We all know that the Obama administration trots out the evil corporate stereotype time and time again. Whenever they need to justify another big government program, the president and his advisors are quick to criticize oil companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurers, the banking industry and anybody else who dares to turn a profit in the private sector. There is one significant exception to this rule however: the $150 billion conglomerate known as General Electric.
The company, its chairman, Jeffery Immelt, and the Obama administration have recently been the target of pointed criticism after GE announced its intention to partner with China’s state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation to develop airliners. In addition to concerns over China’s dubious record in honoring patents and keeping industrial secrets, many see the move as a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who work for Boeing and for companies who are part of Boeing’s vast supply chain.
The irony of course is that Immelt, who Obama tapped to head the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, approved a venture that would both create overseas jobs and threaten domestic employment. “We are all in and we don’t want it back,” said Lorraine Bolsinger, chief executive of GE Aviation Systems.
But this is nothing new when it comes to Immelt and Obama’s cozy relationship, and the way that GE has profited from both corporate welfare and government-sponsored rigging of the marketplace. Anyone who was surprised by GE’s latest move hasn’t been paying attention.
“Jeff Immelt is perhaps the CEO who is most cozy with President Obama,” journalist Tim Carney said in an interview with John Stossel. “General Electric is structuring their business around where government is going . . . high-speed rail, solar, wind. GE is lining up to get what government is handing out.”
Arguably, no company has positioned itself better to take advantage of the “green revolution” in American energy production. The flip-side of GE’s commitment to “eco-engineering” is that the company would be hurt badly if the nation returned to a sensible energy policy that utilized the full spectrum of our vast natural resources.
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