March 8, 2010
Maybe We Can Split a Beer?By Kevin Jackson
There are a couple of things that historically have been found to be inflation-proof, recession-proof, and depression-proof, and one of those things is beer. It appears, however, that even nature's elixir is not exempt from that economic parasite known as Obamanomics.
The fact that InBev, now the largest brewer in the world, had flat sales is astounding -- a true rarity in historical terms. This is the company that bought Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Bud Light -- the most popular beer in America, for goodness sakes! At this rate, InBev may all have to change their vats from brewing beer to making Kool-Aid, the liberals' favorite beverage these days.
At a press conference in Brussels, InBev CFO Felipe Dutra reported fourth quarter results for the world's largest brewer and maker of Budweiser, saying that InBev garnered "a fourth quarter profit of $1.28 billion, helped by cost cuts and price hikes, but global beer sales were stagnant and forecast no rebound in 2010."
Economists may point at things like "housing starts," "exports," or "durable goods manufacturing" to measure the economic health of America. However, beer sales are a much better indicator, second only to cosmetics!
Dutra went on to report that "[i]n the United States, the company's biggest market, beer volume sales were down 2.1 percent last year -- even though revenues grew 0.6 percent."
Sounds suspiciously like the U.S. Treasury...except that part about revenue growing.
You know the economy is bad when people don't have the money to drink themselves into oblivion. No matter how bad it got in the former Soviet Union, the proletariat could always line up for their vodka. Could it be that Obama is teaching us capitalists a lesson? Showing us that the Soviets really did have it better than we do? All Americans get from the government is cheese, which I still say is the Fed's snarky way of laughing at us. "Say cheese, you taxpaying knuckleheads!"
No matter. Because at this rate, about all we peasants can expect will be a few cans of Tsingtao every now and then.
And the outlook remains dismal, at least for the remainder of 2010, as InBev expects flat to sluggish sales throughout 2010. Apparently InBev is not as optimistic about Obama's ability to create 95,000 new consumers (jobs) each month in 2010. Corporations who like to make profits tend to look at things like "trends." Perhaps the job loss trend in Jan. and Feb. was one of the data points considered in InBev's evaluation of their own situation?
InBev CEO Carlos Brito had this to say: "We continue to be very bullish in the U.S. but recognize that until the economy gets better, we're going to have some tough years."
Let's just say what Carlos didn't and give a name to these "tough years." The tough years unquestionably will be deemed "The Obama Years."
For the rest of us, however, there appears to be no hypnotic potion to make us see this economy for anything but what it is...pathetic.
Consider an administration who gave us "enemy combatants," "saved or created," "spend your way out of debt," "spread the wealth around," "60 states -- 'I've now been in 57 states ... one left to go ... Alaska and Hawaii I was not allowed to go to,'" "transparency," "no lobbyists in my administration," "the most ethical administration," "posting of legislation on the internet," and Joe Biden as VP. I wouldn't put too much stock in the Obama administration's ability to positively affect the American economy over the next three years. Thankfully, that is all the time Obama will get.
Here's the wrap:
Nothing, repeat -- nothing is supposed to hurt beer sales! People will dig through sofa cushions and remove car seats to find money for beer. Some people will choose beer before eating!
So we find ourselves in uncharted territory, alcoholically speaking. And given America's problems, sobriety and socialism are real risks!
We have the highest unemployment since the Carter era, with no real potential for long-term job growth, and we have deficits and deficit spending that nobody would have envisioned even as short as two years ago. Lipstick or not, we are still looking at a pig of an economy, not something you necessarily want to face when sober. All because we let a man with the intellect of a seventeen-year-old high-school dropout run America.
If we are lucky, next time we get together, maybe we can split a beer?!