Quote and working definition of the day.
When you lose GE CEO and Obama jobs task force chair, Jeff Immelt:
"If I had one thing to do over again, I would not have talked so much about green," he told a Massachusetts Institute of Technology audience.
"Even though I believe in global warming and I believe in the science ... it just took on a connotation that was too elitist.
"It was too precious, and it let opponents think that if you had a green initiative, you didn't care about jobs. I'm a businessman. That's all I care about, is jobs ... I'm kind of over the stage of arguing for a comprehensive energy policy. I'm back to keeping my head down and working."
The quote above comes just six years after GE began a concerted effort to get into the green energy business with wind turbines, solar panels and other politically correct technology. For football fans, this push was probably most evident when for one Sunday Night Football telecast a year (GE owns NBC), they would dim the house lights in the studio and replace it with this eery green lighting.
Look, were saving energy and were greeeeeen!
Smug, sanctimonious and stupid. Immelt was spot on about that. However, if Immelt can't make green pay with the access he has, he is either the worst crony capitalist on the face of the planet or even he realizes that a head-long rush into green technology to the exclusion of traditional energy sources that are currently cheaper, more efficient and yes, more environmentally-friendly is pure folly.
And now about that working definition. We've given you the stock definition for the term regulatory capture, crony capitalism's close friend, but now you get to see it in action. This, from a memo penned by a GE exec to GE employees after the House passage of cap and trade in June of 2009:
"The intersection between GE's interests and government action is clearer than ever ... We must also make sure that candidates who share GE's values and goals get elected to office ...
"On climate change, we were able to work closely with key authors of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives. If this bill is enacted into law it would benefit many GE businesses."
Vote for who we tell you to. Send those people to Washington to write laws which will result in regulations with which only GE has the technology to comply. We crush the competition.
Pretty sweet, huh? That's how it works.
Picking winners and losers, baby!