How The War Lead To The Death Of (American) Budweiser

This Bud is for Big Oil, War Profiteers & Europeans, Middle-Class Americans Lose Again

The takeover of American icon Anheuser-Busch by Belgian Brewer InBev, a company that barely anyone had heard of 5 years ago, is another example of how middle-class Americans are paying dearly for the failed war in Iraq.  Simply put, the result of the war is sky high oil prices, a major inflationary pressure, and the worst economy in a generation.  In the process the dollar has dropped like a stone.  Imagine what the real estate crash has done to home values in a world economic context -- given dropping property values and the dropping dollar, many homes have declined in the neighborhood of 50%, ouch!  Call me a whiner but it's the truth.

Given the dollar's record low, America has become one big garage sale for countries that don't squander their prosperity on unneeded wars.  Who can blame InBev for spotting Budweiser and the Clydesdales in the 50% off bargain bin?  Of course. the real losers are thousands of union brewers, skilled craftsmen and white collar jobs not just in St. Louis but throughout the country.   Budweiser will still be around but much of what built the brand & the company will be in Belgium.  Inbev knows as much about cost-cutting as it does about beer.

Wars have consequences.  Of course, the supreme consequence is the loss of thousands of mostly young Americans.  Nothing else comes close to their sacrifice & that of their families.  Unnecessary wars also hurt everybody.  There is no doubt that a huge result of this war is high oil prices and opportunities for the speculators to drive prices up with every new bombing or attack anywhere in the Arab oil heartland.  We pay more & more for oil and its just natural that one way we pay to fill up the tank is to lose American companies entirely.

Anheuser-Busch won't be the last great American company sold to pay the ever increasing oil bill.  Republicans and their war-profiteer & lobbyist friends win either way -- if oil goes up the value of oil companies goes up, just ask George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two oilmen/war contractor execs who have done very well over the last 7 1/2 years.  In the meantime, big oil won't even drill where existing laws allow it  There are over 41,000,000 acres in the outer continental shelf have been leased for oil drilling, yet only 8,123,000 acres are in production.

Oil, the war and the economy are not distinct issues.  The world economy is linked as never before.  The war has equaled a failed economy for 99% of Americans.  Democrats need to be relentless in connecting the dots.  It's not a pretty picture but it's the first step toward persuading middle class Americans that they are paying in blood and at the pump for the failed Republican policies.

Tags: Anheuser-Busch, beer, Dollar, Economy, InBev, middle-class, Missouri, Newark, St. Louis, Takeover, war (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: How The War Lead To The Death Of Bud

Hopefully the silver lining will be that this Belgian company will finally make Budweiser palatable.

by Beren 2008-07-14 06:18PM | 0 recs
You mean Budweiser wasn't already dead?

I could have sworn something died in it.  Nothing else explains the taste.

by mistersite 2008-07-14 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Budweiser wasn't already dead?

Cheers to that.  If any jobs have to be moved abroad, I'm crossing my fingers that they'll be replaced with trappist monks :)

Anyway, there are conflicting reports on whether many jobs will even be lost by the sale -- InBev has pledged not to close any breweries, and depending on who you listen to, their strategy for cutting staff seems to mainly focus on incentives for early retirement.  

I'm not sure I agree with the diary's contention that the collapsing economy is due to the war in Iraq.  Certainly it hasn't helped, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a professional economist who'd agree that it's even the central factor.  The ballooning middle class in China and India, and possibly rampant speculation, are two causes I would blame before Iraq.  The rise in cost is based on demand, not supply.  This is precisely why the GOP's drumbeat of "Drill now!" is fallacious.

by semiquaver 2008-07-14 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Budweiser wasn't already dead?

Simple question -- are you employed by a public relations firm?

by howardpark 2008-07-14 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Budweiser wasn't already dead?

Of course not -- I'm just playing devil's advocate, as I tend to do.  What specifically makes you think I'm PR?  I've been following the story and the facts don't conclusively show that many jobs will be lost by this sale.  Not every foreign buyout results in a substantial loss of American jobs (except at the executive level, of course, but I won't cry too much for them).  Keep in mind that there was a reason the sale happened and that reason is that AB wasn't doing that well to begin with.  Will you admit that it's possible that, due to poor performance, jobs would have been lost if the sale had not gone through?  

by semiquaver 2008-07-14 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Budweiser wasn't already dead?

Yes.  I admit that although thier performance was plodding, but really quite good.  That was not a poorly managed company, just conservative on international expansion.

I'm a former PR guy and know the industry well.

InBev will cut to the bone, then cut more, then cut the structure of the bone, then cut more.  Then cut even more.  It is thier culture and history.  Actually I think they were ripped off and will destroy the brand.  They paid $70 a share then will kill the goose that laid the golden egg but hey, I might be wrong.  

by howardpark 2008-07-14 07:48PM | 0 recs
The brand could use some trimming

I can't really cry over the destruction of a lowest-common-denomonator beer like Bud.  Europeans might make it better.  Unfortunate about the jobs if they go, though.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-15 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: How The War Lead To The Death

mehh... talk about stretching.. inbev didnt get budweiser for free.. they paid fregging $70 a share... get a clue..

by gladiatorsback 2008-07-14 06:33PM | 0 recs
Taste's great, less paying -- It's About Jobs

Michelob is the best AB Brand.

Union jobs don't mean much to some of you.  They do mean a lot if you just lost one.  Budweiser tastes great and they would never change the brewing process.

by howardpark 2008-07-14 06:38PM | 0 recs
Kneejerk response to any beer claims
(Do not watch around little ones or at work)
by semiquaver 2008-07-14 06:53PM | 0 recs
Kneejerk response to kneejerk response

by mistersite 2008-07-14 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Taste's great, less paying -- It's About Jobs

Howard, Howard...John here. I absolutely get the Union jobs thing.

But "Budweiser tastes great"? Uh...it doesn't have much taste at all. Utter piss-water.

Hopefully the Union Brewers will now be employed making actual beer.

by ElitistJohn 2008-07-14 07:21PM | 0 recs
American

American beer is refreshing, not a cultural taste experience.  It's not unlike cheese, I want basic cheddar on my cheeseburger, not an artesnial craft cheese at $30 a pound.  I like American beer.

by howardpark 2008-07-14 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: American
I like American beer.
Me too. In fact, I love it.

/gonna wave my beer snob flag high
by semiquaver 2008-07-14 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: American

Bell's Two Hearted Ale, one of the best IPAs out there. Didn't know they were in Michigan, I thought they were Pacific Northwest. Good to know for when I go back to my hometown of Toledo next time.

by ElitistJohn 2008-07-14 08:08PM | 0 recs
Bells' is my fav. Too bad it was

recently banned from my homestate due to some bottler/distributor brouhaha, now as a compromise you can buy it by the bottle - one weak variety at just a few bars in Chicago.  No cases, and no selection.

I now find lots of excuses to make a quick trip up to MI.

by semiquaver 2008-07-14 09:50PM | 0 recs
Re: American

So's cold water, but I wouldn't call it beer either. Fine if you like it, but I wouldn't defend it on taste.

by ElitistJohn 2008-07-14 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: American

51% --ABs US market share -- agree on something.  I'll take 51% in November too :-)

by howardpark 2008-07-14 08:38PM | 0 recs
Ignore the beer snobs man!

Yes yes microbrews taste better, but there's nothing wrong with liking Bud.  Plus it's cheap.

MGD on the other hand...ugh.

by JJE 2008-07-14 08:40PM | 0 recs
mgd? PABST! BLUE! RIBBON!!

by semiquaver 2008-07-14 09:54PM | 0 recs
PBR

was the choice of Brooklynite hipsters trying to be ironic and edgy several years ago.  I don't know if it still has that status.

by JJE 2008-07-15 06:40AM | 0 recs
Wake me when they're threatening Leinenkugel's

Non-microbrewed American beer is largely horrible.  The only one I can stomach is Leine's.  That said, Minneapolis here has some fine microbrews like Surly Furious.

So if the Europeans can make Bud better, then I welcome our new beer overlords.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-15 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't forget Miller

America's number two brewer was taken over by South African Brewing (SAB) on May 31.  It's been a hairy two weeks for mass brewers in the US. (SAB is based in London).

by David Kowalski 2008-07-15 07:49AM | 0 recs

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