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18WT 021:  Big Business, Who owns Whom in America!

May 24, 2021  Patrick Heller / Janet McCue

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18WT 021:  This episode begins with belly laughs as our hosts try and figure out if Janet burping made it on air. Janet has to stop Patrick and tell him to quit telling people that hating the two of them is ok. Janet interrupts the show to tell us that her drink is making her belchy. Like, subscribe, comment, enter contests. Janet’s hair is not yet wayward, it has it’s own life. Patrick takes hate mail as well as good mail. Janet offers introductions to Maybelline if people hate her. Promises not threats. Lock & Load jokes fly.

Show swag is on the support the show tab just click HERE. No booby talks today, yet; Janet wants to talk about big business in the news and her boot in his butt. And the F-bomb fly’s. Patrick swears he is the bad she is the good. She tells him to zip it zippy, lots of faces and jokes before they get the show really started.

So, she begins, so you sit down to watch the news, or read the news. And suddenly you realize that it is all the same no matter where you look. Patrick points out that he goes to court-tv for court news and is stuck in forensic files rabbit hole.

So tell me she says, what do you really know about the country you live in? Maybe even the country you were born and raised in and your fathers’ father was born here too. He says it is big and she wants to back track a million years ago to when she was a kid in the seventies.

They go on to discuss the four stations they both got back then ABC, NBC, CBS, & PBS. The town she grew up in was really small, well under 3000 people, unless you added the farms and the animals. There was a town newspaper, but everyone tended to get the Chicago Tribune or the Peoria Journal Star. Yes, small town Illinois.

Patrick talks about the last time he read the paper was when the twin towers were bombed. After a bit, they agree that, depending on where you read, from 60-85% of American adults say their daily news source is biased. That is up from only 30-35% in the mid 70’s. That is basically double and bull shit.

Janet talks about congress changing things in 1996. Prior to then, big corporations could not buy out their competitor’s. The law was changed so they could. Now there are 6 corporations running the news in America. According to the Frugal Dad, “As of September 2020, the 6 media giants are ATT (bought Time Warner), CBS, Comcast, Disney, News Corp (the parent company of Fox News), and Viacom.” They control over 70% of what we see on tv, cable, satellite, etc. 3,762 businesses contribute the remainder. Patrick has too many fingers up for this equation. He says those big businesses program us, wonder why you can’t believe them…

Patrick and Janet agree that the 3700 are the ones’ to believe, not the big 6. How long before the big 6 is the big 4 or the big 3? Janet talks about how it may one day be the big one company. Patrick disagrees because of laws on monopolization. Janet’s’ argument is in radio. In 1995 no company could own more than 40 radio stations. Clear Channel Media now basically owns the market. They own 1207 stations in 201 out of 287 markets in the U.S. In some markets they own every station in the towns or cities.   Patrick pulls his hat down and Janet is a numbers person and keeps rolling as they talk about the Albany NY area.

 Janet asks you know who owns Clear …amidst laughter he answers iHeartMedia Inc. Everyone has heard of iHeartRadio. IHeartRadio, nearly everyone with a smartphone has listened to them now and again. And now that they have added podcasts, every podcaster (like 18 Wheel Talk Podcast Show) wants to be on there also.

Now it makes sense he says! Everything you want to hear is on IHeart radio!

Janet says this is just the tip of the iceberg if you think about it. Amidst a little more laughter they pause and talk about what else has changed in America? Corporate America has taken us over bit by bit. Or he says, should I say bite by bite? Just take a look at the food giants, ok.

Grocery stores they discuss, Kroger owns Fry’s, Smiths, etc. or… she can’t think if Safeway owning Albertsons or vice versa. Or Golab in NY, Price Chopper, and Market 24.

Pug Interruptus and a quick break more food talk to the production companies. Patrick brings up Nestle made 93 million dollars in one year. What brought a lot of this up is the show “Food that built America”. Yes, they went down a rabbit hole. That is just one, doesn’t even show such giants as Kellogg, Post or General Mills. All have markets in the billions.

Janet rings up Mondelēz International owns Kraft and Nabisco, among other brands. Pepsi owns a bunch, Pizza Hut KFC, Taco Bell, etc. they are all owned by Pepsi. Companies buy each other out. Patrick used to work a night shift for pizza hut back in 91, 6 days a week. If only he had stayed with them and invested in their stock back then!

He ate pizza every day and never gained a pound, thanks to smoking three packs a day. And impressively quit cold turkey 5 years ago. 5 stars please he says. Shameless plug

JBS food out of Greeley CO made 50 million on the American side and they own a lot of food production for Black Angus Beef, Swift Foods, Pilgrim Foods, Primo Meats, Moy Park Meats, Beehive Meats, Certified Angus. More of those top producers and their one-year profits.

Tyson Foods 40,052,000; Mars 35,000,000; Archer Daniels Midland Company 64,341,000; Cargill 114,695,000; Kraft-Heinz Company 26,259,000; Mondelez International 25,938,000; Smithfield Foods 22,605,000

ADM brings up laughter because they argue about the trucks as Patrick gets Janet to swear. ADM is out of Chicago and they are nationwide. He makes Janet wrinkle her nose and tells people to go the video to see it. Laughter erupts as he continues to tease her.

And they talk more about Mars candy and M&M bars and Mars bars and Hershey. Mars began by buying chocolate from Hershey. Janet talks about Cargill, which has food and beverage, big pharm, beauty, etc. Patrick brings up RIST trucking which did oil, gas, and food. RIST & ARG. Janet worked for them in NY.

Heinz is owned by Mondelez and then they move on to Smithfield. Who doesn’t like Smithfield hams? Yumm Patrick makes drooling sounds about Janet cooking.

Patrick knows that next is big box stores and when he was growing up there was Kmart and Sears. One bought the other. There was Woolworth and Montgomery Wards and Fingerhut. Janet brings up S & H Green stamp stores, he mentions Bradley’s and Janet says birds are chirping.

They wonder about Oldsmobile as Patrick teases Janet about being a gearhead. Who owns whom? They talk about companies being bought and sold without anyone knowing about it. They stop to laugh as Janet does the entire head bob over it. You should see the video!

The discussion goes on about companies being bought and who noticed. Patrick has worked for small companies that were great and worked for a top 100 company that sucked. Podcast to follow on that….

How many corner stores get bought out by big companies and end up being part of a mall or a parking garage or an apartment complex? The laughter is not so funny over the truth, people don’t notice where they went.

So Janet brings up Other not “news-worthy items”? Things like 178 million unique users read Time Warner News every month. That’s twice the amount of Digg, Tumblr, and Reddit, Combined! That’s nearly three times the amount of Google news. Patrick laughs about getting his news from Instagram. A bit of joking around and Patrick wonders who bought Time Warner.

Time Warner, Warner Brothers, and we pray for Patrick, lol. Janet goes back to News Corp. who owns the Top newspaper on three continents; The Wall Street Journal, The Sun and the Australian (owns Fox Sports Australia). And over a decade ago, they avoided over $875 million in U.S. taxes alone. Patrick wants to know how Janet didn’t learn to fix their taxes. That Janet says, is enough to double FEMA’s budget or fund NPR for over 40 years. Now let’s update what you should know about America.

A few knuckle cracks and jokes about being ready.

She continues… First off 60 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid no taxes on a total of $79 billion of profits earned in 2018. The companies, which include tech giants such as Amazon and Netflix, should have paid more in taxes. analysis is based on the corporations’ annual financial reports, which were filed earlier this year to report their 2018 results. These larger companies should have paid a collective $16.4 billion in federal income taxes. Instead, these corporations received a net tax rebate of $4.3 billion.

So people wonder why our country is a mess. But Janet continues… Sen. Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has claimed on Twitter that the $119 Amazon Prime members pay annually for perks, including free two-day shipping, is more than the online retail giant paid in taxes last year. Let that sink in as you sit and do your taxes this year, even with that little tax rebate we, the little people are supposed to get.

Patrick takes a moment to wonder why as Janet continues with the facts about Amazon.

Amazon alone, has a tax rate of -1 percent. Their rebate this year is expected to be $129,000,000.00. Yes, you read that correctly, $129 million dollar rebate for the online giant. They of course balked at the number when questioned by the program “Money Watch”.

Patrick and Janet agree this is crazy and while he likes Amazon, he hates that. This leads to Jeff Bezos being worth $187 billion dollars. That they agree is just a crazy amount of money. His wife is renting an island for over $135,000 a night during the divorce. She owns 4% of Amazon, Patrick and Janet would take half of half of a half percent.

So Janet says, where do you get your news and how do you tell if it is real? Patrick replies local news and hopes it is real. They talk more and Janet talks about how she finds her subjects for blogs and podcasts. They laugh about the dark web, who owns it. “Oh, I only listen to “Insert YOUR news source here” they are the only one who tells the truth. They have other friends who say the same about getting their news off the dark web, or Reddit, Digg, Tumblr, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Everyone has their own source that they believe to whatever extent they choose to believe. Patrick reminds Janet that she is on the “Russian Facebook” and they aren’t even on Facebook for the podcast.

So, she continues, everyone as their place to get their news and what they believe. You have to try and remember that when you are looking at news for a news source, consider your agenda as well as the agenda of the source you go to. And the best example she could give you is that if you are looking for political news for one a major candidate, look for news published by their political party. Maybe you even want to look at the view from outside the U.S.

Patrick and Janet scrolled one day looking channel by channel on tv looking for news. Found a local one they liked and cannot find it again. Janet is passionate about go to a source that has the same agenda as you. For food info go to a food network, for sports, go to sports, etc.

Patrick teases Janet about finding her top six decent news sources.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/monkey-cage it is like the Washington Post without the Washington Post in it. It is a specific part of the Post; highly educated analysis of the issues at hand by people that wore their brains to work that day. And they laugh about brains.

Janet is sure Patrick will like the name of then next one, pew, pew, pew, they both laugh,

https://www.pewresearch.org not just political news, on the spot news that is researched.

Patrick says he doesn’t see TMZ in her list. She agrees she forgot. Patrick finds his Lindsay Lohan news there, go figure!

https://www.pewresearch.org not just political news, on the spot news that is researched.

https://www.allsides.com unbiased-balanced-news This gives you a glance at the various sides of news.

https://reason.com hard hitting independent journalism on a variety of subjects.

https://truthout.org  nonprofit news organization that self-describes as journalism in the pursuit of justice. Providing independent reporting and commentary on a diverse range of subjects. They wore their superman cape Janet says and Patrick is Batman. Which brings in an entirely different laugh and subject.

So big business is big, and they are taking over America. Bring your picnic basket, ya know what I mean BooBoo. (Nod to Yogi Bear & BooBoo). Patrick says they have the brains in big business. Janet says that some of them wear born into money and made use of it.

And Pug Interruptus. He acts tough but they are his babies.

They discuss that they do not know how to cure the problem. Buy local, eat local, not muy-loco. Janet says that big businesses do give local jobs and Patrick agrees. Which brings up thieves in the night, eight people handling everything you order, stuff being stolen and quarantine.

They go on to discuss paying for convenience. Amazon books is how it started. But it is easier to buy from a big grocer than a farm stand and a corner store. Plus it is less expensive. They talk about Barnes and Nobles and Border Books.

They take some time to talk about cars, food, being rich, guns, peanut butter, and crackers on a motorcycle. Get your very own Squeeze Bottle of Peanut Butter. They laugh wanting to patent peanut butter in a squeeze bottle only to find out it has already been done.

They laugh and end the show as they apologize for getting sidetracked. Oh and please go to https://www.18wheeltalk.com/bcsupport Patrick is like a good bra but not on your back Janet says.

They are selling three BC shirts and giving one half of the profits to breast cancer research. If you have a local facility that you want to support or shout out on the show email us at: patrick@18wheeltalk.com in the subject put shout out. In October we are doing a special show. Janet asks Patrick ‘tell me what you want what you really-really want”. He really wants reviews and help us support breast cancer.

WE WANT YOU TO HELP US SUPPORT THE BOOBIES. Patrick always brings up titties. Janet brings up the man thing on another podcast. Episode 20.

Thank you for all of the support you have given us in the past and those in the future thank you!

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