Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's them gosh dang Europeans again

It's been a busy day here in New York. I attended yet another of the mayor's press conferences, where he once again announced something awesome in government-speak. And by government-speak, I mean overly complicated lingo to disguise the fact that the announcement is much less important than he's trumpeting it to be.

But as I listened to him speak, I couldn't help but wish this was the St. Louis mayor. I would love to hear his thoughts on the travesty that is Anheuser Busch selling its soul (and brewery) to Belgian beer giant, InBev.

Seriously, I'm not from St. Louis, but I've been there once before, and I am absolutely outraged over this. The most American of American beer companies is no longer American. I will never touch a Bud heavy with the same emotion ever again. And frankly, my light beer of choice may switch from Bud Light to something else. Hell, even Natty Light is made by Anheuser Busch. I was a Bud guy and now I've basically been knocked over the head with those European toilet-like things. I'm being told by an associate it's called a bidet.

One of these things

I just don't understand how a family could sell away what it's known for, especially in an industry like beer sales, which will never be affected by a dragging economy. In fact, a dragging economy means people are more depressed and drinking more.

At least the Anheusers could have sold it to a foreign company that has a name that sounds sort of American. I heard InBev and I instantly began thinking of factory workers dressed like guys from a Devo music video. And I don't buy InBev executives who say they're going to keep all 12 factories here open and without cuts. With a struggling economy stateside, and the Euro prospering big time abroad, it just doesn't make any business sense to keep a ton of operations here. Things should be especially troubling for workers when they read statements like this:

Mr. Liszewski, who operates a machine that puts labels on bottles of Bud Light, earns $27 an hour. He is a blue-collar man in work boots who has been able to pay off his house and buy land in Southern Illinois where he can hunt for deer. “It’s not just been a good life,” he said. “It’s been an excellent life.”

Are you serious? I'm wondering if by machine that puts labels on bottles, the writer actually means he gets paid $27 an hour to place stickers on bottles. Sounds to me like that fellow might be one of the first cuts.

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