This week, Twinkies return to the American pantrythanks to private equity.

Twinkies are back and it is because of private equity. A recent Slate article examines the Twinkies comeback and highlights the valuable role that private equity plays in the American economy.

The article explains:

Private equity went on trial as never before last year… The debate tended to portray private equity as both rarefied and rapacious—but that distorts its everyday role in the American economy. In the U.S. alone, 2,600 private equity firms have invested in over 15,000 portfolio companies; last year, approximately 8 million people in the U.S. were working for private-equity backed companies. Despite private equity’s sometimes well-earned reputation as the scourge of the working man, public pension funds are some of the biggest investors in private equity deals. Simply put, the retirement benefits of many teachers, police, and firefighters are dependent on private equity producing stellar returns.

Private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. are the private equity firms responsible for bringing Twinkies back to market. Had they not stepped in, the article points out, the company wouldn’t have survived, and hundreds of jobs would have been lost. “In this regard, private equity can be seen as a job preservation endeavor.”

The article closes by suggesting, “If 2012 was the year private equity went on trial, maybe 2013 can be the year that we can take a more dispassionate look at what private equity actually does for the economy.”

Watch the video below to learn more about who benefits from private equity: