Monday, July 06, 2009

GKC, GE, and Allis-Chalmers

You may licitly wonder at the connection.

First, to establish the ground, GKChesterton:

“Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.”

That was a warning with two edges. One to the common man: "Be wary! Be VERY wary! of Big Business and State Socialism." (You may use the label "Statism" instead of "State Socialism" in the present circumstance.)

The other warning is to the businesses who would be "big": "Be wary! Be VERY wary!! of State Socialism"

We understand the warning to the common man, perhaps better these days than only 5 years ago, because the rent-seeking rapaciousness of such as GE is so much more apparent.

But the warning to Big Biz?

Think Allis-Chalmers.

A lot of economic historians place the beginning of the end of A-C at the moment that A-C's Chairman, David Scott, got on board the Carter Administration's coal-gasification bandwagon. It was (arguably) a great idea at the time, but as soon as Carter was out of office (and that didn't take long, did it?) the Fed push dried up.

So did A-C, which once employed 25,000 people worldwide with 7,500 of them in Milwaukee.

Be wary.

2 comments:

Deekaman said...

Relying on the government is a deal with the devil. GE will pay dearly for their "green" fealty.

Anonymous said...

With crap and tax getting more iffy in the Senate. Immelt's gamble on betting all of GE Capital on it is looking a bit riskier. Just in the past couple of weeks he started pushing nuclear - of which he had been silent for months. At least that is an actual industry that would create jobs.

neomom