many foreigners that have money come to the US to be treated when we are so bad? The reason is that we are not because when push comes to shove, any individual on planet earth with the ability and need will come here. I don’t give a sheet what the socialist pigs at the UN say.

            As well, you keep citing all of these studies and stats. The reason you do this is because the very premise of your thinking begins with a “collectivist” mindset. I reject the collectivist mindset wholeheartedly. Such thinking is the source of disastrous and misguided policies that transfer individual liberty and private property rights (my earnings are my private property) to scrupulous politicians and bureaucrats that pledge to solve all of societies ills.

            You asked what kind of system would I design? It’s simple and it doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. Make health insurance operate just like car insurance. Sort of like this:

            First, get rid of employer provided healthcare. Transfer whatever was being paid by the employer to the employee as added wages. Let’s face it, what the employer is paying already is money that comes off the top of wages anyway. Then, allow people to shop and buy whatever kind of plan they so desire or not. This would make people economically sensitive to the cost of products and services they are buying. And that responsibility would certainly result in better health behaviors by more people. It’s amazing how behavior changes when one is aware of the consequences and is responsible for the costs of that behavior.

            2nd, Allow doctors and hospitals the right to not serve people who elect to not be insured, or to require cash payment or offer payment plans. There will also be doctors that will serve the cash market and will find a way to operate profitably serving that segment of the market. Where there’s a need, there is always a market.

            3rd, For the least fortunate amongst us, offer temporary vouchers to purchase minimum plans that will cover them in the event of major illness. For those that are permanently physically or mentally disabled and whom do not have family members that help them, grant them a permanent voucher that covers their specific type of care. These would be costly, but the actual number is extremely low compared to the population as a whole, and I don’t know anyone who would deny the disabled coverage. Doing this would resolve the matter over how we deal with the most vulnerable amongst us, and still leave the the maximum amount of freedom within a market based system.

            4th, Allow insurance companies to compete nationally. Not sure why we need 50 state bureacracies and 1 Federal bureacracy to the bloated extent we we have now. All of that is massive overhead on the total cost of the system. It needs to be reigned in. Of course, no disputes that we need oversight. You guys on the left believe that’s what conservatives think, but it’s not true at all. We need the FDA and we need regulatory standards, but not to the extent we have today.

            You know the innerworkings of the delivery system better than I do, Howie. But I also know that continued socialization of any market, be it healthcare, education, or the Post Office, results in higher costs, services being rationed, scarcity, and overall lower and lower quality. The opposite is the results of highly competitive free markets. The answer to a quasi-socialized market is NOT more socialism of that market. Remember, liberalism is the disease that presents itself as its own cure.

            My position is that we should harness the power of those free markets, not stifle or control them. Free market economics has been the single greatest engine of growth and prosperity for all mankind that has ever existed. I think if we stick to those principles, there’s a lot of ground where we can work together to fix what is a failed concept of a highly regulated and stifled market combined with a quasi-socialist system. To think otherwise is to place a misguided and seemingly unwaivering faith in the competency of politicians and bureaucrats that heretofore has NEVER been proven to exist based on objective, factual, historical observation.

            Thanks for the great discussion, Howie. You’re a good guy. I can tell. 🙂

            Have a nice day!

            “Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
            the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,
            its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..”
            — Winston Churchill

          5. howa4x November 29, 2012

            Something I have to point out to you that may shock and stun. What you described is what is in the ACA with minor variations.

            As part of the ACA states are required to set up insurance exchanges where companies will compete to offer the best price on insurance coverage. Those that don’t make enough will be subsidized to be able to afford to purchace insurance. People will be able to pick from a menu of coverage options so for example if you have no kids you don’t have to buy a pediatric plan.
            Pt 2 if hospitals took Hill-Burton(construction) money from the feds then as part of the funding they have to accept the uninsured. Private practice doctors already don’t except uninsured patients so that is not an issue. If you are really poor or on welfare you get a clinic card and are seen at a hospital based clinic. What you are talking about are people who are working but make too much for welfare and too little to afford insurance, and where the work place doesn’t provide it. If we want to keep people out of the hospital emergency rooms we need to set up primany care alternatives with a sliding scale payment schedule.These are usually staffed by hospital interns.
            Pt 3. I think I covered that above
            Pt 4
            If they tell you, that it’s a myth about lowering primeiums. Isurance rates use the CPI of an area to set rates along with risk profile data of the policy holders. So if there are a lot of people with poor health status in you state or region then the coverage price will adjust to keep the profit margin intact. The insurance companies don’t want state regulations to interfere with business. Example. In NJ Ins cos were kicking post partum women out of the hospital in 24 hrs after delivery. The state stepped in and passed a law giving women a 48 hrs stay. Let’s take your example with car insurance. All the companies are nationwide but all still use accident data to determine rates in a given area. So if you live in a urban area you will be paying a higher rate than a person who lives rurally. You get no break because the company sells across lines.

            In answer to your conclusion. We had a free market uncontrolled system up to the end of the Bush presidency, and it didn’t cure problems it created them. That is how we ended up with 32 million uninsured and 50k deaths a year. That is how the Aetna situation that I described to you happened. It was all unregulated. The problem with free markets and especially in health care is there is way too much concern with profit and less with patient care. Doctors to make a profit order un need tests, prefom un needed surgery all to get money. Drug companies make drugs that don’t work, all for increased profits. that is an unregulated market approach. Do you want your family to have to deal with that?Would you like your wife or children to get un need ed surgery so the doctor can make a profit? How do you like being treated with drugs that don’t cure you?this is the free market you want. Wild west in medicine. It dosen’t work. We’ve been there and done that as they say. You can’t say free market and control of health care costs in the same sentence and have it meaningful. Hospitals already compete and it hasn’t lowered costs. We need to take the profit out of the system, but let everyone eran a good living if you want to ever control costs.
            I will leave you with this. When CIGNA was dropping people off their coverage and denying care for pre existing conditions, people who needed operations, who had cancer and heart disease, children who had birth defects the CEO made 24 million that year because he made a profit for the company.

            This is why the ACA was passed
            Have a great day good chatting with you

          6. ObozoMustGo November 30, 2012

            Howie… you could not be more wrong. We have not had a free market in healthcare in a long time. And your obsession with Bush is boring, dude. To hear the leftist freaks tell it, everything was perfect when Clinton left office and somehow magically got bad on day 1 of Bush’s term. It’s a lie. Don’t be a fool, Howie. Social problems persist across presidential terms, and you know it.

            Your belief that doctors order more tests and do unneeded surgery for more money is a fantasy. If any unneeded tests are being done, I’ll bet you in 90% + instances it is for defensive medicine to prevent being sued. No question about it. Also, this whole notion that somehow when a doctor and a nurse work in an ER, they cost more than when they work in an office or on a floor of the hospital is bullsheet. I happen to know that hospitals mickey mouse their accounting to show ER costs higher so they can justify higher reimbursements. It’s a mirage. Further, if you read what I wrote Howie, you would have read where I said we do need some oversight, and did not infer wild west healthcare was the solution.

            You’re assertion that Obozocare is just like what I proposed is dead wrong. I proposed a free market model like auto insurance, which is a highly efficient market. By the way, there is some oversight in that market, as well. And in that market, while an insurance company may consider regional characteristics as they should (drivers in cities are more likely to have claims), the most significant factor is a particular driver’s record. And it is assessed individually, not collectively. Health care costs and insurance will drop drastically if we follow that same model.

            You want more proof that government run healthcare is a disaster in waiting? Try this link Howie. Look what they are doing in the UK. This is a pattern that is repeating itself from Nazi Germany in the 30’s. And it is coming here.


            When you break down this discussion to it’s core, Howie, it is clear that you have a problem with the profit motive. This problem you have with profit and free market economics is evident not only in this discussion, but in your philosophy that weeds itself into almost every one of your posts. The false notion that if all we do is take the profit out of healthcare and let the government run it and everything will be OK flies in the face of reality and historical evidence. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

            When you say “We need to take the profit out of the system, but let everyone earn a good living if you want to ever control costs”, this displays a stunning lack of understanding for how things work. Who decides what a good living is for others? You? Obozo? Me? What right do I or you or anyone else have to determine for another what “earning good living is”? Howie, that’s socialist and tyrannical thinking. How could a man that grew up living in freedom in America possibly think like that? I know you are old enough that you came up through the era of communism. How could you not see the consequences of those system on their people? My hunch is that you came of age in the 60’s and were part of the 60’s radical crowd that has grown older, but maintained the starry-eyed ideals that mankind can be perfected through government policy and control. Wishful thinking, my friend.

            Thanks for the discussion, Howie!

            Have a great weekend!

            “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannize but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
            ― Alexis de Tocqueville

          7. howa4x November 30, 2012

            You remain dellusional about how a hospital really works. Most emergency rooms are unbundled private corporations that charge $500. to walk in the door. Does your doctors office charge that? They are not part of the hospital and are usually owned by a doctors group, as are some of the high tech testing like CAT scans and PET scans, which are also off campus.. This is why having them be the portal of entry for the uninsured makes no economic sense if you are serious about controlling costs as Mitt Romney suggested their use. He knows better and his healthcare reform plan moves people away from that, and into primary care. Health care cost control basically is moving people to the lowest cost center for their non emergent care. Do you at least agree with that?
            The institute of medicine did an extensive study and determined the HC system is riddled with waste and fraud, around 700 billion so I didn’t make that up. Unneeded testing that is not just defensive medicine but unnecessary, unjustified surgery, and pharmacuticals that weren’t appropriate for the disease. Most of the intensive health care costs(80%) are spent in the last year of a patients life. Think of someone with an advanced stage of cancer, that patient will spend the last month in a hospital bed. Think of some elderly patient on a vent which costs $5000./day. An ICU/CCU bed is over $5000/day. This all adds up.The hospital on was on the board of usually made a net profit of 2 million/year
            The HC system is divided into two parts. One being illness intervention and the other being managed care(insurance).
            Managed care came out of california and worked well there because the insurance company(Kaiser) owned all the primary care and the hospital so it was in their best economic intrest to keep people healthy. All the kids got their immunization on schedule and a lot of counseling was done to reduce risky behaviors like smoking. It dosen’t work well when it is overlayed on a fragmented fee for service system, and this is the place where we differ.
            The managed care companies first lowered the patient days in a hospital, which netted them millions. They were the darlings of Wall st and shares of US health were skyrocketing. Then the inital managed care companies sold to the tradional companies like Aetna and travelers, CIGNA and the like. Now they had no more patient days to grab and the original Managed care companies squeezed the profit out of the system. The only way to make a profit then was to deny care, drop marginally healthy people, seriously shorten stays, create gate keepers to try and diswade you form expensise care since now you need their approval, and not pay the hospital for care they already gave, and the battle for money began.
            The hospitals responded by unbundling their services into different corporations, and creating seperate bills. The doctors realized right away that the companies and also medicare/caid would pay for testing, so this was not all done as a protection from lawyers.
            The problem in all of this is that the people were not getting better care it was worse, with hospitals and ins co fighting over the level of care that patient would get. Sometimes lawyers were brought in to fight ins co’s for care. Ins cos began dropping people at a faster rate and denying more and more care. Why? to keep wall st happy and stock prices high.This is how we eneded up wiht 32 million uninsured. None of this improved the health status of the poulation, in fact it got worse. This is the dirty side of profits in health care. You can call me any name you want but you can’t change what went on. the difference between me and you is I care about people and their health, and you care about the free market no matter what the human cost .
            Have a great week end
            Your pen pal

    2. rothgar November 28, 2012

      Interesting point but the Twinkie predates the explosion of obesity. In fact the obesity epidemic seems to correlate better to the increase in “healthy” eating and more organized youth activities.

      1. howa4x November 28, 2012

        true but it is still garbage, and goes along with all the sugary food we feed our rolly polly kids

    3. Yappy2 November 29, 2012

      This is a country of choice. Almost anyone can eat anything as long as it is in moderation. Do you think because Hostess has shut down and caused 18,000 jobs lost that people are now going to slim down? There are plenty products out there that are not healthy if you eat too much. Ice cream, cookies, pies, fried chicken, french fries, just to name a few. If we close all these industries down, then we really are going to have a downturn in the economy.There are problems with obesity but it wasn’t caused by Hostess. It was caused by lack of disicpiline on eating too much or lack of exercise. Some people do actually have low motaabolisms too.

    4. DurdyDawg December 10, 2012

      Nobody’s mourning the twinkie, rather the workers who were also sacrificed not because it was the right thing to do but because higher management wanted to milk it for all it was worth before the demise, leaving their loyal workers to fend for themselves.

      1. howa4x December 10, 2012

        this is the corporate greed that is killing our country

  23. James P Savage III November 28, 2012

    Twinkie was “Romneyed”!!!

  24. Bob Williams November 28, 2012

    The unions decided to hold Hostess’ feet to the fire to see who blinked first, and management didn’t blink. In Capitalism, the object is to make money. The owners of Hostess would not shut the company down if they could still make a accepted ROI on their investment after giving out raises. But the union morons took the Air Traffic Controller’s approach to negotiations, and were equally successful – namely they failed, and caused 18,000 union slugs to loose their jobs. Too bad – so sad. The good news is that these union slugs can now devote full time to their search for better high-paying jobs. Hmmm? I wonder how that will work out for them?

    Mitt Romney has probably created more jobs with private money than Obama has with $6 trillion of our money. Show me just one instance where Mr. Romney has done anything illegal during his professional career. And if you blowhards living in your mother’s basement have the money, why not buy Hostess out and run the business as you see fit.

    Oh – I get it. Your Disability checks don’t give you enough money to do that. But the unions have billions in various investments. Why don’t they buy out Hostess and give every employee a huge raise? The union bosses may not be the brightest folks on the planet, but they know that wouldn’t be a prudent business decision.

    If you knuckleheads really know how to run a business, why aren’t you out there making millions – just like Mitt! I guess it’s a lot easier to be a Community Organizer along with being a pathological liar.

    1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

      Bob, you are 100% right on. But you see, the problem with the useful idiots and leftist freaks that write here in this sea of leftist instanity called “The Memo” is that they are too dumb to realize the benefits of free market economics which surround them all day long. Instead, these losers actually cling to the failed notions and promises of socialism. I’ve even had some of them, in a rare moment of honesty, admit that they prefer socialism. It’s clear that none of those morons have ever run a successful busines or have a clue how a business is built and run. It’s also clear that none of them have ever lived in a socialist country before. Don’t you find it odd that immigrants that come from socialist countries tend to be outspoken about the trends they see in our politics in America, and are worried because they see the same things happening here that happened where they came from. They are people that know the true meaning of liberty. Unfortunately, most Americans, and 99% of the morons around here, favor government control and handouts more than they favor freedom and liberty. It’s a shame.

      Have a nice day!

      “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency…Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Czech Republic newspaper Prager Zeitung

    2. JSquercia November 28, 2012

      Unfortunately those jobs Mitt created were in CHINA . I guess there is one thing being a community organizer teaches you and that would be how to set an organization that can REALLY get the community organized so they come out and VOTE .Obama’s strength in BOTH of his WINS was his ground game .
      As for being a pathological LIAR i leave that to your guy Mitt who changed positions so often that no one knew WHAT his core beliefs WERE .

    3. Yappy2 November 29, 2012

      How wealthy are you? What company do you own?

  25. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

    Best Joke of the Year:

    One day in the future, Barack Obama has a heart-attack and dies.

    He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.

    “I don’t know what to do here,” says the devil. “You are on my list, but I have no room for you.

    You definitely have to stay here, so I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’ve got a couple of folks here who weren’t quite as bad as you.

    I’ll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I’ll even let YOU decide who leaves.

    “Obama thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the door to the first room.

    In it was Ted Kennedy and a large pool of water. Ted kept diving in, and surfacing, empty handed. Over, and over, and over he dived in and surfaced with nothing. Such was his fate in hell.

    “No,” Obama said. “I don’t think so. I’m not a good swimmer, and I don’t think I could do that all day long.

    “The devil led him to the door of the next room. In it was Al Gore with a sledge-hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time.

    “No, this is no good; I’ve got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day,” commented Obama.

    The devil opened a third door. Through it, Obama saw Bill Clinton, lying on the bed, his arms tied over his head, and his legs restrained in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best.

    Obama looked at this in shock and disbelief, and finally said, “Yeah man, I can handle this.”
    “The devil smiled and said………..(This is priceless…)

    “OK, Monica, you’re free to go.”

    Have a nice day!

    “If you’ve got a business. That, you didn’t build that. Somebody else, made that happen.” ~ Barrack Obama

    1. DukeDacat November 28, 2012

      Bozo, you are one “SICK PUPPY”…………………….

      Like I said, Hey Creep, now that you have had your ass handed to you, just go crawl back in your hole………..

      By the way, Have a nice day!!!!!

      1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

        Come on duke… Admit it… You laughed, didn’t you? That was a great joke. Here’s to hoping it comes true sooner than later. Cheers to that!!!!

        [click image to enlarge]

        Have a nice day!

        “There has never been a day in the past 4 years that I have been proud to be this President’s Vice President” – Joe Biden at a campaign rally November 2, 2012

    2. Landsende November 28, 2012

      I very seldom agree with you but figure you’re entitled to your opinion and many times we have agreed to disagree in a civilized manner but you have stepped way over the line with your so called joke. Even GWB who was one of the worst presidents ever was never shown the disrespect that the right shows to President Obama. The voters have spoken and Romney was defeated and you need to learn to live with it as we did when GWB was reelected for a second term.

      Have a nice day!

      1. Yappy2 November 29, 2012

        And when Ronald Reagan was elected the second time. This is when the rich started getting richer and the middleclass started getting poorer. Ronald Reagan made his money as a Democrat and then didn’t want to pay his fair share.

      2. ObozoMustGo November 29, 2012

        Hello Land! How are you? I hope you are well. And I will suggest that you relax a little. It’s just a joke, hun. Obozo is not a messiah, just a public figure that we have every right to make fun of just like GWB was mad fun of mercilously. Every coin has 2 sides.

        Have a nice day, Land!

        “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ― George Orwell

  26. Kenneth Heffley November 28, 2012

    These are the type of people who love the republicans, they can steel food from peoples mouths and never feel bad about it. We have to back the President he is trying to stop this greed . These people are no worst then John Dillinger or the mafia.

  27. James P Savage III November 28, 2012

    The Twinkie was “Romneyed”!!!

  28. flipsider November 28, 2012

    Anyone notice the quickly mentioned, then forgotten part of this story. The company was in bankrupsy when Ripplewhoever bought it. They managed to give the workers a few more years, tho at a slightly reduced pay. It isn’t like they (Hostess) were going to survive anyway.
    There are many examples of corporate underhandedness,,, but this was simply a matter of prolonging of the inevitable.

  29. Colleen Klemp November 28, 2012

    Corporate Greed at its’ finist! Vulture capitalism is a live & well! A typical Romney scheme, that’s why we didn’t elect him president. Remember Good Ol’ GW was a business man too, he ran 3 oil companies into the ground before he wrecked the U.S. economy.

  30. Ann November 28, 2012

    It’s a shame the workers couldn’t have worked together to buy out the company and work for themselves!!

  31. Ann November 28, 2012

    Maybe its not too late to work out a deal. Someone can help those 18,500 workers

  32. ExRadioGuy15 November 28, 2012

    (heavy sigh—smh)…It’s not vulture capitalism…vultures pick clean dead carrion (carcasses)..what these greedy bastards practice is Vampire Capitalism…vampires suck the lifeblood out of people… Vampire Capitalists suck the assets out of a healthy company and then kill it by shutting it down or sending the jobs overseas for cheaper labor. In some rare cases, the Vampire Capitalists will sell the company to other Vampire Capitalists, which is what happened to Hostess. Things have went downhill fast for Hostess ever since Continental Baking Company sold the company to the first group of Vampire Capitalists…Hostess has been bought and sold three times since CBC sold it.
    Vampire Capitalism, people…not vulture. It’s my opinion that Vampire Capitalism, which was begun by Bain Capital, making the Godfather of Vampire Capitalism Mittens the Liar Rmoney, should be illegal. In fact, I sent an e-mail to my state’s Congressional delegation suggesting the proposition of such a bill.

  33. batavier November 28, 2012

    This type of behavior, presumably, is taught in our Business Colleges and Universities?

    Must be….we’ve had one Master of/in Business Administration lay his incompetent hands, guided by a murderous heart, on the tiller of our ship of state…

  34. Dol5 November 28, 2012

    Great satire!

  35. CYNICALZ November 28, 2012

    Jim Hightower’s account of Hostess is clever humor and informative. Yes, the hollow tube of horror has met it’s demise. Now the union is gone and the company will be pieced off for millions to
    Bain Capital and baked in China.

  36. Jan Miller November 28, 2012

    the unions have given back enough. if the greed in cooperate america doesnt stop and sending all the jobs overseas, there just might be another revolution!

    1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

      Yes… they have given back 100% of their pay, and the others that are not union are screwed as much as them. Nice job union boys. Stand on principle and be broke. Real smart.

      Have a nice day!

      “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain

    2. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

      By the way, Jan…. not a political question… Who’s the Wings hockey player you have your picture with? Lidstrom (one of my favorite of all time by the way), Zetterburg, Datsyuk? Just curious.

      Have a nice day!

      “We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor.” – Bobby Clarke

  37. GET THE MONEY November 28, 2012

    Get rid of the unions… they tend to make workers weak,, the only people who make it from the unions are the people in the union hall… end of story

    1. ObozoMustGo November 28, 2012

      GTM… right on with this post. It cracks me up that all those union workers march off every day to bust their butts so some union boss that plays cards all day can take a cut of each of their pay for doing nothing. It’s a friggin racket. And some of those union bosses make killer, killer money in the hundreds of thousands and more. The only way to describe them is to admit that they are just plain old stupid. They’ve been duped…. and they like it. Like a battered woman, they keep coming back for more.

      Have a nice day!

      “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

    2. Yappy2 November 29, 2012

      You are wrong and, the reason that people in nonunion jobs get good benefits is becasuse unions got workers decent working conditions, healthcare, paid holidays, and paid holidays. It’s sort of like a financial planner or investment company telling you how to invest, save ,and spend your money. He doesn’t have any of his money invested, but charges you money for his service. There is a lot of money made this way and they do nothing to improve your working conditions or other benefits.

  38. kinklu November 28, 2012

    I have first hand knowledge as an executive in Corporate Finance/Accounting. These people pretend to live in a make believe world of images and they know what they are doing. Romney/Ryan seemed to exhibit the traits of an advertising man. In the 1959 movie, “North By Northwest,” Cary Grant who played an advertising executive said, “In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as lying; we call it expedient exaggeration.” You can call it a good movie line but truth often comes out of the arts.

    I’m not condemning. Greed is an American virtue and we should allow its powerful magic to work as long as we maintain vigilance and a reasonable amount of control through regulation and law. Self regulation is a nice phrase that trips over the tongue and is virtually meaningless. I would simply remind others to always consider the source.

    I have ambivalent feelings about unions but I think this is not the time to attack them in their moribund condition. And they were instrumental in creating our vanishing middle class.

  39. Todd November 28, 2012

    Too bad Jim Hightower couldn’t find the truth if it hit him in the face. While it is true that the present mangement has been bad, it has only been there since 2009 when Hostess was sold at banckruptcy court for $130 million. 2009 was the second bankruptcy in less than 10 years. It was union work rules in a very competitive industry that forced Hostess into bankruptcy twice before. The teamsters hired Ernst and Young to go over Hostess’s finances and found it was in big trouble again, so they were willing to make concessions, but the bakers’ union bosses decided they were more important than the workers’ jobs and kept a strike going that shut the business down. Those union bosses still have their jobs, but the 5000 bakers, and 13500 others don’t. As vulture capitalists, the management committed cannibalism, because they lost their investors $130 million. As an aside, Bain capital was contacted about trying to resuscitate Hostess, but declined because the way the union work rules were set up, there was no way the company could be profitable in this economy . You can’t have work rules that don’t allow a driver who is delivering Wonder bread to a store to deliver Twinkies to the same store and make any money. Twinkies will be purchased by another baking company and then produced in a right to work state with no unions, where itcosts half as much to get those Twinkies to the market shelves, and everyone will be happy, except the 18,500 people who used to work at Hostess, their suppliers, and all the other people who depended on Hostess for their livelyhoods. I salute the union bosses who sure showed management, didn’t they?

    1. Yappy2 November 29, 2012

      Blame the unions again. I guess the union bosses ask for the CEO to get big raises too.

  40. onedonewong November 28, 2012

    No doubt the unions were squeaky clean on this one. The delivery drivers were right to refuse to deliver multiple products on their route. 1 driver would only deliver wonder bread another driver twinkies and snow balls a 3rd would only delver……On any given day a customer may see 6 that’s right 6 different delivery men from the company.
    Yep it was the fault of venture capitalists

    1. Yappy2 November 29, 2012

      What you are saying is not true. You are just spreading lying bull.

      1. onedonewong November 29, 2012

        Sorry yappy that is the truth and the reason why 60% of the public sided with the company not the union thugs

  41. Daniel Jones November 28, 2012

    The courts should (if there were any such thing as financial justice) fine these assholes the money they made and give it and the brand name and recipes to the people who will revive the company.

  42. Roscoe70 November 28, 2012

    The demise of Hostess sounds more like a wake presided over by the money changers.

    As ate333 says: Mitt would be proud. That huckster club live in another world!

  43. Guest November 28, 2012

    Looks like International Brands and those hard working, salt of the earth middle-class workers just got “romnied”. They gave and gave their wages and benefits to pad the CEO pockets. It’s just not right. Stinks. Unfair. May they reap what they sow..

  44. Richard Holmes November 29, 2012

    The unions will kill this country for their own greedy, money grubbing thug lifes.

    1. ObozoMustGo November 29, 2012

      Rigght on, Holmes! Regarding greedy… It’s amazing how these leftist freaks can call people that want to keep their own earnings “greedy”, yet those who seek to confiscate those private earnings for their own purposes are somehow not greedy. the world is upside down, my friend.

      Have a nice day!

  45. ridemybroom November 29, 2012

    Donald Trump killed the twinkie !

  46. MarciaT November 29, 2012

    Loved Twinkie’s as a child, and as an adult, so sad to see them disappear from store shelve’s, not to mention Ho-Ho’s, Ding-Dong’s etc, and Home Pride Bread!, the only kind of wheat bread I love to eat, where to now?. Oh, “Woe is me”.



  47. howa4x November 29, 2012

    There are people working in the chemical industry that make cancer causing herbicides and pesticides that go into the ground and onto plants we eat. Should we worry that if we stop using these products to protect the health of the population about the jobs that will be lost? What we as a country really need to do is to create industries that actually that have a positive impact on the economy, peoples health and the enviornment. Maybe those workers can be retrained to do something else. If we all didn’t share in the payment of healthcare costs then fine pour an ounce of sugar down your kids throats, let them eat a pound of Ice cream every night and follow that up with a sugary breakfast. My point is we will all have to pay for this. We are going to have a nation of sick kids, and we as adults will be responsible for this calamity. We all cry about the cost of health care(illness intervention) yet moan about the loss of a product that litterly has no nutritional value and can possibly be bad for their heath. We are not a country were each of us is responsible for the payment of illness. Sometimes your job pays for it through group insurance, or the government pays if you have no money, or you can take a 2nd mortgage if you have neither. Soon you will see, if you have an obese kid you will pay much more for your insurance than I will. Companies are now looking at risky behaviours and charging employees for them. So this is not an issue about choice, or freedom, it is about health economics, and who will pay for it in the end. This will be the future political fight so get ready.

  48. james November 29, 2012

    ceo says to judge need Bonus to liquidate hostess! bet he”ll say reasons for Deficts is folks on social security and the Students ! the working class in good old usa by zulu

  49. james November 29, 2012

    the cconditions of the working class at twinkies by mandingo! wages and fashions are stuck in the 80s while the 112th congress is heroic in Defense of the 600 trillion untaxed hedge and derivitaves mkt whhile lockstep with the ex Don from Grover sc Mandingo

  50. TEN-OF-WANDS November 29, 2012

    I celebrate the slow self-destruction of a system that brings out the worst in all of us. Happy Holidays.

  51. CharlesCurmedgeon November 29, 2012

    If Ronald Regan’s first Director of OMB (Office of Management & Budget), David A. Stockman — himself a Venture-Vulture Capitalist for perhaps 17 years — had not written a devastating critique of Mitt Romney in The Daily Beast, reprinted in Newsweek, of the specific evils of Bain Capital specifically and the whole of our Tax-Code encouragement of Vulture Capitalism, this article by Jim Hightower about Ripplewood Holding would be a fair contribution. But it’s not; it’s therefore vary inferior, unnecessarily; because it should have used Stockman’s article as a “new standard” and raised the bar, standing on his shoulders, (not to mention the value of Googling dozens of other articles on both Bain and Ripplewood)!

    Vulture Kapitalismus is such a most profoundly important contributor to the most recent Great Recession — and the catastrophic real World Depression to come, shortly, — that NO opportunity should be lost to expose the imminent danger. We need to “dig” into the “financials” of EVERY company in the $10 Billion portfolio “management” of CEO Tim Collins and Chairman Harvey Golub, and their top competitors: Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.; TPG Capital, L.P.; Veronis, Suhler & Associates, Inc. as well as the $66 billion under plunder by Bain Capital and its “top competitors.”

    Why not? Why not build a good database on the web starting with David Stockman’s “model?” “Wall Street” has become a “Begger-thy-Neighbor” institution not and investment-in-the-future institutions — as it once was — and therefore should be taxed accordingly and not receive tax subsidies to plunder poorly run firms indeed in need of reorganization.

  52. Bernice Polizzotto November 29, 2012

    Looks like Ripplewood should be required to revive the Twinkle by putting the money back that has been stolen from the workers wages. Why is it that the middle class worker gets the shaft every time there is money to be made??? Greed does not spell need. Middle class workers are working to feed families, that does not spell greed, feeding families is a need. Lets get this perspective together. We do need to protect companies from this type of thievery, I totally agree.

  53. Alice Johnson November 29, 2012

    RIP, Twinkie. Yeah, this happened to me back in the mid-nineties at MCI when it was acquired by a larger phone company. We were the last to know, to understand what was happening to us. It started with massive layoffs (off, then on again, then off…) and cancellation of projects and new assignments that were meaningless. Eventually our CEO went to prison for manipulating the stock price. Many employees held small amounts of stock. This was great when the manipulated price went artificially high for a while, but later, those who’d held out were left holding nothing – not even jobs. It made me sad; we had been a good, productive company, a great place to work in IT, but all that was left was ashes. It was a case of the bigger company eating the smaller one in order to do away with their competition; they took everything they could from what was left of it before it was destroyed. Our CEO destroyed himself. We learned a little about funny bookkeeping, too, and how the pay given to consultants was vastly different from the pay given to employees. Some were laid off and rehired as consultants. It made the bottom line look much better than it really was, somehow.

    We all drifted away to try to find jobs in another state. Those who owned homes? Had kids in school? Had spouses who also had jobs? Uprooting is cruel, sometimes.
    And all for the greed of one or two people. Corporate sucks.

    More than just a financial disaster for the employees, too. How is it that when these leveraged buyouts occur, they somehow try to make it out to be the employees’ fault? Not just blaming their “lack of profit” on the unions, but also that the employees didn’t do a good enough job, didn’t make the company profitable enough, weren’t competitive compared to other companies that did the same thing? Stuff like that. The managers spread that kind of crap around while explaining why there would be no raises this year.

    Here’s the funny part: my husband and I, both formerly employed by MCI, found work in Michigan. My husband went to Delphi….

  54. Jerry Beck November 29, 2012

    And this CEO and others are the one’s yelling about a tax increase for them. I say they should be taxed double……….than made to live on what the workers at Hostess made for a few months,not like the one elected official who said he could live off food stamps for a week. A week?????? The dummy didn’t know what he was talking about,should be made to get by for at least 2 months if not longer to see how it really works. Anyway,just too much greed with these people,how many of us out there would love to try to get by on $750,000 a year????

  55. lmallak99 November 30, 2012

    The greed of these creeps is just disgusting. I prepare taxes for a client that worked as a truck driver for Hostess, he had to give back 8% of his pay a few months ago, and Hostess asked them to give up another chunk before they declared bankruptcy. We need legislation to stop these “Gordon Gecko” self-centered jerks. Something needs to be done, they should NOT be allowed to get away with this kind of crap!!!


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