Death of the Great American Lager!
Who put up the “For Sale” sign at the United States border? It has been about a year since I last traveled outside the U. S. and I may have missed it when I flew back, but evidently it was there. I know by now you are well aware of the JBS Swift merger and what it might mean for American beef producers in terms of the consolidation of the meat processing business in this country. Separate from that, I think we need to realize it is just one more instance of a much larger occurrence of foreign companies buying up a piece of the “American Dream.”
With the little speed bump the U.S. economy has hit, the rest of the world is buying up U.S. companies like never before and who can blame them? It would be like you or me walking into our favorite ranch and home store and seeing a sign on the door telling us everything in the store was on sale at a sizable discount. Who wouldn’t buy a few things? Much of the world outside the U.S. has been trying for years to build economies based on our model of free enterprise and now they can do one better by buying into the original. We may not like it but it is the truth.
Another example of this trend recently made headlines and for some reason it really upset me and I thought I would share my frustration with you.
InBev, a Belgian brewing company, has recently expressed interest in purchasing Anheuser-Busch. Their offer is reported to be in the neighborhood of $46 billion. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, I’m sure you’re familiar with the Anheuser-Bush name. This St. Louis, Mo.-based company has been in operation since 1852. There aren’t many things more American than the Budweiser Clydesdales and I have this picture in my head from one the company’s commercials that shows a couple of combines cutting through a field of barley.
If Anheuser-Busch accepts this buyout offer these symbols will forever be tarnished to me. This is not a time in America when we can afford to lose any amount of our heritage and I’m afraid this move, as small as it may seem, would strike a major blow deep into the heart of Americana. I hope for this reason that the Busch family, the company’s board of directors and all the shareholders will stand up and say, “Thanks, but no thanks. We are an American company and we want to stay that way.”
The company is currently in the process of mulling over the offer and in the end I am sure this deal will be done or undone by simple dollars and cents, but it sure would be nice to chalk up a win for American pride. Some may call me old-fashioned, and the liberals might even call me simple-minded, but if these are the titles that come with being proud of my heritage and my country then call me whatever you want!
Until next time,