Twinkies in Zombieland?

Hostess is dead. The bakery company stopped production in November, and has been trying to sell off its divisions since. Lucky for folks like Twinkie-obsessed Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson in Zombieland (2009), the much-beloved synthetic pastries may again appear in stores this summer.

And not as a zombie product, but as the real, edible confection we’ve known all our lives.

How? Not through any demented reanimation or infection process. This has nothing to do with zombies.

Instead, it has everything to do with the normal workings of capitalism:

In a joint bid, Metropoulos & Co and Apollo Global Management are paying $410m (£275m) for the bankrupt company.

The offer had originally been planned to set the floor for an auction, which Hostess boss Greg Rayburn had predicted would be “wild and woolly.”

In fact, a court filing showed that no other offers were submitted.

In America, today, it’s still possible for bankrupt companies to sell off their productive capacity — including names, recipes, logos and the like — to meet the debts prioritized by the courts.

The latter is entirely natural, not Zombieland-horrific.

Much of the hysteria over “too big to fail” comes from misunderstanding the nature of the deaths of once-successful businesses. Laid-off workers can and do find new work as more efficient companies step in, and the capital goods of a bankrupt company can still have value, and can be bought and re-employed more efficiently in other companies.

Indeed, keeping inefficient firms going by subsidy and special favor puts them into a zombielike existence — not the Zombieland re-animated dead kind, but pre-Romero, old-fashioned voodoo zombies. These sluggards serve slowly and creepily.

Better acclimate ourselves to capitalism’s “circle of life” than the horrorshow that is “too big to fail” in the United States of Zombiel… Bailouts.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mar
    13
    9:48
    AM
    Drik

    No need to bailout. They figured out how to shovel taxdollars directly to the union from some vague government tarried program. Redistributed without having to bother with the pretense of saving the company.

  2. Mar
    13
    1:23
    PM
    Rollin L

    Excellent treatment of the issue. You nailed it, Mr. Jacob! Why does this have to seem so complicated or scary when it can obviously be explained so simply? I can’t help think how much better our economy might be had billions of our tax dollars NOT been spent to bail out GM, the banks, and on we could go. But I am MOST impressed with your reference to George Romero. I have no use for the current zombie fascination in our culture, but you really nailed it when you made the important distinction of the pre-Romero era. What a terrific analogy!

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