GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, The Head Of Obama’s Jobs Council, Is Moving Jobs And Economic Infrastructure To China At A Blistering Pace

Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s highly touted “Jobs Council”, is moving even more GE infrastructure to China.  GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it “is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing“.  Apparently, this is all part of a “plan to invest about $2 billion across China” over the next few years.  But moving core pieces of its business overseas is nothing new for GE.  Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States.  Perhaps GE should change its slogan to “Imagination At Work (In China)”.  If the very people that have been entrusted with solving the unemployment crisis are shipping jobs out of the country, what hope is there that things are going to turn around any time soon?

Earlier this month, Immelt made the following statement to a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….

“There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”

Apparently Immelt’s idea of being part of the solution is to ship as many jobs overseas as he possibly can.

A recent article on the Huffington Post documented how GE has been sending tens of thousands of good jobs out of the country….

As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.

At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.

GE is supposed to be creating the “jobs of tomorrow”, but it seems that most of the “jobs of tomorrow” will not be located inside the United States.

The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed last September.  The transition to the new CFL light bulbs was supposed to create a whole bunch of those “green jobs” that Barack Obama keeps talking about, but as an article in the Washington Post noted, that simply is not happening….

Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.

But GE is far from alone in shipping jobs and economic infrastructure out of the United States.  For example, big automakers such as Ford are being very aggressive in China.  Ford is currently “building three factories in Chongqing as part of $1.6 billion investment that also includes another plant in Nanchang”.

Today, China accounts for approximately one out of every four vehicles sold worldwide.  The big automakers consider the future to be in China.

Just a few decades ago, China was an economic joke and the U.S. economy was absolutely unparalleled.

But disastrous trade policies have opened up the door for a mammoth transfer of jobs, factories and wealth from the United States to China.

China has become an absolute powerhouse and America is rapidly declining.

Beautiful new infrastructure is going up all over China even as U.S. infrastructure rots and decays right in front of our eyes.

You can see some amazing pictures of the stunning economic development that has been going on in China here, here, here and here.

America is being deindustrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem to care.

Back in 1979, there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States.

Today, there are 11.6 million.

That represents a decline of 40 percent during a time period when our overall population experienced tremendous growth.

We used to have the greatest manufacturing cities on the entire globe.  The rest of the world was in awe of us.

Today, most of those formerly great manufacturing cities are decaying, rotting hellholes.

The following is what one reporter from the UK saw during his visit to Detroit….

As you pass the city limits a blanket of gloom, neglect and cheapness descends. The buildings are shabbier, the paint is faded. The businesses, where they exist, are thrift shops and pawn shops or wretched groceries where the goods are old and tired. Finding somewhere to have breakfast, normally easy in any American city, involves a long hunt. ‘God bless Detroit’, says one billboard, just beside another offering the alternative solution: liquor.

You can see some really shocking images of the decline of Detroit right here.

Our politicians insisted that globalism would not result in a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left America.

But that is exactly what has happened.

Sadly, most American families still don’t understand what has happened.  Most of them are still waiting for things to get back to “normal”.

Millions of unemployed Americans are dealing with incredible amounts of stress right now as they wait for jobs to start opening up again.  But the jobs that have been shipped overseas are not coming back.  In a globalized economy, it doesn’t make sense to hire American workers when you can legally pay workers slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.

Millions of good middle class jobs have been replaced by low paying service jobs.  Today there are huge numbers of Americans that are cutting hair or flipping burgers because that is all they can get right now.

Many others are only able to survive because of the safety net.  One reader named David recently left a comment in which he shared his story.  David did everything that the system asked him to do, but the promised rewards never materialized.  Now David is broke, unemployed and he feels deeply frustrated….

A year ago I had a job, we were struggling, but bills were getting paid, and somehow we were getting by. Then I made the mistake of getting sick, one day before my company insurance kicked in. An auto-immune illness almost killed me, if it weren’t for the amazing efforts of my physicians and an emergency spleenectomy, I would not be here.

My wife would have been a single mother,raising two young sons, one of which is autistic. Instead, I pulled through. The disease damaged my liver, leaving me with a chronic condition, and even after a year, it is hard to get up and go some days. My “employer” dumped me as soon as I left the hospital, and I haven’t worked since. It isn’t for lack of looking. There just isn’t anything.

Oh, I get my government cheese money. Here I am college educated, unable to find something that can pay the bills better than the money that we get from the government. It sickens me to be this dependent on the system like this. But the system de-incentivizes work, and makes living on the dole make a perverse economic sense.

I used to have dreams, but I have given up on them. My wife and I have no savings, we have no life raft and if it weren’t for the generosity of her parents and mine, things would have ground to a halt a long time ago.

I believed every thing adults told me. Work hard, I did. Get an education, I did. Find a nice girl and settle down, I did. Two cars, a dog, a cat and couple of kids, a nice townhouse…the american dream. Yep.

I love my country. My heart is broken, broken because I have been betrayed. I did what you asked, I played by the rules. I did what you said to do; I submitted, I conformed, I stopped dreaming. Now what?

I am willing to pay for my faults and transgressions; my failures are my own, I get that. My children should not have to suffer for my failures, they did not do anything wrong. My youngest boy is autistic, we hope he will be able to integrate into society, but the fact is we may have to take care of him for the rest of his life. How do I do this with nothing, and no opportunity in the foreseeable future?

Depression, stress…yep, I’ve got all that. I used to be hopeful and optimistic about the future. Now all I am is afraid.

As the United States continues to bleed good jobs, stories like the one you just read are going to become much more common.

So what are our politicians doing about all of this?

They tell us that we need even more “free trade”!

Barack Obama says that we need more free trade.

The Republicans say that we need more free trade.

In Washington D.C. our politicians do not agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that we need to keep shipping jobs out of the country.

Until the American people wake up and start demanding an end to the globalization of the U.S. economy, the job losses are just going to continue to get worse.

The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.  If this trend continues, millions more Americans will soon be surviving on food stamps or living in tent cities.

The American people are deeply concerned about the economy, but they still have not connected the dots on these issues.  The mainstream media and most of our politicians keep telling them that the globalization of the economy is a wonderful thing.

It is so sad that people just do not understand what is going on right in front of their eyes.

Whether you are a conservative or a liberal or a libertarian, you should be against the deindustrialization of America.

Allowing our industrial base to be raped is not a good thing.

Allowing big corporations and foreign governments to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe making things that will be sold inside the United States is not a good thing.

Allowing the destruction of our industrial capacity to threaten our national security is not a good thing.

Allowing millions of precious jobs to leave the country is not a good thing.

The biggest corporations are making some extra profits by exploiting cheap labor on the other side of the globe.  Corporate executives love to shower themselves with larger and larger bonuses.

But our current trade policies are not working for American workers.

We need “fair trade”, not “free trade”.

The United States is being taken advantage of, and the Democrats and the Republicans are both laying down like doormats and letting it happen.

If you want to know where all the good jobs went, it is not a big mystery.

They have been shipped out of the country and they are not coming back.

Unless fundamental changes are made, things are going to get worse and worse and worse for American workers.

So what is going to happen next?

It is up to you America.

Michael Snyder is the editor of The Economic Collapse Blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

| Print This Post Print This Post
  • There’s more to this than just Government vs Corporate fiscal policy. The straight lines drawn here obscure the complexities of both.
    I’m not saying GE investing so much in China is a good thing. I’m not saying Obama’s attempts at job creation have been all that successful. What I am saying is there’s a reason this problem stems back through the leadership of both parties. There’s a reason neither party has managed to get much of a grip on the situation. There’s a reason neither Obama nor Romnie can really spell out detailed plans to solve this with out running a ground on issues of being accused of being socialist, or over regulating business… The list of pit-falls goes on and on…
    Meanwhile the problem has far more to do with consumers being unwilling to buy American, and pay for the cost of not doing business in the way China does. (low wages, child labour, etc) than it has to do with US Government policy.

    Anyway, before everyone wants to jump on the same high horse – I’ll bet you dime to dollar, when the author of this article goes out to buy new light bulbs, he goes to Wal-Mart and selects the lowest price bulbs, and those bulbs will not have been made in America.
    So – Big Mouths – If you are so concerned with American jobs, why are you all spending your money on Chinese products at Wally-World?

  • Bob Carmody

    General Electric paid NO Tax last year, this is not about taxes being too high for Obama’s Man. This is all about RATS leaving a sinking ship! They sucked all th money out of the country through the stimulus. No one knows where hunderds of billions of dollars went through bogus green projects. When the Rebulicans get back in power Immelt is afraid GE Executives will go to jail.

  • Jeff Immelt is a dog. He runs a dog company. When I was a kid about six years ago, I thought G.E. was pretty neat. As time went bye, and I got older, I realized they were becoming too BIG. I am in the electrical business and I refuse to use G.E. products of any kind. No silicone caulk or switch-gear, panels motor contro centers or anything G.E. It is my little protest againt a dangerous company. Yeh, I know, they make jet engines. I don’t fly. Plus, I never plan to leave this country although there are many that I wish would leave and I don’t particularly care how it is they go. SCREW, Immelt and General Electric. Bad company, BAD man.
    Concerned American, LV

  • Jimmy Cracks Capricorns

    Unions represent less than 12% of US workers – Unions are NOT the problem….
    Rich elitist jackasses on Wall Street deconstructing the entire middle class and laughing all the way to the bank are the problem and this POTUS is va disaster for US workers.

    • The guy is right or correct whatever. The Unions are OK, it’s the corrupt crooks running the majority of them that are not O.K. Yes, Wall St. is a problem. George Soros is a problem. Only good thing about Georgie is that he is OLD. The SEIU is as corrupt and is too powerful. No one enity should be able to sway an election.
      Concerned AMERICAN, LV

  • Steve

    Does anyone ever think that the unions also might play a role in corporations wanting to seek other employees? How do you justify paying someone with a high school education $60 an hour to put a hub cap on a car? Also, 35% corporate tax…are you freakin’ kidding me? Everyone who says, big business should “pay their share” and keep the tax rate high, you are just asking to ship jobs overseas. Lower the tax rate for businesses, give tax breaks for corporations that keep jobs here as an incentive, and revoke the citizenship of jerkoffs like Immelt.
    I think it is a tragic trifecta. Idiotic politicians, greedy union bosses, and opportunistic corporate heads.
    It blow my mind when people actually say…”where are all the jobs?” Do they not pick up a paper? Watch the news channels? I once thought we should boycott these companies products that send jobs overseas, but I challenge anyone to pick up 10 random things in their house or business and see where it is made….Sickening! Get your head out of your *#@ america and pay attention. What kind of an idiot puts this guy Immelt in charge of a “jobs council”? Oh wait, I know…our president.

    • Thomas

      I agree with what you are saying Steve. There is one question though. How much taxes do corporations really pay? There may be a 35% corporate tax rate and there is no doubt that is bad for business and jobs if corporations actually pay anywhere near that. Tax rates are certainly a real problem with smaller companies and businesses like mine, companies that can’t or don’t offshore jobs. Government regulation, deduction requirements, and fees are the biggest problem I face as a small business in Hawaii. From what I could find out in the 1950s, business taxes were 30% of federal revenue, now they’re 6%, and going down. I am not so sure in the case of large corporations they are paying those taxes at all anyway, G.E. the subject of this article paid no taxes in 2010, zero, nada, zip, butkiss. In fact G.E. got a tax credit for 2011, I am not sure but think its been a long time since they paid any income taxes at all. The burden appears to have been shifted to the independent business community while the corporations, the ones taking jobs overseas are paying less than ever. In the 50’s corporations paid taxes and created jobs at the same time, and corporate compensation was for the most part modest by today’s standards. Now with executives earning tens of millions or even hundreds of millions dollars a year they should not get a complete pass on responsibility for the loss of jobs, IMO. Those hundreds of millions could instead provide plenty of jobs. Again I agree with Steve in general. I am paying attention to not only the politicians but their partners in crime – their corporate masters. Obama is expected to raise between 750 million and a billion dollars for his reelection effort next year. Where is that money coming from and why would a job that pays $400,000 a year cost a billion dollars to acquire? You can bet those corporate donations to congress and presidents expect and receive financial gain for those contributions, many on the backs of working Americans. The reason politicians are pushing free trade is they are owned by corporations like G.E. Most large American corporations and certainly many of the largest pay much less than 35%. Certainly some like G.E. pay nothing at all. In fact many build up credit to apply in the next year. Here are some examples of what I mean………

      Big U.S. companies dodge taxes on profits, report says

      Bloomberg News
      June 2, 2011

      WASHINGTON — Eleven corporations including General Electric, Boeing and Wells Fargo together reported $62 billion in domestic profits in 2010 while paying a negative 3.6 percent federal tax rate, according to data released Wednesday by Citizens for Tax Justice.

      15 Top Corporate Tax Dodgers
      Mar 28, 2011

      As reported Friday, General Electric concluded 2010 with $14.2 billion in profit, for which the Internal Revenue Service is paying them a tax benefit of $3.2 billion, thanks to a shrewd use of U.S. tax loopholes, aggressive lobbying and favorable international tax provisions. They’re far from alone.

      Top 10 USA Companies Paid Little or No Taxes!

      What The Top U.S. Companies Pay In Taxes

      How can it be that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric?

      How corporations dodge taxes
      March 28, 2011

      How Do Corporations Dodge Taxes
      May 17, 2011

      I like Ron Paul’s position, we should level the playing field and get rid of business taxes altogether, that includes for small independent businesses. The corporations aren’t paying anyway so lets give those of us that are providing jobs locally the same advantage to compete.

      Taxes discourage the activity they tax.

      Taxing profits causes companies that can to shift profits to lower tax jurisdictions, and to form a “government affairs” department or join an industry lobbying group. That is what has happened since the fifties and how companies like G.E. created the loop holes that allow them to escape taxes and instead get tax credits. Businesses that do pay taxes pass those cost along to their customers in one way or another as a cost of doing business. Or as we are seeing so often now, simply go out of business, leaving the corporate giants like Wall Mart, or G.E. that could care less about us or the country. They have been using the politicians from both parties to their advantage for a long time and it’s getting worse. All they see is the bottom line. How do companies like G.E. pay us back for their zero tax rate? They out source and move off shore, after making billions of dollars in this country tax free.

    • Jimmy Cracks Capricorns

      Typical stupid American BS – blame unions…the ONLY collective bargaining tool you have against offshoring IS the Unions…only Unions speak for workers rights. Stop blaming UNIONS for your own lack of self worth.

  • JoLouise

    This article says it all in a nutshell.

  • john

    If he was deciding between China and a right-to-work state based on labor costs, the Boeing suit by NLRB would make him say “go to China” no lawsuit from moving there! You only get sued if you try to keep jobs in the US and keep labor costs low!

    • Jimmy Cracks Capricorns

      So labor costs should be what, $5 a day? Tell me something Mister Big Shot, should anyone get any health care? Should the air be clean enough to breath? Should wate be potable or should we have to depend on asome CORPORATION to provide everything for us, you know, for a profit?

      You idiots are clueless….and should be the ones to blame for this country’s rotting from the inside.