retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We had an email yesterday from an MNB user talking about the difficulty of calorie counting, and listing all the components of a recent meal ... and I noted that the refried beans included on the menu probably was the real calorie-killer.

Which led one MNB user to respond:

Funny that you would pick refried beans as the calorie killer.  Refried beans are pretty healthy (except for the sodium) and low-fat outside of restaurants.  It just goes to show how difficult accurate calorie counting is.

Here's the info below for both fat free and regular canned varieties.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup (252.0 g) 1 tbsp (16.0 g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 29

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.2g 5%
Saturated Fat 1.2g 6%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.4g
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 753mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 39.1g 13%
Dietary Fiber 13.4g 53%
Sugars 0.6g
Protein 13.8g

Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 25%

Calcium 9% • Iron 23%

Fat-Free Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cup

Amount per Serving
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 0

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 960mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber 14g 56%
Protein 16g 32%
Calcium 8%
Iron 20%

Est. Percent of Calories from:
Fat 0.0% Carbs 70.0%

We had a story yesterday about how baby boomers are working longer, making it harder for some young people to find jobs. Which led one MNB user to write:

My girlfriends son graduated college 2 years ago, he landed a job with a large commercial real estate company, about the time the economy went under, over the next year and a half he got one paycheck, ( the job was straight commission).  When he finally decided he needed to get another job, or at least a part time job, (partly due to his parents making him do it) he found he was competing with people my age (early fifties) for entry level positions.  The market was flooded with middle aged people who would take anything just to get a paycheck, and the companies who had jobs were hiring these people who would require little or no training and could almost be plugged right in.

Now, he is in basic training in the Army, and for the first time is earning a steady paycheck at age 24.

MNB user Elizabeth Archerd wrote:

The snippet about Older People (OMG that's me now) will probably bring responses about self-centered baby boomers who just won't get out of the way, a refreshing change from the criticism about self-centered baby boomers who are poised to chew up the federal budget because we're we think we should be able to retire early and coast along on Social Security.

It's kind of a no-win situation for a certain demographic.

And, from another MNB user:

This creates an ugly trickle-effect for workers my age. Less people retire, less workers promoted, far less opportunities for mid-level professionals to move up or find higher levels of work at other companies, so on and so on. I’ve been told that the jobs I’m applying for that require 3-5 years experience in my field plus education, there are 10 others with either the same or 10-20 years experience with an MBA.  Even with tech skills, there are only so many jobs to go around. The simple fact is that right now, this is by far the worst job market that we or any baby boomers have seen in our time.  Not to mention most people that currently have jobs haven’t had a raise and/or pay reductions in the last 3 years, reduced benefits, etc. Don’t believe me? My dad raised 4 kids on slightly more than what I make a year, and Mom only did odd jobs for extra cash. We had a nice home in a good neighborhood, always had a home cooked meal, and had new shoes/clothes every school year.  It’s laughable to even fathom me doing that today on my salary if my wife didn’t work.

I’m not trying to be a cry-baby. That’s one of the problems with my generation. And my wife and I work very hard for what we have. But it is discouraging sometimes. I read an excellent article yesterday about entrepreneurship from young workers that are having trouble finding corporate jobs. It was inspiring and something I will be considering in the near future.

I read the same article, and sent it to my 24 and 21-year-old sons.

Heres’ the thing. Nobody has the right to expect anyone else to get out of their way ... and everybody has the responsibility to find ways to be relevant and have differentiated ideas in a tough and competitive economy.


I’m going to be completely up front here. I debated with myself long and hard after this email came in just before midnight last night, trying to figure out whether I just run it.

I’ve decided to post it because I think it reflects the opinion of more than just one person when it comes to the debate about child nutrition legislation ... something that I’ve said makes sense for some very specific public policy reasons. This MNB user, who has asked that his name not be used, say the least. Here’s the email:

Ok here it is. My views are the normal American. You try to present yourself as a unbiased individual. You are not. You post 2 E mails from lunatics on the left. I have talked to thousands on Facebook. We all believe you and your California friends are on the outside. The librarian  in my town is bringing cookies and brownies to school. I told her she is breaking the law. She said all ingredients were bought at Shaws how can that  be? I told her about the law. You know what you and your liberal friends don’t realize is there is many small towns in America that don’t hold your view or your liberal followers. We live in small town America!!!!!!! Why is that so hard for you to understand????? We all know each other, we watch out for each others kids, we protect our life, we protect our autonomy. The librarian said until the police stop me I will do it. You are so far out of touch with the REAL America you might as well jump on the Obama train to socialism and the government dictating what we do. WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN!!!!!!!! Try as you may to break us it will not happen, because rural America will not stand for it. Go ahead and post E mails from liberal states and liberal Democrats, but you will not silence us. You say your not one side or another, but in my opinion you full of (expletive deleted). Iowa, Indiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and so on still believe in hometown America. I work in CT and live in NH. People say are you moving down? I have commuted for 3 years. I stay in a hotel during the week and go home on weekends. Why? I would never raise my children in this liberal state. You don’t get it!!!!!!! You and your liberal government controlling friends ARE NOT MAINSTREAM AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!! How do you not get that???? I would love to meet with you and discuss or differences. I would like to express my opinion in person. I work in Cheshire and I am at a hotel Mon-Thurs. Call me anytime and I will meet with you and let you know my views. I will even pay for dinner. I will have to go somewhere with meat of course. Wasn’t the election enough of a wake up call for the liberal government state to understand we have had enough of big brother??????? I don’t get where your coming from. Have you been on Facebook and seen what the real America thinks? I think you have buried your head in the sand. Let’s get together and chat. I promise you I am not dangerous. I am a good law abiding American raising a great family with 3 great boys. I just don’t understand why you would post only liberal views. You demonized me. I said the Obama police in my post and said LOL and you did not include that. Why? All you said was the law has not been passed yet. I know you do not want to believe it but I have a genius IQ. That means nothing to me, but do not make me look like the fringe. I am mainstream and the views expressed by your readers are the fringe, for you just do not see it. Let me know if you want to have dinner sometime. I know you will not take me up on my invitation, but think about it. You could talk to a real mainstream American.

I appreciate the invitation, but I think I am going to pass.

What I find interesting is that you seem to think that you are normal, and that I am not.  That you are unbiased, and that I am not. (I cheerfully admit to having biases, by the way. We all have them. The only people kidding themselves are the people who think they do not.) And you suggest that you are a real American, and that I am not.  

And then you accuse me of trying to demonize you.

I feel bad about that.  You may indeed have a genius IQ, but I'm afraid your tolerance quotient is a little lacking.

But here’s what I feel worse about.

I don’t think you are alone.
KC's View: