This is the Insurgent Radio Kiosk for Tuesday, October 22nd
Here’s a recipe for you: Chop up some Oscar Mayer wieners, stir in Heinz ketchup, blend with Cool Whip and Maxwell House Coffee, sprinkle Planters peanuts over the mixture, add A.1. Steak Sauce, then top it with Cheez Whiz and blast it in the microwave.
Sounds like a gloppy mess, but an even messier version was cooked up in 2015 when Kraft Foods merged with H.J. Heinz, thus conglomerating more than 200 brand-name products – including all of the above – into one $28 billion-a-year behemoth. The combine was hailed at the time as a whiz-bang deal that would prove that bigger is always better.
Uh… apparently not. Four years later, Kraft Heinz’s sales have slumped, profits are tumbling, its stock price has plummeted by half in the last year, investors are bailing out, shareholders are suing, regulators are investigating, employees are dispirited, and… well, as some business journalists have put it, the mega-merger is a mega-mess.
The Kraft Heinz consolidation was engineered from outside by a Brazilian corporate takeover outfit named 3G, in cahoots with US buyout buccaneer Warren Buffett. They are ideological disciples of the old orthodoxy that the sole responsibility of corporate executives is to jack up the stock price and profits for big shareholders – in this case, themselves. Their self-serving approach to increasing Kraft Heinz’s profit was to squeeze “costs,” meaning squeezing out experienced managers, workers, product development, and the vibrancy of the corporation itself – which has steadily squeezed out their own profits.
This old model of self-enrichment through corporate takeover, consolidation, and contraction, turns out to be not just bad morals, but bad business. It’s time for us, the media, and public officials to start saying “NO!” to merger mania.
Hightower’s commentaries are brought to you by The Hightower Lowdown, the monthly newsletter with Hightower’s take on what Wall Street and Washington are up to. For information, visit hightowerlowdown.org.
It’s today’s Action Calendar!
All are invited to a free “Insects as Food” panel discussion this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Meadowridge Library, 5726 Raymond Road. Interest in insects as a food source is just beginning to catch on the U.S. This panel will include experts on food regulation and entomophagy discussing the future of insects as food. Insect-based snacks will be available for sampling. For information, phone 288-6160.
All are invited to an 89.9 Social Club Pop-Up Party this evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at The Nutty Bar in the Bandung Indonesian Restaurant, 600 Williamson Street. An Open Mic session will kick-off at 7 p.m. The 89.9 Social Club provides an opportunity for curious listeners to meet WORT volunteers and get a better sense of what WORT is all about. For information, email email@example.com.
Change a life! Become a tutor! Literacy Network needs volunteers to tutor local, low-income adults to improve their writing, English language and basic computer skills. This will enable them to achieve financial security, improve their health and well-being, support their children’s education and enjoy a deeper engagement with our community. Training and support will be provided. For more information, visit litnetwork.org.
The Insurgent Radio Kiosk welcomes your commentaries on subjects of interest to the W.O.R.T. listening community. Commentaries are limited to two minutes. If you’d like to do a Kiosk commentary, visit wortfm.org/kioskcommentary.
The Kiosk is available online at wortfm.org/kiosk/announcements.