We're not sure if bigger is, indeed, better but there's little question that getting bigger is what it's all about in the business world these days.
The business section of the newspaper can hardly keep up with all of the mergers and acquisitions that are taking place in our rapidly changing economic climate.
Minnesota seems to be in the thick of merger mania this week with headlines of General Mills $10 billion buyout of Pillsbury and the possible acquisition of Northwest Airlines being discussed.
For years, Pillsbury, General Mills and Northwest Airlines were giants in Minnesota's corporate culture, but for one reason or another each of those businesses has faced -- or is facing -- a decision about maintaining their strictly Minnesota roots or becoming part of a larger corporate entity.
Years ago, it was common for disgruntled customers to demand "Let me talk to the owner," if they were not satisfied with their service. Today, that same customer had better be prepared to talk by telephone as out-of-town corporate ownership becomes increasingly commonplace.
Talk of a $3.7 billion bid by American Airlines to buy Northwest Airlines is particularly troubling for Minnesotans. It was just a few years back that the state of Minnesota appropriated a considerable amount of tax dollars to bolster Northwest when that airline was in deep financial trouble.
The state aid to Northwest Airlines was criticized as corporate welfare by critics but was finally approved because a majority of lawmakers feared losing Northwest's high-paying Minnesota jobs and the Twin Cities' status as an air travel hub.
Now those Minnesota jobs and the state's coveted hub status are endangered once again, despite the tax dollars we threw in direction of Northwest Airlines.
Minnesota's state and federal politicians owe it to their constituents to hold Northwest accountable to the promises it made the state back when the airline needed our help.
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