GE Stabs the US in the Back
In 1876 Thomas Alva Edison opened a
laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey for the purposes of exploring how to
produce and distribute electricity. History records that he invented the
incandescent electric light bulb there. By 1890, he had established the Edison
General Electric Company, now known simply as GE.
In 2011, Jeffrey Immelt,
the CEO of GE and the chairman of President Obama’s “Jobs Council” is
eliminating jobs for American employees of GE at a furious pace. To add insult
to injury, in 2010 GE paid no federal taxes at all
despite worldwide profits of $14.2 billion. GE claimed a tax benefit of $2.3
From an America corporate icon to an American disgrace, GE
epitomizes how federal policies, cronyism, and rent seeking is destroying
America from within by avoiding taxes and shipping jobs overseas. Keep in mind, none of this is illegal.
It is, however, unconscionable.
A recent article at
TheEconomicCollapseblog.com took a look at the way GE is “moving jobs and
economic infrastructure to China at a blistering pace.” For example, “GE makes
more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world and now GE has
announced that it is ‘moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business
The article notes that, “Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens
of thousands of good jobs out of the United States.” Even the liberal learning
Huffington Post reported that “As the administration struggles to prod
businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since
Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S. according to its
most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it
has added 25,000 jobs overseas.”
“At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000
more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the
The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed
last September. This came on the heels of the federal government’s ban on the
100-watt incandescent light bulb and its push to require Americans to purchase
the new CFL light bulbs as part of Obama’s green jobs initiative. The CFL bulbs
have been universally denounced as providing less equivalent light, costing
more, and using mercury as part of their manufacture.
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When John Rice was
appointed GE’s head of global operations, responsible for growth
in markets that include China, India, the Middle East and Brazil, the Huffington
Post revealed that GE planned to spend $500 million on research and development and new customer innovation centers in
China, adding more than a thousand jobs there. “More than $1.5 billion is
expected to be put toward joint ventures with Chinese state-owned enterprises in
At the same time, Daily Finance.com revealed
that GE “is arming China to compete with Boeing—and America.” Peter Cohen that
“General Electric plans to sell its aircraft electronics to Chinese companies”
noting that China just flight-tested a prototype stealth fighter” as it
continues to build up its military. GE is selling technology “it developed for
U.S. companies like Boeing to Boeing’s Chinese competitors.”
being de-industrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem
to care,” says TheEconomicCollapseblog while noting that in 1979 there were 19.5
million manufacturing jobs in the United States and today there are 11.6
“The United States has lost a staggering 32% of all its
manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.”
While President Obama berates
the Congress for the lack of free trade agreements, he neglects to say that
several such agreements with Latin American nations linger on his desk and none
can be acted upon by Congress until he sends them for approval.
Jeffrey Immelt flies around in his corporate jet and issues vacuous,
hypocritical statements about jobs for Americans, he and his close friend in the
White House are undermining the economy. Other U.S. corporations are following
The U.S. corporate tax is the highest in the world, but you will
not hear any talk of lowering this tax rate, only meaningless class warfare
blather about taxing “millionaires and billionaires” more when, in truth, those
taxes will fall heaviest on small business owners.
This is the deliberate destruction
of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Alan Caruba, 2011
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