Sign-up to receive our free newsletter.
By Mr. Curmudgeon:
“Eleven to twelve percent is unsustainable,” said General Electric CEO and Obama administration Jobs and Competitiveness Chairman Jeffrey Immelt. He was referring to China’s phenomenal Gross Domestic Product. “You end up getting too much stimulus, or you get a misallocation of resources. They’re much better off working on more of a consumer-based economy – less dependent on exports, driving technology and innovation harder. Really, the one thing that actually works … you know, state-run communism may not be your cup of tea, but their government works … they have five-year plans,” Immelt told CBS host Charlie Rose.
Immelt went on to say that GE has five-year plans – like China’s communist state planners. “The 14 percent growth in [GE’s] … industrial business came from big-ticket manufactured goods, like jet engines, railway locomotives, power generators, medical-imaging equipment and even wind turbines,” the New York Times reported, “The wind business, battered by the recession and fierce international competition, is rebounding this year, helped by state mandates for clean energy and federal tax credits …”
In other words, GE’s five-year plans get a considerable boost thanks to Immelt’s close association with America’s top economic state planner … commissar Barack Hussein Obama. It’s like Immelt said, “state-run communism may not be your cup of tea,” but it certainly works for GE.
China’s success, of course, has little to do with economic state planning and everything to do with the regime’s control over the country’s massive population. Its correlation can be found in America’s Antebellum South.
In his book American Negro Slavery (1918), historian Ulrich Bonnell Phillips observed, “The earnings obtained by the more efficient [cotton] producers brought an early accumulation of capital, and at the same time the peculiar adaptability of all the Southern staples to production on a large scale by un-free labor prompted the devotion of most of the capital to the purchase of servants and slaves.”
That brand of “efficiency” made the South rich at the expense of other’s lives, liberty and happiness.
Last January, 150 brutalized Chinese workers at the high-tech conglomerate Foxconn “threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest at their working conditions,” said the London Telegraph. According to the newspaper, 18 workers jumped from the factory roof in 2010, of which14 died. Factory managers responded to the problem quickly. Not by addressing the worker’s dismally low pay or harsh working conditions, but by installing nets to catch the jumpers.
Foxconn manufactures many of Apple’s nifty and overpriced tech toys so loved by the youngsters struggling on behalf of the “99%” – Occupy Wall Street.
Three months ago, Chinese authorities deployed 5,000 riot police to put down a rebellion at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant that employs 79,000 people. A factory employee informed the New York Times that “iPhone components were made there.”
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s praise of China’s state planners is nothing new. As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman observed, “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”
As American holiday shoppers dash to the stores to snatch the latest, cheap Christmas techno gadget manufactured in China, they are no more mindful of the brutality exacted on the wretched Chinese slave laborer than were 19th century Europeans whose fashion finery was made possible thanks to the Southern plantation overseer and his lash.
They should. That’s their future.
The admirers of China’s five-year plans are very much in command in Washington – and among the nation’s major government-connected corporations. Obama’s “investment” of $2 billion in the now defunct solar-panel maker Solyndra was derided as a colossal waste of taxpayer money, or as a payoff to the president’s major campaign contributors. They miss the point entirely. Solyndra was the community organizer’s fledgling attempt at Chinese-style state planning.
“If we’re going to rebuild America’s economy, then we’ve got to rebuild America, period,” said Obama in a 2010 Ohio speech touting his $787 billion stimulus bill. “Thanks to investments made by the federal government’s recovery program, by 2015, American manufacturers will have 40% of global market for advanced batteries.”
Last week, A123, a Michigan battery manufacturer that received $133 million in federal stimulus grants, declared bankruptcy. The Washington Post described A123 as “a cornerstone of President Obama’s effort to make the United States a global leader in clean-energy technology” and that the company could … wait for it … “end up in the hands of a Chinese company when it goes on the auction block …”
Oh, well, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” said Stalin.
As the US economy shrinks, and more of its wealth is syphoned-off to finance industries favored by Washington, the growing millions of desperate and unemployed Americans should provide a substantial pool of cheap labor to meet the rigorous production goals set by their masters, I mean, government investors.
Lucky for America, our one-party autocracy – as the Times’ Tom Friedman once said of China – is under the leadership of “a reasonably enlightened group of people.”
“Abeit Macht Frei” said the sign greeting new arrivals to the notorious Nazi death camp at Auschwitz – “Work Will Set You Free.”