Bailouts aren’t just for big businesses any more.
Just a few years ago the “too big to fail” argument meant spending trillions on financial institutions and auto companies. Now it appears that rewarding failure — indeed, outright perverse dealing — has a new and eager beneficiary: the federal loot goes directly to unions.
Well, a union, at least. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International, whose brinksmanship shut down Hostess, Inc., has former Twinkie techs pulling in money earmarked in a specific way:
This week, the Labor Department decided to shower Hostess workers with Trade Adjustment Assistance, a multibillion-dollar pork barrel program that was beefed up as a bone to Democrats, who were blocking passage of three free-trade treaties in Congress in 2012.
TAA is a lavish program doled out by the Labor Department for laid-off workers who’ve lost their jobs due to “global trade.”
Of course, those 18,500 Hostess jobs were not lost to global trade. They were lost to union pig-headedness. The AFL-CIO-affiliated union was warned that without some cuts, the company would go under. The Teamsters entreated the bakers’ union to play ball. But no deal happened. And Hostess went under.
If the union’s negotiation tactic appeared as risky as a banker’s credit default swap portfolio on mortgage-backed securities, it’s now proved to be as un-risky as the same. The union may not be “too big to fail,” but it appears to be “too well-connected to fail.” The Obama administration is intent on throwing money at the group’s outrageous folly.
And so we continue to reward idiocy, well into the 21st century.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.