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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Obama’s “Jobs Czar,”GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt, Threatens to Outsource Jobs if Export-Import Bank Expires



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Another year has come and gone, and it’s once again time to face the issue of a crony capitalist favorite: The Export Import Bank, also known as the Ex-Im Bank. Last year, I covered the contentious battle, which of course was ultimately won by powerful multi-national corporate interests. Here’s an excerpt from the piece, Officials at the Ex-Im Bank are Under Investigation as it Fights for Survival:

I think the most important aspect of this entire fight is the fact that on opposite sides of the debate are not Democrats versus Republicans, but once again Republicans vs. Republicans (as in the Dave Brat vs. Eric Cantor race). We again see tea party Republicans facing off against establishment RINOs. On one side we hear claims by the tea party wing that the Ex-Im merely serves as a conduit for crony capitalism and favoritism to large corporations, or those willing to bribe officials. On the other side, we see establishment Republicans, who are extremely cozy with mega-corporations, maintaining that the institution plays a crucial role in financing American exports to make them competitive.

Looking at this paragraph a year later, we have seen the revolting display of RINO Republicans pushing through the sovereignty destroying, corporate crony giveaway know as trade “fast track” of the TPP. We can once again marvel in disgust at how completely bought and paid for these establishment crooks really are.

Anyone with a remotely functioning brain will by now be aware that America is an oligarchy, not a democracy. In fact, a recent academicstudy by Princeton and Northwestern University found that the desires of the public have absolutely zero impact on public policy.What does have an impact is money. Lots and lots of money. This is where billionaire oligarchs and CEOs of large multi-national corporations come in, as they arrogantly throw around their clout to advance their wealth and power, and further drive the unwashed masses into hopeless serfdom.

GE’s CEO, Jeff Immelt, is a perfect example. This is what he had to say recently at the Economic Club of Washington. From Reuters:

General Electric Co Chairman Jeff Immelt warned on Wednesday that the company would move manufacturing jobs to Canada and Europe if the Export-Import Bank closes and that U.S. economic influence will wane if Congress blocks a major Pacific-rim trade pact. 

Naturally, he fear mongered about the TPP at the same time. A double dose of crony corporate greed.

Speaking to business leaders at a luncheon of the Economic Club of Washington, Immelt said U.S. companies need market access and financing tools to help level the playing field in an “economic war for exports.”

The charter of the Ex-Im Bank, the U.S. government’s export credit agency, will expire on June 30, blocking it from writing new loans and trade guarantees, unless Congress acts to reauthorize it.

“In two weeks the U.S. will have neither trade deals, nor an export bank. And at that point we’re going to be in full retreat on the global economic stage,” Immelt said.

Well the American middle class has been in full retreat for more than four decades, but you don’t see Immelt too bothered by that.

“Good GE jobs in the United States will be moved to Canada and Europe. That’s a mighty high price to pay for ideological purity,” Immelt said.

Kind of reminds you of:

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Hotair provided some solid analysis on this issue:

Immelt’s remarks were delivered at The Economic Club in Washington, DC and he was taking the same line we usually hear from Boeing. (The airplane manufacturer remains the largest beneficiary of the bank’s largesse with your tax dollars.) And the sad part is that, in a perfect world, there’s actually an argument to be made for some of the benefits of the program. Any time we can manage to increase our exports without giving away the ranch to other nations, that represents a net gain here at home in terms of jobs and injecting some juice into the domestic economy. Helping foreign buyers arrange financing achieves those goals.

But the flaws and potential pitfalls in the system are simply too big to ignore. First of all, Ex-Im was supposed to be giving a leg up to small businesses who want to expand their markets overseas. The reality quickly became something very different though, with some of the largest corporations scooping up most of the benefits. Also, there is the question of potential defaults. It’s true that the bank has a fairly good track record when it comes to customers making good on their debts, but in the event that one of them doesn’t the American taxpayer is on the hook for covering the losses. This creates an exposure for us in the event that a sudden, dramatic economic downturn which hits large portions of the industrial and developing world could result in many more defaults. The entity being “saved” in a case like this isn’t the US government… it’s a private business which should be responsible for shouldering their own risks.

If you work for GE, take close note of the despicable behavior from your CEO. You, your livlihood and your family’s well being mean nothing to Jeff Immelt. In fact, you’re nothing more than an easily expendable cog in his corporate game to accumulate even more wealth and more power for himself. He talks about you like you are chips on a poker table.

Oh, and in case you forget, Mr. Immelt was named Obama’s Jobs Czar back in 2011, a position in which he served until early 2013. You’ve gotta love the “Jobs Czar” threatening to outsource his employees if a crony bank expires. What have you got to say about that one, Barry?


From the Baltimore Sun: Obama’s jobs czar knows how to create jobs — in China

From SF Gate: Jeffrey Immelt, the jobs czar from hell

From International Business Times: GE, Headed By ‘Jobs Czar,’ Cutting 950 Workers In Pa.

For related articles, see:

New Report from Princeton and Northwestern Proves It: The U.S. is an Oligarchy

A First Look at a New Report on Crony Capitalism – Trillions in Corporate Welfare

The Department of Homeland Security is a Conduit for Crony Capitalism

Three Former SEC Officials Write Letter to SEC Chief Mary Jo White Asking Her to Stop Protecting Corporate Cronyism

Meet the Overseas Contingency Operations Account – Washington D.C.’s Crony Capitalist War Slush Fund

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

Colombian army killed hundreds of civilians to fake successful battles and "boost body count" in war against rebels

In a twisted attempt to show battlefield success against FARC rebels, the Colombian military killed hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians between 2002 and 2008, falsely depicting them as slain combatants, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.

The killings, known as “false positives,” were the source of a huge scandal in 2008, but the new report alleges that the practice was far more extensive and systematic than previously known. Many of Colombia's highest-ranking military officials either condoned the practice or did nothing to stop it, according to the rights group.

“Under pressure from superiors to show ‘positive’ results and boost body counts in their war against guerrillas, soldiers and officers abducted victims or lured them to remote locations under false pretenses — such as with promises of work — killed them, placed weapons on their lifeless bodies, and then reported them as enemy combatants killed in action,” the report states.

The killings amount to “one of the worst episodes of mass atrocity in the Western Hemisphere in recent decades,” according to the group.

An advance copy of the report was provided to The Washington Post. Human Rights Watch investigators said they would announce their findings Wednesday in Bogota and present them to President Juan Manuel Santos, who is attempting to negotiate a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to end the hemisphere’slongest-running civil conflict.

NSAC: This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA

This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA

If you have a telephone number that has ever been called by an inmate in a federal prison, registered a change of address with the Postal Service, rented a car from Avis, used a corporate or Sears credit card, applied for nonprofit status with the IRS, or obtained non-driver’s legal identification from a private company, they have you on file.

They are not who you think they are. They are not the NSA or the CIA. They are the National Security Analysis Center (NSAC), an obscure element of the Justice Department that has grown from its creation in 2008 into a sprawling 400-person, $150 million-a-year multi-agency organization employing almost 300 analysts, the majority of whom are corporate contractors. [A list of contractors known to be associated with NSAC can be viewed here.]

The Center has its roots in the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF), a small cell established in October 2001 to look for additional 9/11-like terrorists who might have entered the United States. But with the emergence of significant “homegrown” threats in the late aughts, the Task Force’s focus was thought to be too narrow. NSAC was created to focus scrutiny on new threat, specifically on Americans, particularly Muslims, who might pose a hidden threat (the Task Force became a unit within NSAC’s bureaucratic umbrella). As Americans began traveling abroad to join al-Shabaab and then ISIS, the Center’s dragnet expanded to catch the vast pool of “youth” who also might fit a profile of either radicalism or law-breaking. Its mission runs the full gamut of “national security threats...to the United States and its interests,” according to a partially declassified Justice Department Inspector General report. That includes everything from terrorism to counter-narcotics, nuclear proliferation, and espionage.

NSAC not only has a focus beyond foreign investigations or terrorists, but in the past year-and-a-half, according to documents obtained by Phase Zero and extensive interviews with contractors and government officials who have worked with the Center and the Task Force, it has also aggressively built up a partnership with the military, taking on deep background investigations of foreign-born and foreign-connected soldiers, civilians, and contractors working for the government. Its investigations go far beyond traditional security “vetting”; NSAC scours certain select government employees, contractors and their affiliates, examining multiple layers of connected relatives and associates. And the Center hosts dozens of additional “liaison” officers from other government agencies, providing those agencies with frictionless access to private information about U.S. residents that they would otherwise not have.

VIDEO: Terrifying Cockroach Bot Can Squeeze Through Tiniest of Gaps

Researchers have created a robot that can use its body shape to move through a densely cluttered environment.


The team from the University of California, Berkeley based the robot on the humble cockroach and hope their design could be used to inspire future robot designs for use in monitoring the environment and search and rescue operations.

The Berkeley team, led by postdoctoral researcher Chen Li, designed the shell so it could perform a roll maneuver to slip through gaps between grass-like vertical beam obstacles without the need for additional sensors or motors.

Ron Paul Warns Seizure Of Russian Assets Will Hasten Dollar Demise

While much of the world focused last week on whether or not the Federal Reserve was going to raise interest rates, or whether the Greek debt crisis would bring Europe to a crisis, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague awarded a $50 billion judgment to shareholders of the former oil company Yukos in their case against the Russian government. The governments of Belgium and France moved immediately to freeze Russian state assets in their countries, naturally provoking the anger of the Russian government.

The timing of these actions is quite curious, coming as the Greek crisis in the EU seems to be reaching a tipping point and Greece, having perhaps abandoned the possibility of rapprochement with Europe, has been making overtures to Russia to help bail it out of its mess. And with the IMF's recent statement pledging its full and unconditional support to Ukraine, it has become even more clear that the IMF and other major multilateral institutions are not blindly technical organizations, but rather are totally subservient lackeys to the foreign policy agenda emanating from Washington. Toe the DC party line and the internationalists will bail you out regardless of how badly you mess up, but if you even think about talking to Russia you will face serious consequences.

The United States government is desperately trying to cling to the notion of a unipolar world, with the United States at its center dictating foreign affairs and monetary policy while its client states dutifully carry out instructions. But the world order is not unipolar, and the existence of Russia and China is a stark reminder of that. For decades, the United States has benefited as the creator and defender of the world's reserve currency, the dollar. This has enabled Americans to live beyond their means as foreign goods are imported to the US while increasingly-worthless dollars are sent abroad. But is it any wonder after 70-plus years of a depreciating dollar that the rest of the world is rebelling against this massive transfer of wealth?

The Europeans tried to form their own competitor to the dollar, and the resulting euro is collapsing around them as you read this. But the European Union was never considered much of a threat by the United States, existing as it does within Washington's orbit. Russia and China, on the other hand, pose a far more credible threat to the dollar, as they have both the means and the motivation to form a gold-backed alternative monetary system to compete against the dollar. That is what the US government fears, and that is why President Obama and his Western allies are risking a cataclysmic war by goading Russia with these politically-motivated asset seizures. Having run out of carrots, the US is resorting to the stick.

The US government knows that Russia will not blithely accept Washington's dictates, yet it still reacts like a petulant child flying into a tantrum whenever Russia dares to exert its sovereignty. The existence of a country that won't kowtow to Washington's demands is an unforgivable sin, to be punished with economic sanctions, attempting to freeze Russia out of world financial markets; veiled threats to strip Russia's hosting of the 2018 World Cup; and now the seizure of Russian state assets.

Thus far the Russian response has been incredibly restrained, but that may not last forever. Continued economic pressure from the West may very well necessitate a Sino-Russian monetary arrangement that will eventually dethrone the dollar. The end result of this needless bullying by the United States will hasten the one thing Washington fears the most: a world monetary system in which the US has no say and the dollar is relegated to playing second fiddle.