Policy

GE's Political Agenda

|

Tim Carney's column today describes an email sent to GE employees urging them to support the company's political action committee. The message, initially revealed (and reprinted in full) on Steve Milloy's anti-environmentalist blog, lays out the "intersection between GE's interests and government action." Drawing on that document and other sources, Carney, who notes that General Electric spends more on lobbying than any other company, sums up the corporate agenda: "GE is betting on climate change legislation, high-speed rail funding, electric car subsidies, embryonic stem cell grants, expanded federal health care spending, subsidies for renewable energy, defense contracts and continued financial bailouts."

NEXT: Grays of Making Them Talk

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Is GE being a rent seeking shitstain of a company new? It's the only reason to own it. The government teet never runs out.

  2. I can't fault GE for taking advantage of the system in which it operates... Lets not blame the corporation, and instead blame big gov't, it's what after all gives corporations the ability to rent seek.

  3. Oh come on. Let's blame both. Whadda ya say?

  4. I am James Taggart.

  5. I agree with Tomcat. It takes two to tango.

  6. It takes two to tango.

    And three to ATOGM.

  7. The blame must be passed to the government. On the other hand, the corporations must be responsible as well.

  8. I welcome our GE overlords. So I bought 3000 shares AT 10.62 A SHARE

    If you cannot beat them join them and collect the dividends.

  9. Fuck Jeff Immelt and Jack Welch.

    Kennedy croaked! WooHoo!

  10. GE may spend more, but I'd imagine most major corporations do something similar. I used to work for American Express, and got a solicitation for its PAC every year.

    And I'm in Mango Punch's corner -- the corporations are just adapting to the environment in which they operate. It's merely self-defense in some respects, greedy rent-seeking in others. Just like labor unions.

  11. And you wonder why GE-owned MSNBC is so pro-Obama.

  12. I can't fault GE for taking advantage of the system in which it operates

    Can you blame politicians for taking advantage of the system in which they operate? Regulators? Embezzlers?

  13. I can't fault GE for taking advantage of the system in which it operates

    Can you blame politicians for taking advantage of the system in which they operate? Regulators? Embezzlers?

    Exactly. People are always responsible for the moral quality of their actions. Always. The free market won't work any other way.

  14. GE is betting on climate change legislation, high-speed rail funding, electric car subsidies, embryonic stem cell grants, expanded federal health care spending, subsidies for renewable energy, defense contracts and continued financial bailouts.

    Explain to me again how greedy corporate interests are the only thing opposing The Obamassiah's plans.

  15. During the Bush administration I had to contend with "drugs fund terrorism" ads, "click it or ticket" and other such state-sponsored propaganda. Now we get a mix of those two, plus ads from GM and GE talking about "repowering America" and I wonder how much of that is state-sponsored as well. Soon I will have to forgo TV altogether.

  16. But if it's in GE's self-interest to angle for huge handouts from the government then why not?

  17. Our system makes beggars and thieves out of businessmen. They have to lobby their masters in D.C. or be overtaken by their less-scrupulous competitors who never let mere ethics get in the way of a good deal.

  18. Liberto has GE stock. Liberto confused. Liberto only pawn. . .in game of life.

    What's odd about GE is that it's so big and diverse that it is simultaneously a good company--or, more correctly, operates good companies--and a government teat-sucker. I own a decent-sized chunk of GE stock (decent sized for me, that is--I'm no senator's son) and am conflicted.

  19. This is a far cry from GE in the 1950's which helped improve the business environment through their spokesman Ronald Reagan. This story was told in the book "The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism"

  20. "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
    - H. L. Mencken

  21. "During the Bush administration I had to contend with "drugs fund terrorism" ads, "click it or ticket" and other such state-sponsored propaganda. Now we get a mix of those two, plus ads from GM and GE talking about "repowering America" and I wonder how much of that is state-sponsored as well. Soon I will have to forgo TV altogether."

    Yeah I've seen some of those ads shilling for "green" power.

    The one that bugs me the most is the one where the supposedly "average working guy" starts off by saying he's "not looking for a handout" before he goes into the shill about "green jobs" etc.

    Sorry bud but that IS looking for a handout. When you want government to mandate the purchase of your product, that's a handout.

  22. But if it's in GE's self-interest to angle for huge handouts from the government then why not?

    Um, because that makes them amoral, rent-seeking scum?

  23. I liked Tim Carney in The Honeymooners. He was a riot!

  24. It sucks to be the only guy in the bar during intermission infuriated by ads like this but what else can you call it besides blatant rent-seeking and even electioneering? That ad should be freaking regulated by the FEC.

  25. Seriously though, I wonder how many current GE directors would claim - with a straight face - that they were inspired by "Atlas Shrugged" and yet pull this sort of thing.

  26. If you work for GE, you like to suck government cock.

  27. This is just a conspiracy theory. GE would never use it's media influence to advance a welfare/warfare statist agenda.

  28. "SCTV" had it right ~30 yrs. ago: "At Venerable Electric, our chief concern is power."

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.