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Nov 6, 201511:03 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Everyone is a crony capitalist if it means losing Oscar Mayer

(page 2 of 2)

Drink the Kool Aid

I still remember Jerry Heigel, the first boss of Oscar Mayer from outside the family, remarking in amazement after being bought out by General Foods in 1981, “Anyone can put sugar in an envelope.” General Foods made Kool Aid. General Foods was in turn bought by Phillip Morris, which later acquired Kraft. Before Heinz merged with Kraft.

Consolidation of mature industries is a fact of economic life. Italy’s FIAT and Detroit’s Chrysler. The State Journal’s parent company bought out Pulitzer. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is part of the Gannett chain, a nephew of its flagship, USA Today. Budweiser of St. Louis was purchased by the brewers of Belgium’s Stella Artois, which also brews Mexico’s Corona. They’re now in talks to buy much of the European brands of South Africa’s SABMiller.

Those 40-acre farms and their little red barns? Engulfed by 4,000-acre farms with free-stall, confinement barns and automatic milkers.

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Old to new | New to old
Nov 6, 2015 11:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

You criticize both Soglin and Walker for not doing enough, but Soglin and the City did reach out to Kraft and got no response. Walker et al did nothing. Does it hurt to be such a hypocrite ?

I don't think Iowa did the right thing either. So why aren't you after WEDC with both barrels? Because it is your boy Walker's program, and he does no wrong....

Nov 6, 2015 12:37 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The Federal government grows unabated, and faster that the economy, fueled by Republicans and Democrats in D.C. who refuse to make hard choices. Torrents of regulations in a growing Federal Register, and US economic growth stagnant barely keeping pace with inflation, you get what we have today.

Corporations, in order to deliver the profit to shareholders, get Bigger: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). Put two companies together, lay-off redundant HR, manufacturing, payroll, and other people. The government regulators looks the other way, and permit the Big Corporations to get Bigger. It's what they do absent growth.

Now, you put Kraft and Heinz together, and you get a large number of old plants running at 1/3 capacity. Consolidation, restructuring, and job destruction. Deliver the shareholder value.

Big Corporations
Big Labor
Big Government
Big Banks
Big Insurance
Big Pharma
Big Energy
Big Ag
Big Media... and now, we have,
Big Catsup.

Big is in, with a vengeance.

Big can afford all the influence peddlers, cronies, and lobbyists they need. I naïvely thought that kicking the Republicans to the curb in 2008 we would have rectified many wrongs, but instead of two wars, we now have three! The cronies in the Bush years were replaced with latter day blue cronies. Red to Blue. No change.

Nov 6, 2015 02:44 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Those 40-acre farms and their little red barns? Engulfed by 4,000-acre farms with free-stall, confinement barns and automatic milkers."

And don't forget the manure digesters. Renewable energy!

Nov 6, 2015 02:50 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

blaska has a history of bending the truth. (lying)

should run for office.

Nov 6, 2015 03:31 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

robots are going to do everything for us one day, don't ya know. of course, who will pay for them?

Nov 6, 2015 07:55 pm
 Posted by  madisonexpat

Someone in Dane County open a micro meat. Locavore pork, beef Venison? processing. Brand the spice and prep like KFC. Hello foodies.
You'll need the Prog officials to ward off the crushing OSHA, EPA etc. regs.
Stay small. Produce quality. Prosper.

Nov 7, 2015 07:16 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm conservative and pro business, but I don't think the tax breaks, loans and outright giveaways work out for the local economy in the long run. These deals are always made under duress where the threat of closure is always there. Look at Davenport, they paid through the nose to only loose 1,000 jobs instead of all 1,475. And if market forces shift in the years to come, Kraft Heinz won't hesitate to shutter it completely.

Nov 8, 2015 03:19 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Rumors about the possible demise of the OM plat began soon after its takeover by the Kraft conglomerate. I don't recall hearing about any "reaching out" on the part of city leaders then. Of course for the last year or so, Soglin and the other Isthmus elites who run this town were way too preoccupied with cajoling, enticing, and throwing money at the moguls at Exact Sciences in an effort to get them onboard the Judge Doyle Square boondoggle to pay attention to the impending fate of a bunch of blue collar workers on the déclassé East Side. Business as usual in "progressive" Madison.

Nov 9, 2015 11:22 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

anon 3:19

Why aren't you complaining about WEDC not getting involved? Could it be that they screw up everything they touch?

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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