You are hereBlogs / dlindorff's blog / Here's One for the Birthers: Is GE's Immelt Really an American?

Here's One for the Birthers: Is GE's Immelt Really an American?


By dlindorff - Posted on 21 January 2011

By Dave Lindorff

If President Barack Obama had announced this week that he was appointing Japan’s Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda, to head his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, one can imagine the shock wave that would go through the American body politic. A foreigner!--and one from one of America’s major competitors--to head a White House advisory panel on jobs and competitiveness?
And yet, at least the president could argue that Ito represents a company that earns the bulk of its revenues from its operations in the US.

But what are we to make of the actual announcement, that the president has named Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE Corp., to chair the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness?

Immelt heads a company that has for years topped the list of transnational corporations as ranked by the size of their foreign asset holdings. More significantly, GE is a company that for years has also received more of its revenues and its profits from abroad than from its US operations, that has far more of its 304,000 employees overseas than in the US, and that has more assets abroad than at “home,” where its headquarters offices are located.

Even those domestic revenues and earnings are less than they might appear, in terms of jobs at least, since they are primarily from the company’s financial subsidiaries, while most of the revenues and earnings from abroad are from its manufacturing operations.

What this means is that in very real terms, GE is not an American company. It is a foreign company that happens to be headquartered in the US, and that happens to have a chairman/CEO who was born in the US, and holds a US passport.

If Congress were serious about enforcing government rules on foreign lobbying, and if the Federal Election Commission were serious about enforcing its rules about foreign influence in US elections, Immelt and GE would have to register as foreign agents when they lobby Congress and the White House, and GE would be barred from donating funds to election campaigns.

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that people on the loopy right are still making a fuss about whether President Obama was really born in Hawaii, or might really have been secretly born abroad before being sneaked into the US territory by his mother, but aren’t outraged at the appointment of the head of a functionally foreign firm to advise him on his domestic jobs policy. The truth is, it would hardly matter where an American president entered the world from his mother’s womb. The important thing would be where he grew up, how he viewed his national allegiance, and of course, whether he is an American citizen, none of which is in question in Obama’s case. On the other hand, there are plenty of good reasons to wonder whether GE’s chief executive, in becoming the president’s top advisor on jobs policy, really has America’s and American workers’ best interests at heart...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent alternative online newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!

Speaking Events

2016

 

March 24, Boone, NC.

 

March 25, Asheville, NC
Battery Park Apartments, 1 Battle Square, rooftop room, noon - 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 14, Bellingham, WA, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 15, Seattle, WA
Town Hall Seattle
1119 Eighth Ave (8th and Seneca) 
Seattle, WA 98101
7:30pm
Sign up on FB.

 

April 16 Portland, OR

 

April 24, Oneonta, NY at Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
5:30 discussion with students.
7:00 talk and Q&A with everyone.
Sign up on FB.

 

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.



May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event

 


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

 

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

Other Events Here.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.