COLUMN: Let them eat 'cake-like' substance
It appears that the old adage is true: Twinkies are indestructible.
Although Hostess Brands, Inc. is in the process of liquidation, a recent article in The Detroit News revealed 110 interested buyers have popped up for various Hostess products.
This means everyone’s favorite cream-filled, sponge-like cake things will still be on grocery shelves for years to come. This has to be thrilling news for the people who spent hundreds of dollars for boxes of Twinkies on eBay.
However, all is not well in Junk Food Land.
Many recently assuaged Twinkie fans are blissfully unaware that the Hostess liquidation will cause the loss of 18,000 jobs. At the same time, top executives at Hostess will receive up to $1.8 million in bonuses for successfully destroying these jobs.
Executives receiving money for driving their companies into the ground is nothing new.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Lear Corporation, an automotive parts supplier, filed for bankruptcy in 2009, eliminating more than 20,000 jobs while seeking $20.6 million in bonuses for executives.
Some argue executives deserve massive bonuses because leading a company through liquidation is a very stressful process; more stressful, apparently, than losing an hourly job, going on unemployment and wondering how to feed a family.
Rewarding executives for failing successfully at the expensive of blue-collar workers sends out a horrible message: as long as you have a business degree and some luck, it doesn’t matter how much you suck at your job.
In fact, it might even be preferable to suck at your job.
Driving a company into the ground will probably only take a few years, and, in that timeframe, you’ll be making at least six figures a year. After that’s over, you’ll receive a six-figure bonus, on top of your six-figure salary, and you’ll be free to retire or easily find a new, over-paying job in a new place.
People aren’t rewarded for being good people.
I’m not saying all 18,000 who will lose their jobs in the Hostess liquidation are angels; I’m sure a few of them are probably downright mean.
However, I’m fairly sure that the Hostess executives are the embodiment of evil. I don’t advocate class warfare (mainly because I don’t have enough money to win); I advocate basic human decency.
When common people fail, they suffer. Instead of giving executives extra money for ruining the lives of 18,000 workers and their families, the bonus money should be distributed to the workers, based on how many years of service they’ve given to the company.
I want to live in a country where doing one’s job correctly is rewarded.
Instead, I live in a country where having money entitles you to more money, even if you find a way to fail at selling Twinkies to the world’s fattest population.