"So Big Government policies are killing GE jobs that might thrive in the free market, while creating GE jobs that never would survive in a free market. Obama is replacing unsubsidized jobs with subsidized jobs."


Game, re-set, match!

That is the conclusion reached by Washington Examiner columnist Timothy P. Carney, while chasing the tail of economic policy causes and effects in Kentucky, centered around corporate (and corporatist) behemoth GE. Sample:

Biden was at GE's Appliance Park in Louisville, where a raft of government subsidies (and probably some gentle urging from the White House) has spurred the multinational conglomerate to begin manufacturing hybrid electric water heaters—part of the "new foundation for a new economy," Biden said.

But later this month, 75 miles east, workers at GE's Kentucky Glass Plant get to see the other side of Big Government. About 175 workers there make glass, which is shipped to the Winchester Bulb Plant. Winchester Bulb is being shut down in September, and so the Lexington Glass Plant will be shuttered in late July.

GE explained in a press release last year, "A variety of energy regulations that establish lighting efficiency standards are being implemented in the U.S. and other countries, in some cases this year, and will soon make the familiar lighting products produced at the Winchester Plant obsolete."

These were "green" regulations that then-Sen. Obama supported in the 2007 energy bill—as did GE. The company, you see, makes more profit off the more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, because the company can charge more, but also because it makes those bulbs in China, with cheaper labor costs and fewer environmental regulations.

So, Obama and GE teamed up, pushed Big Government environmental regs and killed nearly 500 jobs in Lexington, Winchester, and another glass factory in Niles, Ohio.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: The Afghanistan War for Social Services

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  1. Fuck G.E.

    The company needs to die in a fire.

    1. No, they need to die of mercury poisoning, caused by all of those energy efficient bulbs going into landfills.

      1. Supposedly landfilling CFLs releases less mercury than burning the coal to fuel incandescents.

        1. still burning the coal to fuel cfls tho,……………

          1. You have to break a few incandescent light bulbs to make an omelet.

            1. You taste the omelet first.

    2. It’s not GE’s fault for trying to maximize their earnings. That’s what companies do. But one CAN fault the federal government for dictating what kind of light bulb people can use. Do you really think the Framers envisioned this degree of governmental overreach? Shit, they couldn’t even imagine electric lightbulbs.

      1. I don’t have a problem with this. Anyone who does, is just being stubborn and unreasonable.

        1. Who is spoofing Chad today?

      2. G.E.

        The company that got paid 1.9b in taxes.

        Fuck G.E.

        Maximizing profits is one thing. Rent seeking with voracity of a blue steal hardon seeking pussy is bullshit.

      3. If GE decides that it can better maximize earnings by bending the federal taxpayer over a barrel, then they can break their bulbs, turn them sideways, and fuck themselves with them.

        I will by all means blame GE. They’re a huge part of the problem.

      4. GE is one of the largest lobbyists for environmental subsidies. They would go out of business if not for subsidies. By all means blame GE.

        1. GE is one of the largest lobbyists for environmental subsidies. They would go out of business if not for subsidies.

          I doubt that. Their business model might change dramatically, with them even selling off a lot of their green shit. But they’re in a lot of things besides that. Chemicals, locomotives, nanotech, etc.

      5. We tried to get a “Beeswax candles only” clause in the Constitution, but that bastard Franklin blocked it.

    3. The amazing thing is that libertarians are always labeled “pro business” even though big business lobbying is often rent-seeking and against free-market principles.

      I am going to stockpile incandescent light bulbs.

      1. That would be due to the left’s inability to hear anything but their own vuvuzela-like droning.

      2. Good point–there are a few articles on this web site making the point that pro-business and pro-free market are not one and the same.

        1. Pro-business does not automatically equate anti-free market. As much as I hate rent seeking companies I tend to see their actions as being similar to my dog licking his nuts or the scorpion stinging the frog. It’s in his nature and since he can, why not.

          The problem is politicians taking advantage of this and using profit motive to help drive their legislation which in turn increases rent seeking. (I guess you could make the same argument about politicians, but the have sworn an oath that businesses haven’t)

          1. So… You’re not obligated to act morally if you’re not under oath?

            1. Corporations have no morals. They have an obligation to maximize profits for shareholders, and nothing else. They play by the rules. Blame the rulemakers, that being the lawmakers and adminsitrators of such laws.

            2. Corporations have no morals as mentioned before. People have morals, and if you think a corporation is immoral you don’t support it. So if you would like to bring the morality of the issue into play you start with the beings that can be moral.

      3. I don’t think many (the masses) draw the line between rent seeking and business. Even lately with the spot light on lobbyist people don’t get it. Every bunny hugger I talk to thinks G.E. is doing god’s work and is completely confused about a someone who is pro business hating them.

        1. But, but…NBC…The West Wing, ER, all liberal shows that teach us how to think about complicated things we otherwise would be ignorant of, like that other liberals like us are really sweet, kind, caring people who are never wrong, because they think like us.

          Or something.

    4. Fuck G.E.

      The company Those ratfuckers needs to die in a fire.


  2. Washington Examiner?
    Didn’t you guys at Reason get the email?

    – “I’d politely encourage everyone to think twice about rewarding the Examiner with any traffic or links for a while. I know the temptation is high to follow up hot hot Byron York scoops, but please resist it.”

    1. I’m not sure the guys at Reason, save Dave Weigel, are on the Journolist.

    2. I don’t get the Byron York hate. He’s a transparent partisan, but he’s also a decent reporter. Did anyone else actually track down old Obama associates to find out what he did during his community organizer days? York was the only one who even seemed curious, while the left and right threw praise or disdain on those years without knowing what Obama was actually up to.

      1. I was smoking weed and snorting blow.

    3. good God I am tired of this.

    4. I know we’re supposed to be dissing Weigal at every opportunity, but the Examiner is like one rung up from the Moonie Times on the credibility ladder.

  3. Climate Scientists: “The ozone layer is healing. We’re fucked!

    1. Just once I’d like to hear them (climate scientists) say, “Dude. We don’t have a fucking clue. We think maybe kinda sorta, but honestly we’re like blind rats in the dark lookin’ for cheese with a sledge hammer.”

      1. Roy Spencer, in his book Climate Confusion, says as much.

    2. Translation: “Everything that happens in the environment and climate is bad. More money for grants and research, please. Also, to ‘fix’ this, becoming a technocracy sounds pretty good because we’d be at the top.”

      1. “Gentlemen, we must stop the dangerous spread of ozone that threatens all of our jobs. To do this we must undertake the most hazardous mission ever devised by Science: We will destroy Lightning itself!

        1. We must do something about this immediately, immediately, immediately! Harumph! Harumph!

    3. “Climate change could change wind patterns and send ozone from high in the atmosphere down to the surface, where it is a major component of smog.”

      I admit, I haven’t gotten into the gears of the science, but this reads like a JFK conspiracy theory.

  4. I envision a day in the not-too-distant future where GE has more regulatory compliance personnel lobbyists than actual manufacturing employees.

    Jack Welch is *not* an American hero.

  5. So now we put more toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere thanks to lax Chinese standards, and on top of that poison our water with more mercury when we throw these into landfills. And we destroy jobs. It’s a win-win-win for china! (well except for the extra pollution in china from the manufacturing).

    1. If our economy tanks, what will China do with all the Treasuries they hold?

      China Derangement Syndrome has no explanation for this.

  6. If our economy tanks, what will China do with all the Treasuries they hold?

    Ah yes, the “Dollar Trap” fallacy.

    The answer, of course, is that China will exit it Treasury position on the best terms that it can. They are, in fact, already ramping down their Treasury holdings.

    The real question is, what will we do when nobody wants to buy Treasuries any more?

    1. War, children, it’s just a bond away,
      It’s just a bond away.
      War, children, it’s just a bond away,
      It’s just a bond away.

      1. Mick, is that you?

  7. Biden was at Appliance Park? Fuck, I literally live less than a mile from there and I had no idea he was even here. That place has shed so many jobs over the past few years, I am surprised it even exists.

    1. To be fair, many people are amazed that Joe Bite-me even exists.

    2. One of my neighbors is with the LPD. He warned us on Sunday to avoid the highways because they were going to be shut down for Biden’s arrival and backing-and-forthing to IN.

      He also said that Democrats are known for being late, but that Biden is particularly bad.

      Anyway, I knew he was coming and ignored him anyway.

  8. The company, you see, makes more profit off the more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, because the company can charge more, but also because it makes those bulbs in China, with cheaper labor costs and fewer environmental regulations.

    Speaking of chasing one’s tail, there are quite a few flaws in the logic going into this criticism of GE. First off, it’s questionable whether GE makes more from CFLs than incandescents, all else being equal. The purchase of one CFL is going to replace several incandescent bulb purchases, due to the longer operating life of a CFL, so comparing the profit from one incandescent bulb to one CFL is inappropriate.

    Second, CFLs were already gaining market share over incandescents before the bill passed, mainly because consumers have caught on to the fact that they save a ton of money in the long run, not only directly by using less energy, but also by not functioning as miniature space heaters all summer long.

    Thirdly, what does the China aspect have to do with anything? If GE had moved their incandescent production to China in the absence of the 2007 law, would you be complaining about that too?

    1. Good points.
      1) With respect to CFL vs Incandescents, the former are definitely more expensive and probably have a higher markup, but it isn’t clear whether the higher expected turnover in incandescents would offset the higher markup. Also, the incandescent market was flooded with low-cost producers. TBS, this is not a decided issue.

      2) Excellent point. I had switched almost everything in my house to CFLs years ago, even when the prices were much higher and the light quaility was lower.

      (Your miniature space heater aside is an interesting one. I used to leave an incandescent bulb on in my horse trailer over the winter to prevent condensation and rust.)

      3) The China move is a red herring, definitely.

      TBS, I still get pissed off at companies lobbying for legislation they will benefit from and seeking loans/tax breaks for locating in a particular place/making a certain product.

      1. Yeah, the space heater aspect of incandescents is nice during the winter, though I think you’re better off in the long run just investing in a real space heater. But I could see someone using incandescents in the winter and CFLs in the summer, and think the law forbidding that is ridiculous.

        Also, if I had kids I would be seriously concerned about the aftermath of them breaking a chock-full-o-toxins CFL bulb, and you know they will. So there’s an argument to be made for incandescents in floor lamps and such, as opposed to ceiling lights. People should be allowed to choose which bulb they want to buy for their particular circumstances.

  9. TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT—-Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows TO Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER.REPOST THIS

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