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Shareholder’s Meeting

I have commented in the past on how GE has really become Obama’s Halliburton. He took them to India to showcase them, and now, it appears, as was posted in a Dec 2. WallStreet Journal article entitled, “Foreign Firms Received Funds”, that the Fed was forced to disclose information indicating that GE was loaned money by the Fed, as well.

The Wallstreet Journal called the Fed’s lending, “The most aggressive intervention in the economy ever.” My question is this, “If the Fed has become a lending institution, and we, the taxpayers, are, essentially shareholders of that institution, don’t we have a right to inquire into the activities and behavior of the organizations to which we choose to lend money?”

I don’t agree with the concept of the American government operating like a private sector financial institution, but as long as we are turning into a banking cooperative or a huge savings and loan of the People, it would seem to me that there should be some accountability to the American people. My thoughts go immediately back to Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life in that famous scene where he is confronting the angry shareholders, “I don’t have all of your money right here in this building, why, why Tom, that’s your money in Bert’s House, and Ernie, That’s your money in Iran’s Nuclear Reactor, Don’t ya see?…”

After all, hasn’t GE come under some criticism in recent years for conducting business with nations like Iran, and possibly providing them with technology to develop resources and capabilties that may in fact threaten allies in the region? I think some questions need to be answered, and we the American people should get to ask them. Again, I do not believe our government should be operating as a lending institution or a Mutual Fund in the first place, but as long as they are, I would like to make the following observation:

I select my Mutual Funds partially based upon performance, but partially based upon the values they at least try to espouse. In other words, if a fund invests in companies that are strong supporters of Pro-Choice Groups, and the companies in the fund give money to organizations like Planned Parenthood, then I am inclined to avoid that fund. I am partial to a group of funds known as the Ave Maria Funds. There is the Ave Maria Dividend Fund, the Ave Maria Bond Fund,, the Ave Maria World Growth Fund.

Let me crunch down what I am saying: I would never buy stock in GE because I would not like to give assent to their past business practices in the MidEast, unless perhaps there was considerably more transparency with regard to those practices, and those practices turned out to be harmless in every possible way to ourselves and to our allies. Also, I would not like for my dollars to support their media outlet, MSNBC, and to pay for the generally electric tingle going up and down Chris Matthews leg.

I have that choice. I don’t have to buy GE stock. I don’t have to invest in funds that invest in GE stock. So why should my tax dollars go to lend money to GE without my consent? Will the money be paid back, or will the debt be forgiven as much of the debt to Government Motors was forgiven?

I don’t want to hear another person mention Bush and Haliburton. Our Government has gone beyond simply awarding contracts to companies without any competitive bidding. They have gone past engaging in questionable foreign policy so corporations can benefit.

In fairness to GE, that company has made a public statement asserting that they have stopped doing business in Iran, and the opening of this statement seems to indicate that they agreed to cease that business in 2005. However, when you read through the statement, it really seems to indicate that the cessation actually happened in 2008. Now, that’s fine if GE has literally seen the light, but Iran has been considered as state sponsors of terrorism before 2008 and before 2005 for that matter. Yet GEs statement is that they won’t do business with Iran because they are state sponsors of terrorism as is North Korea. My point of contention is that my taxpayer money went to help GE secretly without my consent.

Now, let me be clear about one thing. I believe that American corporations should be able to sell their product just about anywhere they want. The Lord knows that if we had packaged and sold Saturday Morning Cartoons to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, and children attending madrassas had really been growing up watching Fred Flintstone on TV at home, they might find it harder to hate us (That’s presuming, of course, they realized that Fred was a North American cave dweller). Exporting American Capitalism can have good effects, at times. I don’t think selling Coca Cola to Russia is hurting us. It is a practice that certainly runs contrary to Obama’s campaign rhetoric, wherein he wanted to reign in all of the companies that were building factories abroad; so that would include the Coca Cola bottling plants in Russia that get syrup from factories in the United States. That limiting of foreign factories ala Senator Obama’s campaign jargon would also have included GE. My problem is not with American companies building factories abroad to sell domestic product abroad. My problem is the lending of my tax dollars to a company that at one time was providing technology to an avowed enemy of our staunchest ally in the region, Israel, my tax dollars going to the parent of a media outlet that is squarely on the left (Forgive the contradiction in terms.), a company that was showcased by President Obama in his recent trip to India, a company that gave him considerable money for his campaign.

-copyright December 04, 2010 by Juan Zapatero


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