In case you needed further proof that the union killed Hostess...

In the union versus Hostess saga, the bankruptcy court demanded that the two parties tried one more time for a settlement that would keep the company from being liquidated. It was announced tonight that the mediation failed to produce a new labor agreement and that Hostess would proceed with liquidation.

So, no need to feel sorry for the union workers--they had more than one chance to save their jobs and the company, but chose not to.

The union's contention that the company has been seriously mismanaged does have a sliver of truth. Any company who previously agreed to give unskilled union workers exceptional wages and benefits can certainly be accused of being incompetent. As far as the complaints about management getting raises and bonuses, here's a concept that union members don't seem to grasp. Managers have education, skills, experience, and motivation that people performing menial and repetitive activities don't possess.

Here is an article about the failure of the recent mediation.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/hostess-brands-says-it-fails-to-r...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Hostesses last 6 ceo's certainly were motivated to give themselves raises while cutting union salaries and benefits AND gutting the union pension fund of $160,000,000 that's for sure. And they did that while incurring MORE debt than they accrued before their first bankruptcy and failing to launch any new products that people might actually eat. They truly are legends in their own mind.

I would guess that when you have greedy union members (thousands of them) who are wanting more and more money and benefits--debt is pretty easy to accumulate. It's like the entitlement class that Obama has nourished. Debt comes from spending.

Maybe you should read and listen more, educate yourself, instead of blurting out crap you know little about.

Oh no, Galt was reading and educating himself just fine. It's as he said. I've pulled up links to articles that relate the liabilities of Hostess for the purposes of bankruptcy. There's about $1 billion in basic debt. Union pension liabilities are another $2 billion ($900 million of which is to just one union). The company lost $341 million in 2011 on $2.5 billion revenue. Look those numbers over a bit in case you have the same reading disability you accused Galt of having.

A company that loses money can't repay debt, even $1 of debt. Why don't you Liberals understand that very basic financial math? A company that can't repay debt, is defunct. It's bankrupt. 2/3rds of the liabilities are direct union cost. DIRECT. Shall I look up the definition of 'direct' for you?

Here, in case you're as good a reader as you imply:

$2 billion unfunded pension liability: http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/

The $341 million loss in 2011 is easily googled.

The $1 billion in basic liabilities were posted by the poster 'anonymouscoward' on Toledotalk.

Get crackin' on that readin', fella. After all, you're that big believer in education and all.

Yikes! Twinkie maker execs gave themselves huge raises, then went bankrupt
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/05/1081003/-Yikes-Twinkie-maker-ex...
Quote:
"Hostess management would like you to believe the company is failing because union workers make too much money and enjoy benefits that are too rich. In another era it would be hard to believe that executives driving a company into bankruptcy would make such a brazen claim. Especially since former CEO Brian Driscoll's salaray rose from $750,000 to $2.55 million in the run-up to bankruptcy -- and other executives' pay rose by as much as 80 percent.
But this is the age of corporate greed. It is now the norm rather than the exception for CEOs to put their own greed ahead of the interests of the company they've been entrusted to run."

Hostess is bankrupt … again
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/
Quote:
"The board replaced Driscoll with Greg Rayburn, a restructuring expert Hostess had hired as a consultant only nine days earlier. Rayburn was a serial turnaround specialist who had worked with such high-profile distressed businesses as WorldCom, Muzak Holdings, and New York City Off-Track Betting. He became Hostess's sixth CEO in a decade. Within a month of taking over, Rayburn had to preside over a public-relations fiasco. Some unsecured creditors had informed the court that last summer -- as the company was crumbling -- four top Hostess executives received raises of up to 80%. (Driscoll had also received a pay raise back then.) The Teamsters saw this as more management shenanigans. "Looting" is how Hall described it in TV interviews."

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Wolfman, the rise in executive pay (which the creditors largely halted due to court order) couldn't have been any more than $4-6 million in my estimation. Hostess Brands as a company lost $341 million in 2011 alone.

Clearly you can't even imply that the raises (which we must recall, were largely halted by court order) were anything near a factor in causing the corporate bankruptcy. What caused the bankruptcy was (and pay strict attention since I know you Liberals have profound trouble understanding financial matters) losing money each year instead of making a profit each year.

Once you unscrew your head from Liberal philosophies and understand that bare truth, then you understand that the company is defunct. It can't survive, not with huge yearly losses like that. The burn rate is a negative ten percent, at least. On top of that, there are total liabilities that are significantly over the yearly revenue number. None of that debt can be paid, since in order to pay it, you must run a profit, from which debt payments are made.

I can re-state these truths for you in smaller words, since as I said before, you Liberals have a fundamental problem understanding financial numbers, or at least when unions are involved.

That would be true except they got paid less and less, got their benefits cut and their pension fund plundered. They DID spend $170, 000, 000 on legal fees during their first bankruptcy.
And just today they petitioned the court for permission to award 1.75 million dollars in bonuses to their top managers because bankruptcy is harder on their elite brains.

Yep, compared to the union members, the top managers DO have "elite brains." Afterall, which group negotiated million-dollar bonuses and which group negotiated themselves right out of a job?

(This is not really directed at you. I'm just inserting this at this point in the thread.)

It's not a matter of who's elite, or better. It's a matter of who's in charge. The unions aren't in charge. Liberal insertions of terrible labor laws, haven't changed who's in charge in a corporation: The executives and institutional shareholders.

In the end, as from the beginning, the company executives pay themselves handsomely, all blessed by the institutional shareholders. The workers (i.e. the majority) have no say, and the small shareholders (i.e. the majority) have no say*. That's how the system is setup. That's appropriate, since our culture values and honors private property.

There's nothing you can do about it except to choose not to participate. Don't buy their stock. If you work for a corporation, don't expect anything; do your work and collect your pay and do nothing additional. Or don't even work for their offered wages; start your own business, provided you're not a DORK and you have the fiscal fortitude to save the money necessary to do that.

* Exception: In a large company with many shareholders across the spectrum of quantity, it's possible to influence corporate policy with as little as a 5% equity stake. Disney is a good example of a company with that going on. Still, a 5% stake in Disney is far beyond the ability of the common worker to purchase, even after a lifetime of saving.

My point, of course, is your beloved managers are the greedy ones asking for more and more after both the first bankruptcy and now the second.
All the employees saw is their wages and benefits cut along with thousands of jobs lost after the first bankruptcy and now their jobs are essentially gone.

Once again, since the management class is aligned with the owners and the workers aren't, the managers aren't "asking". They're simply taking. That's how corporations are organized. When you're part of the owner class, you can take, often without asking, and even when you have to ask, it's pretty much just a ritual anyway.

The only solution is to avoid participating. Don't buy their stocks, really.

What's in your so-called investment portfolio, Craig? I always ask you corporation haters the same question, trying to get at least one of you to admit you're a hypocrite.

"When you're part of the owner class, you can take, often without asking, and even when you have to ask, it's pretty much just a ritual anyway."

"Owners class"... "management class"? That doesn't sound very elitist?

Does the "owner class" have the right to "take" even when there is nothing left to take?

Owning isn't elitist. That's right. Get that through your thick Liberal skull right now.

And if there's nothing left to take, then even owners can't take it. That's math, son. You were supposed to learn that in school, but sadly we often subject people to learning things from Liberals in unionized public schools. See the link? Liberals taught you to NOT understand private property, economics and civil rights... and voila, you don't understand them.

You really need to get some professional help. Real education. Perhaps a medication that cures Liberalism.

Read again and you will see I never indicated that ownership is elitist. It was you who did that by bringing up class. I was merely using your own words to show how you were making elitists out of owners and management. If that went above your head, I'm sorry.

As for the math, it amazes me how owners and management will pay themselves with money that is not there. They take out debt; pay themselves for a job not so well done; then leave the whole mess behind. If they can involve a union or two in the blame along the way, so be it. They certainly have a lot of apologists that will take their side when it all goes down.

Read again and you will see I never indicated that ownership is elitist.

OK, then it isn't. End of story.

They take out debt; pay themselves for a job not so well done; then leave the whole mess behind.

Owners can do that. Again, why are you having so much problem with what owners do with their property, Liberal?

At any rate, you seem to have no problem with the unions running up TWICE as much debt, via pensions, which will be "left behind" only in the sense that it will hit the U.S. taxpayer.

You just have your panties in a twist because the unions don't have ownership.

Actually, my company only offers a choice between about half a dozen lame-ass mutual funds, I don't know if Hostess is in the mix or not. If it is, I'm losing money on it so what's your point?

And, since Hostess is in bankruptcy, they have to ask the judge instead of just taking. But have no fear, they did plenty of pillaging before declaring bankruptcy a second time, which has been my point all along.

Craig, your so-called selection never wavered outside of Wall Street, which is the same pack of owner class guys that dictate terms in companies like Hostess. So, did you put your money in those? You curiously omitted stating that for the record. Craig, are you directly backing the same system you're daring now to criticize?

That's my point.

At any rate, there was no "pillaging". Owners can take what they own. Period. If the union had a problem with that, maybe they should have either:

1. Bought up enough shares to put a stop to it, as one of the owner class.

2. Stop working for Hostess, pool their money, and go into business an an "employee owned" enterprise, to become competitors.

There's really one Liberal delusion here that you people (communists, socialists and unionists-- really all the same) keep indulging in, which has no support under the law of the United States: The shareholders own the business, not the union.

Keep reading that last sentence over and over until the sheer truth of the matter smashes your Liberal conditioning to bits. Do us the favor of becoming intelligent again.

Now if you'll pardon me, I'm gonna get some food out of my fridge, er, pillage my fridge. Fucking owners! How dare we do what we please with our properties! LOL!

Let me get this straight, because I participate in the only system available to save any real money for retirement I am some kind of fraud?

I would much rather have a pension fund but, surprise, surprise my company suspended ours and new employees are not ever going to be eligible to participate.in the one that exists.

As I stated above, my company's 401k plan only gives us a few choices between crappy mutual funds. They won't even let us invest in our own company anymore. Thanks to Enron, Fortune 500 companies are buying out their employees investment in the companies they work for because they are terrified that employees as stockholders would be able to sue them for fraud if they are caught cooking the books.

And pillaging is exactly what went on at Hostess. That unfunded $2,000,000,000 pension fund liability mentioned above is money that Hostess' employees will never see again. A typical baker was giving Hostess about $3-$4 an hour that Hostess was contractually obligated to put into the employee's pension fund. That wasn't happening and the employees knew it. That's only one of the reasons why the baker's union wouldn't agree to a new deal. They wouldn't accept a deal from someone who blatantly took money out of their pockets.

Let me get this straight, because I participate in the only system available to save any real money for retirement I am some kind of fraud?

Yes. For two reasons:

1. It's not the only system. Either you lie about this, or you're really as dumb as you sound. You can just save money, decrease expenses, and then save more money. Money saved as money, not some funny and often highly arbitrary arrangements of electrons in banker computers. You don't need Wall Street for that. In fact, you need to avoid Wall Street for that. It's called "capitalization". You accumulate and manage your own pile of capital.

2. You already know that system itself preys on the workers and consumers. It's evil. Your retirement is based on evil. That makes you evil, since you know all this.

#2 is the most egregious, really. You already know you're saying that you want your cake and will eat it too. You expect to get a fat retirement off a system that is funded from exploitation. Then you complain that the system is exploitative. How the heck are your hands clean, Liberal? Because some Liberals just as dumb as yourself, told you that they were? How the heck did you expect to get 8% YOY long-term returns in and on an economy that only grows 3% YOY over the same long term? What, did heavy drinking help you arrive at that expectation?

Really? Every single publicly listed company in the entire world is unfairly exploiting their workforce and the entire stock market is evil?
I don't think so. And an 8% return would be a record for my 401k. I was doing pretty well when I was investing in my company's stock and getting a matching payment from my company. Ever since the company bought out our stock and forced to chose between mutuals and some bond funds though, I'd say I'm earning about 2-3%.

Wait a minute there, Craig. You said you expected to "save any real money for retirement". 2-3% returns match long-term inflation. "Real money" means beating inflation.

Why can't Liberals understand economics?

And from your own reasoning, by backing the Liberal assumptions in this thread, you do believe those companies are exploitative. Certainly in order to deliver over-inflation results, they must be. That's pure math. They must reduce wages and product/service cost, hence quality. That's what Hostess was doing. That's what they all do, really.

BTW, my 8% figure is the common assumption under which many union pension plans were built. I didn't just pull that number out my ass, like Liberals do.

Want to keep sticking your Liberal foot in your mouth, Craig? I'll keep pointing it out.

A typical baker was giving Hostess about $3-$4 an hour that Hostess was contractually obligated to put into the employee's pension fund. That wasn't happening and the employees knew it.

A clear contract violation and there wasn't a lawsuit filed over it? Why not?

Buried in your angsty generalizations is the fault of the workers and the fault of the unions. Well, it's not buried too deeply for logic to ferret out, as I've done.

Newsflash! The largest single credtor in Hostess' bankruptcy is the Bakers Union Pension Fund to the tune of $944, 000, 000.

Newsflash! A bankruptcy line item isn't a lawsuit filed for a contract violation.

Why are Liberals so effin' dumb?

GZ,

Believe it or not, Hostess managers don't come out and say "we are taking the portion of your salary that is supposed to go to your pension and lining our pockets with it". They tell the union they are just borrowing the allotted money to pay off loans that were made by their new hedge fund manager-owners and they'll pay the union back in the future.

and don't let anyone say your are.
The idea that having a pension plan somehow makes you a hypocrite if you speak out against a company's management practices is totally absurd. Why should that mean you give up your voice? If anything, it should give you more of a right to complain about poor management. All of us depend on business being done right in this country. The idea of "just don't participate" is ridiculous. If you are participating or not , speak up as you have done. This is America. Thank you.

Why should that mean you give up your voice?

Nobody gave up their voice. Why is this so frickin' difficult for you Liberals to wrap your tiny minds around? What's really the case here is that you had no ownership, hence what you said was irrelevant.

The idea of "just don't participate" is ridiculous.

You clearly don't understand that spending and saving is very much like voting. Philosophers and columnists have done this issue to death; I hardly need to re-hash it here. When corporations abuse you, just don't give them your money. Don't work for them. Don't buy their products or services. Ultimately it's consumption that drives them. So you can starve the worst ones out.

Or at least, you can starve them out if you're not a stupid Liberal. Liberals prefer to whine like little girls, as if whining is the basis of law and action in the USA.

Thanks, PMW!

This thread has gone nuts, and it ain't because of the "dumb liberals". Part of me says post one more reply, but another part says why bother.

GZ

GZ, Craig doesn't understand much past what other liberals tell him. I believe I was able to correctly display this in the other thread with his "corporations aren't people" line.

It became clear that he doesn't understand our own tax system when he suggested we handle company taxes exactly like we do individuals. Somehow removing half of the tax revenue businesses pay averts the fiscal crisis.

He seriously believes this.

He deludes himself into only believing the facts which support his argument and ignoring all others.

MikeyA

MA,

As far as "Corporations are people" go, you kept saying SCOTUS ruled that corporations are people despite my numerous attempts to explain the fact that corporations are only considered people as a point of legal convenience in contract negotiations and lawsuits.
If you wish corporations to be granted all the rights of individuals then I say they must be stripped of all their perks and pay their way like the the rest of us.

What a spirited debate! Following along I find GZ deluded in if you don't like the stock market well pull out. What choices are there for the average Joe? Without the promise of the once golden 8% return should we invest in treasuries or CDs or maybe become a day trader? Should we start a business while juggling job and family? Come on GZ the system stinks for those of us who have tried to participate in a rigged financial system. We use to have the defined benefit plans now were stuck with non performing 401Ks. The only ones cashing in are the Titans of Wall Street that, if not feeing us to death, are outright stealing the American dream from us all. Just look at that elitist Mitt Romney who in 2011 made $13.7 mill on his retirement account. No one made money in traditional 401Ks that year. So the greedy well connected run off with the gold while distracted working America trust the shinny shoe crowd to manage their money with lousy returns and hidden fees. You see there has been a sea change in what Americans and the world think of banking and Wall Street. Until the financial sector is brought under control most Americans will not trust or believe in the American dream of ten years ago.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

You still aren't getting it. There are other investments. You don't HAVE to invest in the stock market. That's GZ's point. Everyone recommends the stock market because it traditionally grows by about 10%. The 8% figure is a derivative of the traditional gains, a diversified portfolio, and a factored percentage to pay for someone to manage it.

Now if you have an IRA there are other options. You mention Treasuries and CDs. Yes, but these traditionally get between 2-5% returns. With the interest rates and current gov't spending so much right now those returns are on the low end of that.

But what other options are there?

Well there is foreign stock. In 2005-6 they were doing great. In fact, people wondered if the US stock market would be replaced as the go-to investment place. Currently though it's lagging behind the US stock market. If you're interested how foreign stocks are doing search MSCI World Index, a composite of foreign stock markets.

There are also now options of investing in gold and silver. Right now, this is the investment beating out everything in the 10 yr yield. However the 50 years before it, not so much. Same with "Bear Market" Mutual funds but to a lesser extent.

Then there is the option to not invest in any of the above.

A very good friend of mine cashed in his 401(k). In the last 4 years he has invested in Real Estate and land. He did this when the market bottomed out. He has seen his investments gain by about 3% as the real estate market has turned. But further hedging that a large portion of his properties are rental. That means his return has been larger. He estimated that with the income he gets off of the rent, that he has reinvested, he believes he will see a 20% return within the next 5 years. Now I don't know all the specifics of his investment so I can't speak to them, just what he's told me. I will say he's upgraded 4 homes in the last 6 years and seems to have more disposable income than my wife and I who make a comfortable living, but again this could be a ruse.

To act as if there are not options other than stocks is wrong. GZ has it right. If you don't support the companies when you invest in the stock market you are a supporting them and their actions.

Note, I fully support their actions and have made quite a bit of money in the last 4 years. A large part due to the suckers who panicked.

MikeyA

BTW

BTW, if you began investing in the Dow ten years ago today you would have received a 50% return on your investment. This includes the 2009 downturn.

Dow 28 Nov 2002: 8,680
Dow 28 Nov 2012: 12,953

12953-8680= 4,273 4,273 / 8,680 = .49

This assumes your portfolio is diverse.

MikeyA

Well HELL any fool can throw a dart and come up with that number. Come on MikeyA not all of us are that naive. Most people do not have time to "invest" in real-estate. Most are ignorant and are taken as easy prey when "investing" in the stock market.. Just read this:
http://www.nationalmemo.com/pity-the-poor-plutocrats/

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

People are ignorant because they choose to be.

So, even with your own money you CHOOSE to be ignorant and HOPE that someone makes money. That's fine. Just quit bitching about the evil companies that you WILLINGLY support.

MikeyA

You're not bringing the financial sector under control. You demand high returns (which are generated from exploitation of labor) then at the same time tell Wall Street that it can't exploit labor. Well, Wall Street listens to what you say with your money, not what you say with your mouth. Hypocrites. All of you.

I keep challenging mentally retarded people like you to demonstrate how you can keep getting 8% YOY returns on an economy that only grows at 3% YOY. None of you either answer, or give an informed answer. That's because it's impossible to sustain those returns without tapping another source, and that source is the destruction of the middle class. It's been cashed out for almost two generations now, and we've really run out of most of the middle class to exploit. Even cheap labor overseas is exploited as far as it can go. They can't invoke outright slavery, since that incurs higher costs (why the heck do you think the South lost in the Civil War?).

I took a big shit all over the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) people since they indulged in the same hypocrisy, fueled by the same misunderstanding of what wealth is, and how it's created, and who distributes it. You can't keep demanding 8% returns on a 3% economy. It's math, you moron. Eventually you run out of things to cash out, and then you only get 3% returns (probably less, even negative returns, since the cash-out process destroyed your consumer base).

The real investor class gets big returns (taking concomitant risks of losing everything) since they are exploitative. This class must be necessarily exclusive. That means you can't join in, Wolfie. Want to? Well, gather up about $10 million and start a few labor-exploiting companies. You're taking major risks, but if you succeed then making 8% returns will follow. Some industries have higher profit margins; others, lower.

But... oh! oh! that means you'll have to become a fucking CAPITALIST, and that's against your Liberal religion.

I hope you like dog and cat food, since that's what your Boomer generation is probably going to retire on, at least the tailing end of your generation. You kept demanding more and you literally broke the economy. Your pensions will not be honored. You'll have to bankrupt out of your McMansions. Hopefully the children (now adults) that you intentionally forced into the poorhouse, will find it in their hearts to lodge you in a back room. Myself, I'd let you die on the street. It's what you deserve for sentencing Gen-X to this sort of Boomer-privileged economy.

GZ,

The financial sector is a huge drain on the global economy because they are parasites that extract wealth from the middle class (the real job creators) and horde it for themselves.
The Walton 6 have as much wealth as the bottom 40% of the US population for a reason and it's not because baby boomers want to retire, have healthcare services, and social security that they paid into for their whole lives.
Oh, and the OWS people you are so fond of have been a tremendous help to Sandy survivors and have started a campaign called Rolling Jubilee which buys debt at the same rate collection agencies do (about 5-10 cents on the dollar) and are freeing debtors from the bone-crushing debt they have amassed over the years. It seems like they understand how wealth was created on Wall Street pretty damn well.

Well said Wolfman!

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