Friday, June 5, 2009

How General Electric Outens the Lights

Time was when General Electric was known as the company who made lives easier and lit up the country. They sponsored Mr. Wizard on TV. They were a huge success story and America benefited greatly from their innovations. When I was growing up there was a GE plant in my home town in Ohio. Some of my friends' parents worked there. One was a Research Engineer who was sent to Columbia to head up a research division and wound up murdered with his wife and two girls fleeing for their lives back to America. They were told by the police in Columbia to get the heck out of there fast. They never got answers to the mysterious murder and suffered from trauma from that event ever after. I was young and his daughters were my friends. We were all in shock. The family never saw saw the body. It was all very like an international spy novel or one of those movies that sends chills up your spine. One of the daughters, who was my closest friend at the time, had lasting emotional pain for years and years. To this day, there is no resolution to the event.

Those were my first impressions of GE. Sinister describes the image I have of GE today, in more ways than one. An American success story gone bad.

In case you are not aware of it, GE owns NBC and MSNBC. And in case you were locked in a closet all this past election season, those two news organizations were pushing Obama like ice cream on a hot summer's day. Every newscast was fawning all over Obama's supposed unmatched virtues. You would have thought that Obama was the Second Coming of Christ if you watched and listened to those channels. This continues today. Did you ever ask yourself why?

Timothy P. Carney reported in the Washington Post in March a revealing connection between Obama and GE. He wrote the following:

"GE — a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which advocates cap and trade — leads the push for greenhouse gas restrictions.

Reviewing their lobbying filings, you might think you were looking at Al Gore’s agenda. GE’s specific lobbying issues included the “Climate Stewardship Act,” “Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act,” “Global Warming Reduction Act,” “Federal Government Greenhouse Gas Registry Act,” “Low Carbon Economy Act,” and “Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.”
This isn’t altruism or public relations. GE has started a joint venture called Greenhouse Gas Services, which invests in — and hopes to manage the trade in — greenhouse gas credits. But these investments and this trading floor are of basically no use and nearly no value without government restrictions on greenhouse gases.

Hence the lobbying, buttressed by generous campaign contributions: Employees and executives gave $1.35 million to politicians in the past election while GE’s political action committee shelled out $1.55 million. About 64 percent of this $2.9 million went to Democrats, with Obama easily the top recipient of GE money.

Obama’s budget includes the payoff, promising to start a multibillion-dollar greenhouse gas industry by 2012. In a letter this week, GE’S Immelt told shareholders that current events present an “opportunity of a lifetime,” because “capitalism will be ‘reset.’ ”

Immelt, GE CEO, wrote: “The interaction between government and business will change forever. In a reset economy, the government will be a regulator; and also an industry policy champion, a financier, and a key partner.”

In short, GE plans to get rich by being one of the government’s closest partners — which it has always been, thanks to its unmatched lobbying efforts.

When the lobbying fingerprints of GE and other well-connected firms are considered, it’s not hard to conclude that the policy that will finally emerge won’t be the one that is best for the planet and least bad for the economy, but the one that is best for General Electric."

It's interesting to me that the general public expressed a desire in this past election to "throw the bums out" and begin with a new slate of Presidential material which was supposed to be "Change" from the old special interest politics, but what got voted into office was the old special interest politics on steroids. In the case of GE, the company has positioned itself to rake in billions from soaking the public with not only tax dollars, carbon rebates, but also increases in energy prices bound to be through the roof. GE created a propaganda campaign on its own news media in order to convince you to vote for the guy promising to enrich GE. The planet is not going to notice the difference, but you and I our detriment. GE has no sincere interest in caring for the environment. GE has caught the winds of a trend, bought and paid for government favors, and is already putting up windmills in China using our money while figuring out how to use our government to enslave you and enrich itself. American voters keep trading one corrupt political base for another. Like a circular argument, it just keeps going around and around. The only thing that changes is the crowd that reaps the whirlwind.

Now you know why MSNBC was in the tank for Obama. Do you care? Do you feel snookered? You should.

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