Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

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Heisenberg
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:11 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Of course. That's how collective bargaining works. Your negotiation position is stronger if you can threaten to leave en masse, but that only works if you are indeed willing to stop en masse, if push comes to shove. Otherwise you're back at square one, as interchangeable individuals in a highly asymmetric bargaining position.

But in this case there's no upside to that position. The Teamsters already made that determination, there was no way that Hostess would be paying them their full checks, so threatening to leave en masse forces the company to stop paying all workers.

Yes, bargaining individually would've been asymmetric, but the half of the workforce that wanted to continue working would still be getting paid, with minimum wage laws and the labor market supporting them, which is better than the current situation.

In general, striking can force an employer to give the employees what they want, but in this specific case, there was no way that was going to happen.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby kiklion » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:13 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
I can't find the source now, but my understanding was that the pension was covered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pension_Be ... orporation, as such if they went bankrupt later, only the PBGC would be hit harder. Since I can't find the source, they may not be covered or may fall through some cracks due to limitations.

Thing is, if you agree to accept a lower pension to save the company, and the company goes under anyway, you now have a lower claim. perhaps I am misreading, but it seems as if one of the management's demand was that the pension fund would receive 25% stock in the company and 100 million in debt, instead of the missing money( which was presumably more than a 100 million).


Ok, I mis-read it then. If thought that if they agreed to a future lower pension, anything that was already owed would still be there, but future contributions would follow the new rules.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:30 pm UTC



In general, striking can force an employer to give the employees what they want, but in this specific case, there was no way that was going to happen

How can you tell? When you personally are bargaining, and the other side says 'that's my best offer, honest, take it or leave it , it's cuttin me own throat', do you always believe them? Sometimes you have to play hard, walk out, call the bluff. And, yes, that can backfire, it's a delicate balance to strike. Perhaps the baker's union is playing too hard. The teamsters seem to think so, but how do you know that they are right, instead of weak-kneed?

Note that it isn't over yet. Today's news is that a judge rejected the bankruptcy and ordered both sides to a mediation process

@kiklion, don't take my word for it. Just guessing based on some news articles.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:18 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Perhaps the baker's union is playing too hard. The teamsters seem to think so, but how do you know that they are right, instead of weak-kneed?
In my opinion, the company's recent extended bankruptcy, the lack of profitability, and the teamsters' endorsement provided strong evidence to suggest that a prolonged strike would cripple the company. I agree that it was far from certain, but I personally wouldn't take an action that I felt would probably result in me losing my job, such as going on strike in this case.

It's important to remember that the Baker's Union has conflicting interests here. Not only do negotiate for Hostess workers, but also for Little Debbie and Krispy Kreme workers, too. I think the Union had to choose between appearing weak-kneed to other corporations and saving Hostess jobs and appearing tough while sacrificing Hostess jobs that were likely gone in a year anyway. But in that case, the Union isn't representing Hostess employees, they're screwing over Hostess employees to better serve their other employees.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby ahammel » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:24 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Perhaps the baker's union is playing too hard. The teamsters seem to think so, but how do you know that they are right, instead of weak-kneed?
But in that case, the Union isn't representing Hostess employees, they're screwing over Hostess employees to better serve their other employees.

Wasn't there a strike vote?
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby jareds » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:27 am UTC

Here's an opinion piece blaming the Teamsters, not the bakers' union, on the grounds that Hostess actually had efficient baking operations but inefficient distribution. Of course, I have no knowledge of Hostess operations, but at least now we've blamed everyone possible:

1. Bakers
2. Teamsters
3. Management
4. Extrinsic factors (consumers, recession)

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Darryl » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:33 am UTC

ahammel wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Perhaps the baker's union is playing too hard. The teamsters seem to think so, but how do you know that they are right, instead of weak-kneed?
But in that case, the Union isn't representing Hostess employees, they're screwing over Hostess employees to better serve their other employees.

Wasn't there a strike vote?

There always is for a strike. Union leadership doesn't really ever unilaterally declare a strike, it always goes to the employees who are members of the union to vote on it.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:59 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:... I agree that it was far from certain, but I personally wouldn't take an action that I felt would probably result in me losing my job, such as going on strike in this case.
Did you miss the posts detailing how because of unemployment benefits and a higher pension claim the workers could very well be better off without their job than with it? Or can you simply not wrap your head around the concept?

Either way, wanna go play some poker? I could do with a vacation.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:38 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Either way, wanna go play some poker? I could do with a vacation.

I'm sure he's fantastic at poker and has worked out the obvious stratagy : to be confident when you have bad cards and quiet when you have good cards.

I mean it stands to reason. :D
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Adacore » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

Darryl wrote:There always is for a strike. Union leadership doesn't really ever unilaterally declare a strike, it always goes to the employees who are members of the union to vote on it.

Yup, but the union leadership can issue strong advice to their members as to whether to vote to strike or not, and this is normally (but not always) followed.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Beltayn » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:32 pm UTC

Kind of like company CEOs can issue "strong advice" to their employees on who to vote for if they don't want a round of punitive lay-offs?

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

That sort of thing is blatantly illegal, as it's discrimination based on political leanings. And since voting is done by secret ballot, kind of hard to pull off anyway.

But the CEO is allowed to say 'xyz policy will force us to shut down abc inc'. If you run a coal mine, and Obama plans to raise carbon taxes on coal, you'd be more than justified in saying 'if Obama wins we have to cut production and jobs'. If you run Tesla Motors, and Romney plans to eliminate the tax subsidy for electric cars, you'd be just as justified in saying 'if Romney wins, we may have to lay off workers'. But the CEO can't say 'if you vote for the wrong guy I will fire you regardless of who actually wins'.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Darryl » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:00 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That sort of thing is blatantly illegal, as it's discrimination based on political leanings. And since voting is done by secret ballot, kind of hard to pull off anyway.

But the CEO is allowed to say 'xyz policy will force us to shut down abc inc'. If you run a coal mine, and Obama plans to raise carbon taxes on coal, you'd be more than justified in saying 'if Obama wins we have to cut production and jobs'. If you run Tesla Motors, and Romney plans to eliminate the tax subsidy for electric cars, you'd be just as justified in saying 'if Romney wins, we may have to lay off workers'. But the CEO can't say 'if you vote for the wrong guy I will fire you regardless of who actually wins'.

Actually, he's quoting something that actually happened this year.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:24 am UTC

IIRC, the cases there involve CEOs saying that if Obama's re-elected and the ACA is implemented they will have to lay off workers, or the Dominos and Applebees CEOs talking about raising prices or reducing worker hours to stay in business. That and one particularly douchetastic CEO requiring all workers to attend a Romney Rally on company time but without pay.

Can you get the direct quote for the CEO declaring that s/he will fire any worker that votes for the wrong person? Not things on the lines of 'I will fire you if Obama wins' but 'I will fire you if you vote for Obama'.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Beltayn » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:56 am UTC

The problem with that justification is they conducted lay-offs the week after election day. Before ACA or any other legislation affecting them was even enacted. While making statements like "ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES".

It was pretty blatantly punitive backlash.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:01 am UTC

Wasn't there a deadlocked FEC ruling that let a union bosses force unpaid work onto their union members to work for a campaign?

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Tirian » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:43 am UTC

sardia wrote:Wasn't there a deadlocked FEC ruling that let a union bosses force unpaid work onto their union members to work for a campaign?


My recollection is that they concluded that it was not a clear violation of election laws but rather something that should have been taken to the National Labor Relations Board.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:44 pm UTC

ie: We aren't touching that with a 10-foot pole.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:03 pm UTC

Personally, I think Unions using their dues to lobby congress (or forcing their members to pay higher dues to support the union's political influence) should be not only illegal, but considered an act of larceny/racketeering/fraud. Just as a corporation diverting funds from the shareholders to politicians should be considered larceny/etc.

If the union members or shareholders want to lobby, let them do it with their own money.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Personally, I think Unions using their dues to lobby congress (or forcing their members to pay higher dues to support the union's political influence) should be not only illegal, but considered an act of larceny/racketeering/fraud. Just as a corporation diverting funds from the shareholders to politicians should be considered larceny/etc.

If the union members or shareholders want to lobby, let them do it with their own money.


If a company has a stake in a decision that a government is making, they hire a lobbyist and get their position across. If there's a decision that is going to effect the vast majority of the members for a union, why shouldn't they be allowed to lobby the government about it?
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

Because they are rigging the game in their favor. If they want money for political purposes they can be a 501c3. Corporations and unions are made up of people, but they are NOT people.

Corporate charters exist for the public good. Making a profit, so long as it's done by providing goods and services that people freely trade their own goods and services for, is very much a benefit for society. It's actually a huge benefit even if people refuse to see it. Changing the laws to give corporations or unions subsidies is called rent seeking and is not in the public's interest.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Because they are rigging the game in their favor. If they want money for political purposes they can be a 501c3. Corporations and unions are made up of people, but they are NOT people.

Corporate charters exist for the public good. Making a profit, so long as it's done by providing goods and services that people freely trade their own goods and services for, is very much a benefit for society. It's actually a huge benefit even if people refuse to see it. Changing the laws to give corporations or unions subsidies is called rent seeking and is not in the public's interest.


But if laws are to be changed, shouldn't stakeholders be able to put their position to the government.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Triangle_Man » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:50 am UTC

Sometimes I absolutely love the internet.

When I posted this outstanding editorial about the Hostess Closure on one of the other forums I visit, I received this post in response.

In short - it is quite possible that this closure is part of a cover-up of White Collar crime.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Dauric » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:05 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Because they are rigging the game in their favor. If they want money for political purposes they can be a 501c3. Corporations and unions are made up of people, but they are NOT people.

Corporate charters exist for the public good. Making a profit, so long as it's done by providing goods and services that people freely trade their own goods and services for, is very much a benefit for society. It's actually a huge benefit even if people refuse to see it. Changing the laws to give corporations or unions subsidies is called rent seeking and is not in the public's interest.


But if laws are to be changed, shouldn't stakeholders be able to put their position to the government.


Stakeholders, as individual citizens, sure. The problem is that a corporation isn't a citizen, and treating it as one force-multiplies the say that -certain- stakeholders have in the political process over those who don't have access to a corporate entity to speak for them.

Keep this in mind: Incorporation is vastly different from single-proprietorship. Single proprietors put their entire property at stake when they start a business. If the business goes bankrupt, or is sued for some flavor of misconduct, the owner's personal property is on the line. A successful lawsuit, or suppliers for materials bought on credit could seize the owner's home or other property to pay off the debt. The flip-side however is that they can use the assets of their business any way that they like at any time that they like since the profits of the business are in essence their personal property.

Corporations are a legal entity that protects the investors from losing personal property to the corporation's bankruptcy or from lawsuits over corporate activities. An investor may lose the amount they have invested in the corporation, but that's it. Debtors can't go after the personal property of the investors. The flip side though is that the investments made to the entity of the corporation are not the property of the investors. The corporation may owe money to the investors, but if the investors want to get their money out to use for any purpose they have to get in line with the rest of the corporation's debtors and can only withdraw that money in accordance with the terms of their investments. Individual investors do not get to manipulate the corporation to spend incorporated assets for the personal desires of the investors, if they do it's theft (See Tyco International, Dennis Kozlowski).

This is where "Corporate Personhood" with regards to political campaigning gets perverse. Individual stakeholders are citizens, the legal entity of the corporation is not a citizen (corporations do not cast ballots as corporations, nor can a corporation become an elected official). Individual citizens may wish to use their personal money in exercising of their democratic rights to support a campaign. In this regard any stakeholder spending their personal money has as much right to spend their personal money as anyone else. Allowing corporations the right of free speech as individuals force-multiplies the voices of who are able to make those decisions in that corporation, while leaving those investors that may disagree with that view footing the bill for speech that they may not agree with.

Consider the financial collapse of '08. The large banks lobbied congress long and hard to deregulate the financial industry, not just Glass-Stegal but a host of regulations across the entire industry. What of those investors who may have disagreed with such deregulation, those investors who would have right to be concerned about the long-term health of the banking industry and the economy as a whole?

Sure with deregulation these policy dissenters might make out like bandits in the short run, and some of them may even have been savvy enough to jump-ship before the collapse and keep their profits gained under deregulation. You invest with the rules you have, not the rules you wish you had.

That doesn't change though that some of those investors may have disagreed with the stance that the banks were lobbying for. It's entirely possible that people who didn't want the banks deregulated were having some portion of their money used via the banks lobbying efforts to lobby for a position that they themselves didn't support as individuals. Even if these individuals had taken their personal assets to lobby against deregulation, they would ave had to fight against the funding of their own investments going in to the lobbying for deregulation.

This is how "corporate personhood" allows the (relatively) small number of decision makers a the top of any organization to use funds belonging to a non-citizen (the corporation) to engage in political speech. They're spending money that isn't theirs under any other circumstance to support a political campaign that the corporation itself isn't legally recognized as a participant in the decision-making process (the corporation cannot vote, run for office, etc.).

If the individuals running the corporation want to use their personal funds to support a lobbying effort that's one thing. To take assets of WidgetCo Inc. that are supposed to be going to making and marketing widgets and to redirect them for political lobbying and/or campaigning... while legal under decisions like Citizens United... is at best troubling, at worst potentially it could break the system of representative democracy.

... And this is before you get in to people who want to support a political position anonymously.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Tyndmyr » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:08 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Stakeholders, as individual citizens, sure. The problem is that a corporation isn't a citizen, and treating it as one force-multiplies the say that -certain- stakeholders have in the political process over those who don't have access to a corporate entity to speak for them.


[Source needed]

Seriously, there are rather a lot of non-corporate lobbyists. For instance, the abortion debate has rather a ton of lobbyists. NRA...lobbying is kind of part and parcel of what they do. Find an issue, and there's likely lobbying organizations that absolutely want to push your views, and indeed, would love to have you support them.

Lobbying is undeniably often problematic, but it's also necessary. The ratio of voters to federal representatives is very high, and is not reasonably practical for representatives to meet with them all constituents, let alone all citizens of the US.

Additionally, a layoff because one person won is not really the same as punishing someone for voting a specific way. Every employee of a company could vote for Romney and Obama could still win...just the nature of the game. And I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with changing workforce/projections based on who wins. If you do...well, let's just say you'd be appalled by the defense industry. If you're in a market where the two candidates have plausibly promised significantly different things for you, then yeah, it's going to affect industry. Pre-emptive reactions are to be expected.

As regards blame for hostess...yeah, I agree that poor leadership likely bears the brunt of the blame. Oh, sure, you can spread some blame to the unions for failing to come to a deal....but the exact same criticism can be applied to the corporate side as well. Both sides failed to come to a deal. Given that the company is also in a pretty sorry state, and that blame looks rather obviously attached to the corporate leadership...it looks like a pretty straightforward case of poor leadership killing a company. Definitely something that happens, and it's unfortunate, but I do agree that the popular brands will likely be sold off, and continue to exist.

Having a certain degree of experience in this regard, having worked for similar management once before....I'm amazed at how unsuccessful leaders manage to remain employed in leadership positions. Seriously, I like to google the new head leadership they bring in whenever I can. When every company a person has previously run has gone bankrupt....you gotta worry. Was the applicant pool for the job that poor? If so, why? What did ALL the competent leaders see and run from?

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby yurell » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The ratio of voters to federal representatives is very high, and is not reasonably practical for representatives to meet with them all constituents, let alone all citizens of the US.


Solution: add another layer or several of bureaucracy!
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby sardia » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:54 pm UTC

yurell wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The ratio of voters to federal representatives is very high, and is not reasonably practical for representatives to meet with them all constituents, let alone all citizens of the US.


Solution: add another layer or several of bureaucracy!

We already do that. The US has one of the highest units of government in the world. Mostly from local stuff like your school district, but we also have mayors, and state representatives on top of the federal stuff. However, the local stuff is where most of the day to day decisions are made. The federal government is just more concentrated and budgets money that moves heaven and earth, which is why it gets more attention.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Beltayn » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:12 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Additionally, a layoff because one person won is not really the same as punishing someone for voting a specific way. Every employee of a company could vote for Romney and Obama could still win...just the nature of the game.


In the ancient Roman legions, there was a practice called Decimation.

When a unit fled or retreated from the battlefield, all the members of that unit were forced to draw lots and 1 out of every 10 men would be executed. Decimation.

Every legionnaire could have remained on the battlefield without it being enough to successfully turn the tide, and the individual selected to be executed may not have personally fled himself, but it didn't matter... just the nature of the game.


Additionally, while the employer may not be able to know precisely which workers voted for whom, the ballot results are available down to the county and precinct level. A large corporation that owns, say, a factory that is the lifeblood of a town can get a VERY accurate idea of roughly how his employees and their spouses voted in aggregate by looking at that data.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby kiklion » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:47 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Dauric wrote:Stakeholders, as individual citizens, sure. The problem is that a corporation isn't a citizen, and treating it as one force-multiplies the say that -certain- stakeholders have in the political process over those who don't have access to a corporate entity to speak for them.


[Source needed]

Seriously, there are rather a lot of non-corporate lobbyists. For instance, the abortion debate has rather a ton of lobbyists. NRA...lobbying is kind of part and parcel of what they do. Find an issue, and there's likely lobbying organizations that absolutely want to push your views, and indeed, would love to have you support them.

Lobbying is undeniably often problematic, but it's also necessary. The ratio of voters to federal representatives is very high, and is not reasonably practical for representatives to meet with them all constituents, let alone all citizens of the US.

Additionally, a layoff because one person won is not really the same as punishing someone for voting a specific way. Every employee of a company could vote for Romney and Obama could still win...just the nature of the game. And I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with changing workforce/projections based on who wins. If you do...well, let's just say you'd be appalled by the defense industry. If you're in a market where the two candidates have plausibly promised significantly different things for you, then yeah, it's going to affect industry. Pre-emptive reactions are to be expected.

As regards blame for hostess...yeah, I agree that poor leadership likely bears the brunt of the blame. Oh, sure, you can spread some blame to the unions for failing to come to a deal....but the exact same criticism can be applied to the corporate side as well. Both sides failed to come to a deal. Given that the company is also in a pretty sorry state, and that blame looks rather obviously attached to the corporate leadership...it looks like a pretty straightforward case of poor leadership killing a company. Definitely something that happens, and it's unfortunate, but I do agree that the popular brands will likely be sold off, and continue to exist.

Having a certain degree of experience in this regard, having worked for similar management once before....I'm amazed at how unsuccessful leaders manage to remain employed in leadership positions. Seriously, I like to google the new head leadership they bring in whenever I can. When every company a person has previously run has gone bankrupt....you gotta worry. Was the applicant pool for the job that poor? If so, why? What did ALL the competent leaders see and run from?


I don't see where he was arguing against lobbying. He was arguing against corporations/unions supporting a politician. When he says that it empowers certain stakeholders, he was referring to the people in charge of making decisions at a company. While any corporation may have millions of share holders, they only have a small set of people making the decisions of who to support politically.

Beltayn wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Additionally, a layoff because one person won is not really the same as punishing someone for voting a specific way. Every employee of a company could vote for Romney and Obama could still win...just the nature of the game.


In the ancient Roman legions, there was a practice called Decimation.

When a unit fled or retreated from the battlefield, all the members of that unit were forced to draw lots and 1 out of every 10 men would be executed. Decimation.

Every legionnaire could have remained on the battlefield without it being enough to successfully turn the tide, and the individual selected to be executed may not have personally fled himself, but it didn't matter... just the nature of the game.


Additionally, while the employer may not be able to know precisely which workers voted for whom, the ballot results are available down to the county and precinct level. A large corporation that owns, say, a factory that is the lifeblood of a town can get a VERY accurate idea of roughly how his employees and their spouses voted in aggregate by looking at that data.


That doesn't matter. I currently work for an accounting firm that does a lot of work with unions. If there was a major political move in my state to change to a right to work state, it would have drastic effects on my companies revenue. If a candidate promised to do everything in their power to change the state to be a right to work state, not only is there nothing wrong with my company telling us that if that candidate was elected it would be forced to layoff some employees, but also I would view it as the prudent thing to do. An employee of a company should understand how the political process affects the company they work for. Sometimes it can be in ways that are not being prominently displayed on mainstream media where the average employee wouldn't recognize a position as being detrimental to the company.

Beltayn wrote:The problem with that justification is they conducted lay-offs the week after election day. Before ACA or any other legislation affecting them was even enacted. While making statements like "ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES".

It was pretty blatantly punitive backlash.


After Romney lost there is little to no chance of ACA not surviving long enough for the aspects of it to not be enacted. By making the changes earlier they have time to adjust the changes. If they waited until the last minute, they find out that they don't have enough part time employees to cover their required man-hours, then they may have an employee qualify for full time forcing them to pay for benefits and increasing overhead. Further they would have a more limited pool of potential employees as they have a tight time frame to get another employee so they can get by wit only part time employees. By making any staffing changes now, far in advance of the required date, they have ample time to find the extra bodies who are qualified to work for them to only have part time employees. I am not arguing that their profit margins are so tight that they must change to afford to follow the ACA, but making the changes at that time is not blatantly punitive backlash. Making changes in advance of when legislation takes effect is effective managing of your business.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:01 am UTC

kiklion wrote:I don't see where he was arguing against lobbying. He was arguing against corporations/unions supporting a politician. When he says that it empowers certain stakeholders, he was referring to the people in charge of making decisions at a company. While any corporation may have millions of share holders, they only have a small set of people making the decisions of who to support politically.


So? That's part of corporations, a small set of people make the decisions in general.

The point is, lobbying is available to corporations and non corporations alike. His assumption of an "unfair advantage" is entirely predicated on his conclusion that corporations shouldn't be lobbying...it doesn't really support it.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby DaBigCheez » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:22 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
kiklion wrote:I don't see where he was arguing against lobbying. He was arguing against corporations/unions supporting a politician. When he says that it empowers certain stakeholders, he was referring to the people in charge of making decisions at a company. While any corporation may have millions of share holders, they only have a small set of people making the decisions of who to support politically.


So? That's part of corporations, a small set of people make the decisions in general.

The point is, lobbying is available to corporations and non corporations alike. His assumption of an "unfair advantage" is entirely predicated on his conclusion that corporations shouldn't be lobbying...it doesn't really support it.

What?

No, it's based on the fact that the asset base of the entire corporation can be used to promote lobbying based on the views of only the corporate leadership rather than all members, thus providing *those people in leadership* with an unfair advantage (not providing *the corporation* with an unfair advantage). Lobbying at a corporate level gives those individuals a disprorportionate share of available assets even above and beyond the fact that they are likely to be more wealthy as individuals than the "rank and file" corporation members.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:16 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:Lobbying at a corporate level gives those individuals a disprorportionate share of available assets even above and beyond the fact that they are likely to be more wealthy as individuals than the "rank and file" corporation members.


yes? the head of a religion has the assets of the religion to use.
the head of the NRA has the assets of the NRA to use.
the head of the electronic frontiers foundation has the assets of the EFF to use.
the head of a union has the assets of the union to use.
the head of a corp has the assets of the corp to use.

if they didn't have control then they wouldn't be much use.

they're given control of the assets by the owners for a reason and they're given a goal to achieve with them.

their personal views may affect how they act, the EFF may not support someone if the people in charge don't like them etc.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:01 pm UTC

Correct. Lobbying very much involves pooling resources, which ends up being controlled by a few people. It's kind of inevitable unless you're independently wealthy. A corporation is not really any different than another organizational structure with regards to concentration of power. Power almost always ends up concentrated in a few people in any system.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:04 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Lobbying is undeniably often problematic, but it's also necessary. The ratio of voters to federal representatives is very high, and is not reasonably practical for representatives to meet with them all constituents, let alone all citizens of the US.
Opinion polls exist. They are much cheaper, accurate and informative than lobbying. They are better than lobbying in every conceivable metric. Lobbying isn't necessary at all.

That is of course if you want to know what voters think. If you want to know what campaign donors think on the other hand...

Tyndmyr wrote:The point is, lobbying is available to corporations and non corporations alike. His assumption of an "unfair advantage" is entirely predicated on his conclusion that corporations shouldn't be lobbying...it doesn't really support it.
No. His assumption of an "unfair advantage" is entirely predicated on the fact** that people give money to a corporation so that the corporation can make more/better widgets and then the corporation turns around and uses that money for politics.

HungryHobo wrote:yes? the head of a religion has the assets of the religion to use.
the head of the NRA has the assets of the NRA to use.
the head of the electronic frontiers foundation has the assets of the EFF to use.
the head of a union has the assets of the union to use.
the head of a corp has the assets of the corp to use.
Tyndmyr wrote:Correct. Lobbying very much involves pooling resources, which ends up being controlled by a few people. It's kind of inevitable unless you're independently wealthy. A corporation is not really any different than another organizational structure with regards to concentration of power. Power almost always ends up concentrated in a few people in any system.
A corporation is different because of why it exists.
A religion exists to promote religion.
The NRA exists to promote National Rifle use.
The EFF exists to promote Electronic Freedom.
A Union exists to promote the United interests.
A corporation exists to promote changes to tax laws?
A corporation exists to promote changes to regulation?

No, Clearly not. A corporation exists to sell a product or service. It makes a big difference.

Oh, Tyndmyr, you are totally missing an opportunity to go on a rant about how this is a perfect example of why government shouldn't be regulating business, because then there would be not incentive for business to lobby. Get with the program! :lol:

**This is true for places that aren't america. In america a corporation exists to make money. Which is a big problem for what you are saying Dauric. At least for the usa, the people in charge of a corporation are expected to make as much money as they can. When you say, "Allowing corporations the right of free speech as individuals force-multiplies the voices of who are able to make those decisions in that corporation, while leaving those investors that may disagree with that view footing the bill for speech that they may not agree with." If the corporation is paying for political speech, it is to make money. You are an investor to make money. You can't really complain about how you are making money. Can you?

The tl;dr here is that the problem is putting money first. Not lobbying.
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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:48 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Lobbying is undeniably often problematic, but it's also necessary. The ratio of voters to federal representatives is very high, and is not reasonably practical for representatives to meet with them all constituents, let alone all citizens of the US.
Opinion polls exist. They are much cheaper, accurate and informative than lobbying. They are better than lobbying in every conceivable metric. Lobbying isn't necessary at all.

That is of course if you want to know what voters think. If you want to know what campaign donors think on the other hand...


Not so. First off, how do you know what to poll on? Lobbying lets you know what people are caring about...and thus, what to poll about.

And of course, polling is frequently subject to bias as well. How you write the question can matter a *great* deal, and it's not at all uncommon to see results of polls interpreted poorly/out of context, or for other problems, like sample size or distribution to crop up. Polls can be, and often are, done very, very wrong.

Hell, our voting system is a (crude) type of polling, and it's pretty far from perfect. So, I'd say that your assertion that polls are automatically better in all those ways seriously needs sourcing.

Tyndmyr wrote:The point is, lobbying is available to corporations and non corporations alike. His assumption of an "unfair advantage" is entirely predicated on his conclusion that corporations shouldn't be lobbying...it doesn't really support it.
No. His assumption of an "unfair advantage" is entirely predicated on the fact** that people give money to a corporation so that the corporation can make more/better widgets and then the corporation turns around and uses that money for politics.


Strictly speaking, I give money to corporation for a product. What they do with that money afterwards is out of my control. This is exactly the same as how it works with other organizational forms, like sole proprietorships and the like.

A corporation is different because of why it exists.
A religion exists to promote religion.
The NRA exists to promote National Rifle use.
The EFF exists to promote Electronic Freedom.
A Union exists to promote the United interests.
A corporation exists to promote changes to tax laws?
A corporation exists to promote changes to regulation?

No, Clearly not. A corporation exists to sell a product or service. It makes a big difference.


All organizations exist for the same reason. To grow and perpetuate themselves. Organisms, same, same. How they do this varies between them...and hell, it will vary in the same organization over time.

Oh, Tyndmyr, you are totally missing an opportunity to go on a rant about how this is a perfect example of why government shouldn't be regulating business, because then there would be not incentive for business to lobby. Get with the program! :lol:


Rants are overrated. Everyone needs a way to have their concerns heard, and even in the best possible government, people of all stripes will have concerns and disagreements. Even in a government where say, internal business is not regulated whatsoever(strange as that is to imagine), elements like foreign policy will definitely impact some citizens and businesses. People will always have something to talk to their reps about.

**This is true for places that aren't america. In america a corporation exists to make money. Which is a big problem for what you are saying Dauric. At least for the usa, the people in charge of a corporation are expected to make as much money as they can. When you say, "Allowing corporations the right of free speech as individuals force-multiplies the voices of who are able to make those decisions in that corporation, while leaving those investors that may disagree with that view footing the bill for speech that they may not agree with." If the corporation is paying for political speech, it is to make money. You are an investor to make money. You can't really complain about how you are making money. Can you?

The tl;dr here is that the problem is putting money first. Not lobbying.


Sure you can complain about how money is made. However, historically, it is rare that people have done so. There is no law preventing a corporation from including non financial goals in addition to the usual financial ones. Indeed, some have done so. It hasn't caught on as terribly popular with investors, though. So....this isn't just a few people in charge putting money first. It's just about everyone putting money first. That said, making money is a pretty legitimate interest. We kind of do want our country to be financially successful, and thus, money is a really big deal.

Note that corporations are hardly the only sort of large organization, either. Consider that endowments, trusts, etc are somewhat the opposite of corporations...and are set up by mostly the exact same people. Instead of collecting profits, they disburse them, often to very worthy causes. This is important in two ways. First, it demonstrates that money isn't everything to the people with piles of it. Secondly, it illustrates a very easy mechanism they'd use to continue to fund lobbyists if corporations were banned from funding lobbyists personally. Oh look, it isn't that this oil company is hiring lobbyists to oppose global warming....it's this not for profit doing that, that just so happens to get very generous donations from oil companies.

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Re: Hostess Closing Down after Strike (Twinkies No More?)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:19 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:A religion exists to promote religion.
The NRA exists to promote National Rifle use.
The EFF exists to promote Electronic Freedom.
A Union exists to promote the United interests.
A corporation exists to promote changes to tax laws?
A corporation exists to promote changes to regulation?


The NRA exists to promote National Rifle use and gun rights. that may involve lobbying against laws which go counter to that.
The EFF exists to promote Electronic Freedom. that may involve lobbying against laws which go counter to that.
A Union exists to promote the interests of it's members. that may involve lobbying against laws which go counter to that.
A corporation exists to make as much money for their shareholders as possible. that may involve lobbying against laws which make it harder for them to make money.

they're all using lobbying as a means to achieve what they're there for.
Is the EFF there to promote changes to tax laws? no. Would they if it promoted electronic freedom?yes.
Is a union there to promote changes in tax law? no. Would they if it promoted the interests of the union? yes.
Is a corp there to promote changes in tax law? no. Would they if it helped them make more money? yes.

etc etc
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