Last week we had a story about Kroger saying it would make "a more than $770 million incremental investment in its associates during 2023 … 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.
Another MNB reader chimed in:
Regarding Kroger, I would gladly take the 91 cents per hour! I'll get 47 cents this April at the large east coast chain I work for, and that's for exceeding expectations, otherwise it would have been 31 cents.
There was a story last week about how Walmart+ seems to be making inroads against Amazon with affluent shoppers, which prompted this email:
This will be very interesting. Wal-Mart at one time was not considered a threat to Sears and Kmart, but we know how that ended up.
One thing about Wal-Mart I have always respected is their desire to always learn and grow. Add that to the culture of simply working harder than their competition. If I were Amazon, I would be concerned. Maybe not in the near future, but don’t get complacent and don’t become too cautious.
On another subject - the new version of Fat Tire beer - MNB reader Jerome Schindler wrote:
I tried a couple of Fat Tire pale ale beers at our Parish fish fry last night - not sure it is the “new” formula. I was not impressed. A couple years ago I discovered Narragansett Lager and have been a regular buyer ever since. It is brewed in Providence, RI. It was featured in the movie “JAWS” . The brand goes back over 100 years according to their website. I see it is widely available In Darian. You should try it if you haven’t already.
Lager is the only one of their offerings I can find in Columbus, OH. I wish their IPA was available here.
Kroger said last week that it has hired John Boehner - the former Congressman from Ohio who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015 - to help its lobbying effort aimed at federal approval of its proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons.
I wonder if Boehner gets a special bonus in the form of a couple of cases of merlot if the deal ands up being approved.
Several other readers had comments about Boehner's proclivity for crying.
One MNB reader wrote:
I assume the former Speaker will just tear up when the FTC finally issues its ruling sometime in 2030.
And from another reader:
…or a couple cases of Kleenex for him to cry into if it doesn’t.
One obviously an optimist. The other not so much.
From another reader, a political comment:
I’m a strong conservative, and Boehner was never one of my favorites. I don’t think he’s the best choice to help negotiate this deal! Time will tell!
Whether he is or not remains to be seen. But one part of your comment intrigued me. I checked, and if my sources are accurate, in 2010, Boehner received a 100 percent conservative score from the American Conservative Union, and has a lifetime score from that organization of 94. In 2010, Boehner had a 100 percent rating from the conservative Club for Growth, and a 83 percent lifetime rating.
Which makes me wonder, what the hell does one have to do to be a strong conservative these days?
Or, is it possible that what passes for a strong conservative in 2023 isn't what was considered conservative in 2010 … or at any time before that?