Friday, November 16, 2012

It could be worse. Rebecca Black could be the BCTGM's president.

There are a number of businesses - legitimate, legal businesses - that cause revulsion in people. For example, while it is legal to provide high-interest unsecured loans, companies that do such things are not highly regarded by many people. There are many other examples - telemarketers, rural Nevada brothels, and so forth. (In fact, I am willing to claim that EVERY business is offensive to someone or another.)

Now let's say that you work for one of these companies. Are you an evil person for doing these terrible things, or are you a poor victim of the capitalistic process who must resort to such a despicable job to make ends meet?

Everyone is talking about Hostess Brands today, which is liquidating its operations because it could only get one of two unions to make concessions to get Hostess out of bankruptcy. Coincidentally, my employer is holding its company Thanksgiving lunch today; Hostess products are on the menu, since they may disappear for some time (or at least until someone buys the brands).

The union that would not agree to Hostess' concessions is the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers' International Union. The union's website is at, but the site was displaying "509 bandwidth limit exceeded" messages earlier today.

BCTGM. Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers. What a combination. It looks like this union has problems way beyond Hostess.

According to society's nannies, BCTGM is utterly evil. Let's take a look at the product lines that these workers support.

Let's start with bakery, which happens to be Hostess' product line. Even if the bakery products aren't complete junk food like much of the Hostess product line, bakery products are high in carbs and are therefore despicable in the eyes of many health advocates. I'm sure that there are some nutritionists that are jumping for joy today now that Hostess is being liquidated.

Let's move on to confectionery, which is a fancy word for candy. If the nutrionists are jumping for joy at the demise of a bakery, imagine how giddy they would be if a candy company were to go under.

The next category is tobacco. For those who have been hiding under a cowboy hat for the last forty-plus years, tobacco is utterly condemned by portions of the government (while other portions of the government support tobacco growing; go figure). Think about it; I can legally eat a Twinkie or a candy bar in my cubicle at work, in most public parks, and in an apartment building. You can't do that with tobacco.

The last category is grain millers. Relatively non-controversial, right? Well, what if those grain millers are working with genetically engineered grains?

The BCTGM is obligated to increase the employment opportunities of its members, which means that it has a financial incentive to support increased consumption of bakery items (including junk food), candies, all sorts of tobacco, and any kind of grain that requires milling. As such, the BCTGM would naturally oppose any efforts to reduce the use of corn syrup in foods, and would oppose disclosure of food items that contain genetically engineered products.

Even libertarians would not necessarily sign up to all of BCTGM's agenda - while BCTGM would support the sales of bakery products in public schools, libertarians would want to close the public schools entirely.

And as for the nanny state politicians of both political stripes, the BCTGM is against everything that they stand for. Don't expect the BCTGM to make political donations to Michael Bloomberg, for example.

So what can the BCTGM do? One thing would be to take a cue from the tobacco companies that employ BCTGM workers. In the same way that tobacco companies expanded their businesses into non-tobacco lines, the BCTGM could expand its union membership to include categories outside of its four traditional lines. In fact, I'm willing to offer a few suggestions for expansion.

Add people who work in the alcohol industry.

Add oil workers.

Add legal sex workers, ranging from the aforementioned Nevada brothels to the (now condom-wearing) adult film industry in Los Angeles County.

As I said before, EVERY business is offensive to somebody. Even blogs are evil.

P.S. As an added bonus, don't forget that as the United States approaches its most important holiday, Black Friday, this is a good opportunity to recall the musical sensation that was Rebecca Black's first hit.
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