Archive for November, 2012


Who Killed the Twinkie?

Who Killed the Twinkie? by James Surowieski

The company has been steadily losing money, and market share, for years. And its core problem has not been excessively high compensation costs or pension contributions. Its core problem has been that the market for its products changed, but it did not. Twinkies and Ding Dongs obviously aren’t anyone’s idea of the perfect twenty-first-century snack food.

I also liked this bit from Laura Clawson discussing Hostess’s scapegoating of American labor:

It boils down to this: You don’t get to complain about income inequality and the obscene wealth of the top 1 percent and say that it’s unreasonable for industrial bakers and truck drivers to send their kids to college and retire before their bodies are completely broken.


Leveling the Playing Field Between Employers

Cheer Up Papa John’s. Obamacare gave you a good deal.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the principle is different, and much less onerous: Employers don’t need to offer health care, and they don’t need to pay for most of the cost of their employee’s health care, but if their employees are taking advantage of public subsidies, then the employer should have to pay a penalty equal to about 1/8th the cost of the average employer-provided health-insurance plan.

Consumers should be optimistic. As you hear employers threatening to cut jobs because of Obamacare, recall that employer provided healthcare insurance has been on the decline for over a decade. America should be a race to the top, not a slide to the bottom. Though there will be short-term hiccups, Obamacare strengthens the health insurance market and the economy as a whole.


Be Careful How You Demonize Your Enemies

Is Rush Limbaugh’s County Gone?

Not only does a plurality (49-43) of young people hold a favorable view of socialism — and, by a tiny margin (47-46), a negative view of capitalism — so do liberal Democrats, who view socialism positively by a solid 59-33; and African Americans, 55-36. Hispanics are modestly opposed, 49-44, to socialism, but they hold decisively negative attitudes toward capitalism, 55-32.

Just as the term Obamacare has shifted from an obscenity to a medal of honor, it seems, the same may be happening for the term socialism.

The danger for Republicans is that Obama (with the exception of perhaps the GM bailout), never actually pushed for socialist policies. By creating fear in the electorate using sloppy word choice, the GOP has perhaps enabled even more tolerance to these words as the electorate realizes that Obama’s policies aren’t half-bad, and in many pretty damned good.

New Theory: Platitudes will always bite you in the ass in the end.

In the longterm, it is politically reckless to attack policies of an opponent by primarily using fear mongering (as opposed to actually attacking the policy subtantively) as a tactic. The electorate, though wary of change, is smarter than that.