Could Hostess Twinkies Be Gone Forever?

Although Hostess Twinkies may possibly be the most unhealthy snack a person could ever eat, they are our unhealthy snack. The news out today is that the company has decided to liquidate after failing to get a wage and benefit agreement with their striking workers. Not good news for Twinkie lovers like me.

And I must not be the only one who likes these golden cream filled cakes since they sell about 36 Million packages a year.

Twinkie Wedding Cake -Yum!

One time someone even made me a birthday cake assembled out of Twinkies. There were thirty of the luscious little cakes arranged three rows high covered with frosting. Yum!

Twinkies have been around since 1930 when they were invented by James Alexander Dewar in Schiller Park, Illinois. At first Twinkies were filled with banana cream but a World War II related banana rationing forced Mr. Dear to use vanilla cream in his snack cakes and he never switched back except for a promotional run of banana cream filled Twinkies related to the 2005 release of the movie King Kong.

So why did the Twinkie maker need to liquidate the company?

The company has been in and out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the last few years and was financially strapped because of inflexible unions who would not let the company moderate their contacts.

Well… The Unions won and would not let the company make changes to their contacts so as of this morning 18,500 workers will lose their jobs. And it's not a great time to be out of work.

You can't blame this one on Chinese imports or unfair competition. I have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.

What might the company do next?

This isn't just the end for Twinkies. All the Hostess brands including Wonder Bread, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls, Fruit Pies and those wonderful chocolate cupcakes will be affected.

But… What could really happen?

I think these brands are so strong that some other baking company like Sara Lee will probably buy the brands and the secret formulas. They will probably get a fire sale price for the assets.

So…

Don't expect Twinkies to be off store shelves for too long. But you might want to take them off your Christmas gift list. But I'm sure they will be a hot item on eBay.

 

Are there pitfalls when we let Chinese students take over US graduate schools?

A story in the Wall Street Journal talks about how more and more Chinese students are getting into US graduate schools. Application volume rose 18% last year and that is on top of over 20% increases over the last few years.

Should we be worried about this?

I guess there could be two main problems:

1) When a Chinese student is admitted to graduate school they take a spot that may have gone to a US citizen.

2) When that Chinese student finishes graduate school they go back to China and apply that knowledge so China can become an even bigger economic power.

For our universities to sit back and let this happen is a potential formula for future collapse of the entire system.

Why?

Right now the US has the best universities in the world. If you don’t believe this take a tour of any university on US soil and see how many foriegn students are there. Too many to count.

Take the same tour at any foriegn university and you will see how many US students you might fine. Very few if any.

By admitting these Chinese students our universities are transfering all the needed knowledge required so that in a decade or so the Chinese can set up their own Universities. So while the Chinese are sucking the economic life out of our middle class workers they are gunning for the more advanced workers too. Will we ever learn.

Sure we are forging good feelings about the US by bringing so many foriegn students here, but at what cost?

There are two simple things that could solve this problem and only one needs to be implemented:

1) Greatly reduce the number of Chionese students admitted to US Graduate schools. Give those seats to our own kids who will undoubtedly go on to make the US a better place to work and live.

2) When a Chinese student is awarded a graduate diploma give them automatic US citizenship so they can stay in the US and build companies, careers, and a life here.

Think about this the next time your child or someone you know is blocked from going to graduate school because a Chinese student took their place. THis paticularly stings because in one way or another all US Universities, public and private, were built usinkg a significant amout of taxpayer dollars. That’s your money. Do you want to it help build a stronger China or stronger USA?