It was a great party, what a time, what a place. Remember it well, for you may never see anything like it again. It was a gala of great promise, hope and expectations and like any party some enjoyed it more than others.
Why is this party winding down after more than 60 years? The answer to that in a moment but first let us take a look at Hostess, yes I mean those wonderful bakers of bread and Twinkies. What is happening to the company baking bread that “helps build strong bodies 12 ways”?
Last week after 82 years in business they have decided to close their doors after union bakery employees decided to reject a company offer that would reduce the employee’s overall salary and benefit package. Prior to the new union employment offer some of management received an increase to their overall employment compensation package.
Both sides blame the other for the demise of what was once a leading American brand name. The total liquidation of the company is however a symptom of a greater disease. What has happened at Hostess in many was reflects what has been happening to American culture over the last sixty plus years.
Turning time back to 1948 American was full of hope, and dreams. The war was over and men that had put their lives on hold to fight for their nation had returned home. They matured on the warfront and returned with drive and initiative to build new lives centered on family values. The 1950’s saw unprecedented growth in home ownership and new products.
The expansion of our economy brought new opportunities to a wider spectrum of American families. For the first time more average Americans headed off to college and earned a degree. Yes, the American dream was expanding for many, but not for all. Some did better than others. That is not necessarily bad, but is the reality of life.
Over the years the things changed, society expanded government social programs to help fellow citizens that had not done as well. Initially like the early union demands at Hostess these programs were modest and filled a significant need.
The economy was healthy and years went by as the expansion of government services increased so did the burden to those taxpayers contributing to finance the expansion. Almost unnoticed the expansion of the role of good intentioned government ballooned and with it the debt to pay for it.
The burden of cost increased at Hostess just as it has with the federal government. When the harshness of reality hit Hostess the special interest groups involved could not join together to solve the problem because each would have to sacrifice for the good of the whole. The collective groups of union labor and management failed to have the inner character and strength to act in such a manner as to accept personal sacrifice for the interest of the whole.
Unfortunately, the Hostess situation is a micro-reflection of the developing divide within our general society. A divide currently being exacerbated by political leaders to expand their role and foundation of voter support that will lead to more economic peril and perhaps worse.
Dividing Americans into special interest groups for political support, unwilling to yield in their demands with little incentive to compromise for the good of our nation will bring this nation not to new heights but to our knees. We must reject as a nation the promise of government as our provider.
Like parasites killing their host we will see the demise of our nation when we cannot constrain our spending with personal sacrifice for the overall strength of our society. We cannot continue the path of demanding a larger share from the public trough for our own special interest no matter how deserving it may be.
The party is over, it’s time to clean up the mess that has been left behind. It is time to pay down our debt and accept some personal responsibility. It is time for political leaders to stop acting like Twinkies and to start acting with courage and character. It is time for reasonable mediation for Hostess they have a last chance let’s hope all act wisely.