So the symbiosis between GE and the federal government, in particular the Obama administration, is obvious. GE strikes us as a "modern" company, in that its business strategy consists largely of exercising political influence. In truth, however, the concept is not new: the virtual merger of Big Government and Big Business has long been a hallmark of national socialism.
After noting that GE
- paid no federal income taxes in 2010 after reporting a $14 billion profit.
- has cut its US work force by 20%,
- is now generating most of its revenue overseas,
- runs a TV network (MSNBC) that runs pro-Obama programming 24/7,
- and has decided that getting government subsidies for "green energy" is the key to its future,
John at Powerline compares GE to Koch Industries:
One can hardly resist comparing GE with another American company--one that has steadily increased its American workforce, rather than cutting it. One that has never gone to the federal government for a bailout. One that lobbies out of self-defense, as all companies do, but not to secure special privileges for itself at the taxpayers' expense. One that pays lots of taxes. One that not only advocates free enterprise, but lives by it, competing for business with superior products and services.
A number of companies would fit that description, but I have in mind Koch Industries. Koch is smaller than GE, although not radically so--$100 billion in revenues vs. $150 billion--but it pays a whole lot more in taxes. One might think that a company like Koch would be honored and respected compared with a company like GE, but that is not the case--not on the left, anyway. On the contrary, it is Koch's very integrity that makes it public enemy number one for the Democratic Party.
I once worked for GE; I'm very glad I don't any more.
So the questions are posed rather starkly. Which company should Americans respect, the company that lays off more and more Americans, or the one that keeps hiring them? The company that dodges taxes, or the one that pays them? The company that makes money by partnering with government to force uneconomic products on an unwilling public, or the one that sells top-notch products that consumers want, without any compulsion from Washington? The company that stands for a Big Business-Big Government partnership, or the one that stubbornly defends, and practices, free enterprise?
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is a very, very bad man.