Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Politics and General Electric Locomotives:

General Electric is the parent company of NBC, and a clear supporter of Mr Barack Obama during his campaign, with a $499,130.00 donation -- half a million dollars.

In return, according to numerous sources (CNSNews.com as well):

(CNSNews.com) - The Obama administration gave corporate giant General Electric—the parent company of NBC--$24.9 million in grants from the $787-billion economic “stimulus” law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009, according to records posted by the administration at Recovery.gov.

At first blush, one might suspect this was done in order to, in its best light, help GE create jobs and extend its manufacturing prowess.

The truth is much more disillusioning:

Despite getting $24.9 million from U.S. taxpayers, GE decreased its U.S.-based employees by 18,000 in 2009, according to the company’s 2009 annual report.

Despite receiving governmental -- actually, taxpayer -- dollars, GE chose to lay off or fire employees.


According to Standard & Poor's, GE took in $156 billion in revenue in 2009.


GE was the primary recipient of 14 stimulus grants, a spokeswoman for Recovery.gov confirmed to CNSNews.com. These 14 grants provided GE with $24.9 million in tax dollars. On four additional stimulus grants, the primary recipient of the federal money hired GE as a contractor. Recovery.gov is the administration’s website that tracks stimulus expenditures.

At the end of 2008, GE employed 152,000 U.S. workers, according to its 2009 annual report. But at the end of 2009, according to the report, it employed only 134,000 U.S. workers, a decline of 18,000 workers.

The Energy Department provided GE with 9 stimulus grants, the Department of Health and Human Services provided the company with 3, and the Justice Department and the Commerce Department each gave the company 1 stimulus grant.


In addition to the $24.9 million it received in stimulus grants, GE was also awarded $5 million in federal contracts under the economic stimulus law. These contracts were payment for services provided by the company.

As you likely already know, there are only two major American locomotive builders. One is GE, and the other is EMD.

EMD was the number one seller of diesel-electric locomotives until 1989, when GE then became the largest builder of locomotives in the United States.

EMD was purchased from General Motors in 2005 by the Greenbriar Equity Group LLC and Berkshire Partners LLC. They decided to retain the initials EMD -- for purposes of familiarity -- which then stood for Electro Motive Diesel. My brother could have purchased this entire company for its "secret" selling price of $200 million in 2005.

This, you must note, was prior to GM being floated by the US government and becoming Government Motors.

EMD was recently sold to Caterpillar's Progress Rail Services unit for $820 million dollars.

GM received stimulus dollars. EMD clearly did not.

An "even" playing field for our major locomotive builders, ladies and gentlemen?

I submit: not.