business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we reported that Kroger announced "a more than $770 million incremental investment in its associates during 2023. The company will use this investment to raise average hourly rates, improve healthcare options, build new training and development opportunities, and more."

One MNB reader - obviously someone better at math than I am -  wrote:

$770 million sounds like a big number but if you spread that across about 420,000 employees that is $1,833/yr at 2,000 hours worked in a year that is 91 cents/hour.

Yesterday we took note of a Bloomberg report that California Governor Gavin Newsom has "directed the California Department of Health and Human Services to review all relationships Walgreens has with the state," a reaction to Walgreens' decision not to sell mifepristone, an abortion pill, in 20 states, including some where abortion remains legal.  Walgreens made that decision under legal threat from a number of state attorneys general.

I commented, in part:

In my opinion, Newsom isn't helping the situation.  He's posturing every bit as much as the GOP attorneys general.

One MNB reader replied:

I couldn't agree with you more. I'm a liberal, and a Californian, but I'm sick and tired of politicians on both sides courting outrage instead of solving problems. In this case, punishing Walgreens (or more likely, talking about punishing Walgreens and then not actually doing anything meaningful) accomplishes nothing. 

Newsom is setting himself up to run for President someday, and that's clearly become more important to him than governing. I'd say the same thing about Desantis and others.

If Newsom really believes that women ought to have access to abortion-related healthcare, then he ought not be cutting off California's relationship with a retailer that can help provide it.  This is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

In writing about my disappointment that Fat Tire amber ale is being reformulated, I mentioned that I am open to suggestions about red or amber ales that I should try.

One MNB reader wrote:

Being an East Coaster, wondering if you are familiar with Blue Point Toasted Lager.  It’s a easy drinking Amber but not sure if it has changed since AB bought them.

I don't know - it's been years since I've had one.  But I'm happy to try one in the interest of research.

Finally … yesterday the New York Times wrote that "the Biden administration, keeping a watchful eye on an outbreak of avian influenza that has led to the deaths of tens of millions of chickens and is driving up the cost of eggs — not to mention raising the frightening specter of a human pandemic — is contemplating a mass vaccination campaign for poultry, according to White House officials."

I commented:

The problem is that there is a cadre of birds out there lobbying against any sort of national vaccination program, saying that it is just an excuse to inject them with microchips that will allow the government or global elites like Bill Gates to track them.

One MNB reader wrote:

That's funny, I don't care who you are.


MNB reader Kevin Duffy responded:

Are the chickens going to be required to wear a mask?

Good point.  I hope so.

And then, this absolutely terrific response from an MNB reader:

If a mass vaccination program for poultry is in place and we subscribe to the notion that it is actually a way to track the movements of chickens, will we finally be able to answer the question of "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

Boom!  Mic drop!  Wish I'd come up with that line.