Black Coffee: Celebrating Part Time Jobs and the Return of the Twinkie

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe

Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.

I hope everybody is enjoying their 4th of July weekend.

Let’s get right to it …

The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed

From September 2009:

The 10 Most Overpaid Jobs – This politically incorrect piece is always good for a few nasty emails in my inbox.

And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy …

Control Your Cash – iTunes is a Ripoff

Wisebread – 5 Frugal Celebrities Who Live Large on a Small Budget

Your Finances Simplified – How to Sell Your Home in a Rush

The Finance Buff – Don’t Be Afraid to Switch

The Chicago Financial Planner – 5 Investing Lessons Learned So Far in 2013

Credits and Debits

Credit: Last month a 10-year-old boy found $10,000 in a Kansas City hotel room where he was staying with his Dad. I’m glad to see they turned the money into the police, but I can’t help but wonder if a hotel housekeeper isn’t kicking herself right now. Hey, I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.

Credit: I’d offer the kid a couple of Twinkies for his good deed, but they aren’t scheduled to return to store shelves until July 15. The good news is the new Twinkies will have an even longer shelf life than the old ones. Yessss!

Credit: I’ll bet a lot of newly-hired Twinkie bakers were at least party responsible for June’s better-than-expected employment report; 188,000 new jobs were created last month. That’s the job market’s best performance since February.

Debit: Unfortunately, all of those new jobs weren’t enough to change the unemployment rate — that remained at 7.6%.

Credit: Even so, the June employment data pushed US Treasury yields sharply higher by traders who feared the news would hasten the Fed’s timeline for tapering their latest quantitative easing campaign. On Friday the 10-year note saw its biggest move since December 2010.

Debit: The markets seemed to gloss over the fact that there were 240,000 fewer full-time jobs in June than there were in May. In fact, the only job growth in June came from part-time jobs — which is one reason why the U-6 under-employment rate rose sharply from 13.8% to 14.3%.

Debit: Since January, 557,000 part-time jobs have been generated by the US economy. Compare that to just 130,000 new full-time non-farm positions created during the same time frame; barely 21,000 per month for a nation of 300 million people. That’s not the sign of a healthy economy.

Debit: How anemic are the current job numbers? At the current rate of job growth, the US wouldn’t return to pre-recession employment levels until 2021.

Credit: It’s a good thing our politicians are smart enough to dig into the dirty details behind all of this economic data, separate the wheat from the chaff, and understand what’s really happening with the economy. Oh wait.

Debit: OK, strike that thought; the number of new jobs created in June drew bipartisan praise from Washington politicians as additional signs of the continuing economic recovery.

Debit: When the majority of our own politicians fail to recognize that the US economy is in deep trouble, where do we go from here? We’re clearly barreling down the tracks on a runaway train — and there’s a bridge out ahead of us. Prepare accordingly.

Debit: Many people are blaming the economy’s shift from a full-time to a part-time workforce on … Obamacare. And it’s not just private sector jobs. Believe it or not, even local governments are now transitioning workers to part-time status to avoid or minimize costs. Yes, you read that correctly.

Credit: As Obamacare continues to implode under the weight of its own regulations, the Obama administration has now decided to delay enforcing the employer mandate until after the 2014 elections are over. Hmm. I wonder why they did that.

Debit: Dr. Charles Krauthammer recently noted that Obamacare is a massive transfer of wealth from the young to the old — and it is young adults who will soon be forced to pay double or triple what they would have if the government weren’t involved. That is, assuming they even wanted health insurance.

Credit: More Krauthammer on Obamacare: “The free lunch part of this affair is now over.” No kidding. Just wait until the 43% of uninsured Americans who still don’t know they have to buy (overpriced) health insurance finally figure that out.

By the Numbers

Here are a few tidbits on the upcoming return of the Twinkie:

150 Calories in a single Twinkie.

1930 Year the Twinkie was invented.

2012 Year that the Twinkie disappeared from store shelves, after Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hostess claims they couldn’t compete against non-unionized bakeries.

15,000 Number of unionized workers who lost their jobs after they refused to accept lower compensation.

$410 million Price paid by Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo for the rights to produce Twinkies and other Hostess cakes.

10 Number of Twinkies in a box. Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo say the price will remain $3.99 per box.

45 Days that the original Twinkie stayed fresh. The new baker may extend the new Twinkie’s shelf life by freezing them prior to putting them on store shelves.

Source: Huffington Post; Cleveland.com; New York Post

The Question of the Week

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Last Week’s Poll Results

What is your favorite summertime beverage?

  • Iced tea (29%)
  • Water (24%)
  • Lemonade (14%)
  • Cold beer (14%)
  • Iced coffee (7%)
  • A carbonated soft drink (6%)
  • Something else (5%)
  • Fruit juice (1%)

Other Useless News

Programming note: Unlike most blogs, I’m always open for the weekend here at Len Penzo dot Com. There’s a fresh new article waiting for you every Saturday afternoon. At least there should be. If not, somebody call 9-1-1.

Hey! If you happen to enjoy what you’re reading — or not — please don’t forget to:

1. Click on that “Like” button in the sidebar to your right and become a fan of Len Penzo dot Com on Facebook!

2. Make sure you follow me on Twitter!

And last, but not least…

3. Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed too! Thank you. :-)

Top 25 Referrers for June

It’s the first weekend of the month, which means it’s time once again to thank the top 25 referring websites to Len Penzo dot Com.

1. MSN: Smart Spending
2. Kiplinger
3. Wisebread
4. The Simple Dollar
5. Business Insider
6. Deseret News
7. Monevator
8. Budgets Are Sexy
9. Money Talks News
10. Save Outside the Box
11. Clark Howard
12. LifeHacker
13. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
14. The Free Financial Advisor
15. New York Times
16. Wealth Pilgrim
17. Smart Asset
18. Money Crashers
19. Control Your Cash
20. Afford Anything
21. DQYDJ
22. Time
23. The Consumerist
24. Money Help for Christians
25. Cash Cow Couple

Thank you to everyone who refers their readers to this little ol’ blog! It’s much appreciated.

Letters, I Get Letters

Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment — assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not! You can reach out to me at: Len@LenPenzo.com

For the second week in a row, I managed to tick off another proud waterbed owner. This time, it was Defcon Two who let me have it:

Even after all these years it never fails to amaze me how many people out there are as stupid as (you), yet somehow manage to dress themselves and get to work in the morning.

No kidding. And we owe it all to the good night’s sleep we can only get from a traditional mattress.

I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.

Comments

  1. 3

    says

    All that work I put into creating a Twinkie recipe (see recipe on blog but don’t laugh I worked hard on it lol) when they pulled it and now they are bringing it back geesh. Have a good one mate. CBB

  2. 4

    Jen from Virginia says

    You guys can have the twinkies. I’ll stick to butterscotch krimpits or the occasional red zinger. :)

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