Saturday, January 05, 2013

Twinkies Are The New Rearden Metal.

Who knew?

21 comments:

CW said...

I thought all of Rand's businesspeople were supposed to be exceptional at running their companies before they vanished. Instead of, y'know, running a company into the ground until they had to demand pay cuts to make ends meet.

Is there a lot of demand for those kind of skills in Galt's Gulch?

Mark Plus said...

Given Rand's addiction to both tobacco and amphetamines, apparently she didn't object to the commercial production of harmful substances. She probably gave a pass to damaging junk foods like Twinkies as well.

I find it interesting that despite Rand's claim that her philosophy offers guidance in all areas of life, she never made any pronouncements that I know of about diet, fitness and health. Her cultists' self-delusions about Rand's greatness stop short of making those claims for her as well, because the ones who knew her could experience with their senses that she reeked of cigarettes, seldom bathed, ate a bad diet and never exercised.

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever takes any exercise in AS, or gets more than a few hours sleep. The 'diet' of a prime mover seems to be cigs, coffee and high cholesterol foods. I'm suprised the Randians haven't taken the great for the Atkins diet.
With a diet like that I can see why they would be disappearing, but not to the Gulch.

Mark Plus said...

"Nobody ever takes any exercise in AS, or gets more than a few hours sleep. The 'diet' of a prime mover seems to be cigs, coffee and high cholesterol foods."

That describes the habits of many Americans in the 1940's and 1950's, including more alcohol consumption per capita than we see today. However, Rand's heroes don't drink much alcohol.

Anonymous said...

http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1940s

Not here it isn't. Given that they didnt overeat back then, a diet like this probably wouldn't do you any harm.

Plus kids could play out on the streets (instead of video consoles) in the evening and not have to worry about getting run over.

William Scott Scherk said...

The Objectivish diet (it's a life-style it's a philosophy, it's tasty and fun and perfectly correct and rational) is the new spin on old garbage, Modern Paleo, led by the inimitable Rand cultists Diana 'I have a lot of ailments' Hsieh.

Rationality, say hello to your new friend, Wishful "ThunderGut" Thinking.

Appearing at a dreary, endlessly self-confirming and exclusively Objectivist forum near you.

Over at OL, we call it the Magic Perfect Caveman Diet.

Mark Plus said...

Ironically the scientific evidence supports the health benefits of the diet stumbled upon by those mystics called Seventh Day Adventists. For some examples:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22230619

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20515497

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18349528

Mark Plus said...

The Rand phenomenon appeals to a fundamentally healthy impulse in people who want to better themselves and get more out of life, and she falls squarely into the tradition of American self-help gurus going back to Colonial times. The kinds of people who have the literacy, intelligence and attention-spans to read her novels and the supporting literature already have more going for them than the mass of Americans who don't read another book after leaving school.

It just turns out that like most self-help gurus, she offers a lot of bad advice along with some defensible prescriptions. She probably did her followers a favor by stopping short of dictating to them her notions about the "rational" way to approach diet, fitness and health, though she caused damage through her implicit endorsement of smoking.

If, in some alternate universe, Rand did present authoritative but demonstrably bad advice about wellness as part of the Objectivist lifestyle package, can you imagine the intellectual contortions her Kool-Aid drinkers would go through now in defending it?

Rey said...

I thought all of Rand's businesspeople were supposed to be exceptional at running their companies before they vanished. Instead of, y'know, running a company into the ground until they had to demand pay cuts to make ends meet.

Not only that, but Hostess execs took money that was owed, by contract, to employees (i.e., their pensions) and put it toward "operating costs" that turned out to be executive bonuses.

Anonymous said...

Well Rey, as one of the prime movers said when the Barings bank was going under "F**k the bank, is my bonus safe?"

Good to know when the chips are down they have got their priorities right order

SRegan said...

I think this has more to do with the Objectivist position on unions. Atlas Shrugged asks the question "against whom are unions organised?", to argue that unions are ultimately futile because they are organised against the interests of the prime movers and thus the workers who benefit from the primer movers' drive and energy.

Having said that, the Objectivist response to the Hostess debacle certainly caused me to raise an eyebrow. In Objectivist philosophy a business should be allowed to succeed or fail on its own merits. Why might it fail? Because people no longer wants its products and it fails to update its range to make them desirable again; because its brand acquires undesirable connotations; because people no longer want to work for it; because people no longer want to work for it for the wages it will pay.

Here we have a situation where people were not willing to sell their labour to Hostess for a price low enough for them to stay in business, so Hostess failed. The same situation would occur if the price of other components of the business - the raw ingredients, the machine parts in the bakeries, etc. - rose higher than the company could bear.

Isn't this exactly what should happen in a free market? People decide how much their product is worth and sell it on the market; that's as true of labour as it is of Twinkie bars.

In order for it to be true that companies are free to succeed or fail, some companies must actually fail, otherwise the statement is meaningless. If the people who caused the business to fail (in this case unions who refused to lower their wage demands) are then by definition anti-free-market, then a free market is impossible and does not exist.

Michael Prescott said...

From what I understand, Hostess's operating costs were inflated dramatically by unreasonable union policies. For instance, snack items had to be delivered in different trucks than bread, even though they were going to the same place. This doubled the number of drivers required, which is why the union insisted on it. But it also doubled Hostess's delivery costs. It's hard to see how wasteful policies like this benefit anyone other than the extra employees themselves.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Unions actions in the hostess debacle, we should remember that 92% of those polled agreed to go on strike. Thats 92%. I think if any of us stood for any election and got a vote like that we'd be pretty pleased!
I don't know who is responsible for the collapse of the company. Unions blame the management and vice-versa.
But we can take consolation from the fact that although a company has gone bust, whatever demand there was for it's products will now be supplied by other companies.
I mean imagine if the gas station you used went out of business, that would mean you'd stop driving right? Erm...no, you'd buy your gas elsewhere. Same with these hostess bars and whatever else they produced. The other suppliers will up their production to fill that vacuum.

As for the objectivist sniping of this issue, it's such a shame that everyone that knows how to solve the problems of the World is either too busy cutting hair, driving a cab, studying at college and reading Ayn Rand.

Steve Johnston
UK

Michael Prescott said...

"Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Unions actions in the hostess debacle, we should remember that 92% of those polled agreed to go on strike. Thats 92%."

And now 100% of them are unemployed. That's 100%.

;-)

Anonymous said...

And now 100% of them are unemployed. That's 100%.

;-)


Yep, sitting at home, smoking endless cigarettes and waiting for the phone to ring.

Like Howard Roark!

;-)

Steven Johnston
UK

Anonymous said...

...talking of which, by refusing to compromise Howard Roark made him (temporarily) unemployable and he's is hailed as a hero for doing so! Yeah, I get that he is fictional but surely he was the ideal we are all supposed to live up to?
Lets assume that by going on strike and refusing to compromise, the workers destroyed this company, a judgement which none of us are qualified to make though, those workers should be lionised and not vilified.

Just a thought.

Steven Johnston
UK

Anonymous said...

More productive geniuses stolen from us and ushered off to Galt's Gulch. Oh, the despair. When I need gross tasting bread for children what do I do now?

In all seriousness, Wonder Bread is gross.


Kelly

Anonymous said...

Exactly Kelly! It could only be a problem if and it's a big if, those that eat hostess products did not ever eat a similar product to that again!


Steven Johnston

dental implant cost said...

what was the main reason of the closure?

Anonymous said...

What was the main reason?

The prime movers just shrugged.

Allen Smith said...

Appearing at a dreary, endlessly self-confirming and exclusively Objectivist forum near you.
Austin Moving Company