POSTED ON NOVEMBER 21, 2012:
If Greed Were a Twinkie, I'd Eat It
In praise of liquidation and mass layoffs
(Editor's Note: This is the first part of an occasional series in which UTW asks a fictional character to comment on current events. In this installment, John Galt -- hero of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged -- responds to the Hostess bankruptcy.)
am proud of the executives at Hostess for liquidating their company. In the face of opposition from ungrateful moochers, Hostess held firm.
For those of you who are unaware of what's been happening at Hostess, you should have been paying attention. It's not my responsibility to inform you: you should be willing to find out for yourself! Nothing's free, not even information. Those of you who are worthy of my attention -- the creators, the producers, the owners -- already know what's happened. I really don't care about the rest of you.
I'll be the first to admit: I'll miss Twinkies. What red-blooded American wouldn't? Twinkies are a symbol of what human beings can achieve: we can make something with no taste, no texture, and no nutrition -- and sell it to millions.
It's no coincidence that Twinkies physically resemble skyscrapers. Just as skyscrapers climb to the clouds, bringing the future closer, Twinkies bring its own future -- death -- closer with each bite. In both cases, we love every step of the way.
For decades, the golden phallus of the Twinkie has shown that there are no unreachable heights for man. We can create and sell anything.
Now it will be no more. But this is the right thing. Human relationships boil down to contracts. If workers strike because they refuse a contract to do the same job for 8-10 percent less money, executives have only one moral course of action: cash out, destroy the jobs, and blame the union for daring to demand the same wages they currently have.
Who do the workers think they are? They chose to walk away from less money. The only thing the executives could do was to fire them all and give them no money. Suddenly less money is looking pretty good, eh, workers?
It's just like when an adult is playing catch with a kid. If the kid won't do exactly what the adult says, the adult has a moral responsibility to discipline the kid -- by throwing the ball through the neighbor's window and blaming the kid. Maybe next time the child will think twice before complaining when the adult changes the rules mid-game.
These moochers want a handout for their hard day's work, but the executives correctly saw that no one has a right to earn more than his pay rate, even if that pay rate is lower than it was last week.
It's not like their jobs are that difficult to begin with. How hard is it to bake Wonderbread anyway? My mother used to bake bread every morning. She sold it to me $1.75 a slice. And Wonderbread is $1.75 a loaf. If the market value is so low, surely making it can't qualify as skilled labor.
The union takers claim that the wage reduction is unfair because executives gave themselves raises. Don't they know that there are more workers than executives? Do they expect us to triple what everyone makes? That'd be silly!
But even if it weren't silly, it goes back to those contracts that that lie under all human relationships. An executive is a rational human being. If he wants to offer himself a contract to triple his salary, then the salary is tripled. It doesn't matter if executives are all pulled from the same class of people. That just shows how rational they all are. If I want to offer myself a contract to triple what I make, I am perfectly able to accept it. After all, I am a rational economic actor. And so am I.
The Hostess liquidation comes down to collectivism against individualism. The union thinks it can pool the resources of its members so that the sum is greater than its parts. That's a complete falsehood. Everything man does, from the building of a fire to the manufacture of a Twinkie, can be reduced to individual effort. And that effort is that of the company executive.
Sure, the executive may have the support of the stockholders, the bondholders, the customers, the support staff, the computer system, and, yes, even the workers, but the thrust of the work comes from a single executive's pelvis. The executive is like the white stuff inside the Twinkie. And everyone knows that the white stuff is the best part.
So when the union strikes, management has no choice but to strike back -- quite literally. When moochers take to the street to appeal to those weak enough to feel sympathy, executives can show them where true power lies. It's not in the fat hands of those who eat Hostess products, but in virile, masculine hands of those who create wealth!
The liquidation of this company sends a shiver up my leg. When those goons don't have jobs anymore, they'll have two options: get another job or starve to death. Those who can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps will; those who can't will just show that they never deserved a job at Hostess at any wage.
And this is why Hostess made the right decision. A tear came to my eye because I was so happy with executives for going Galt. But of course I still billed them for royalties for using my name.
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