In today's climate there's a tendency to view things through the lens of the people versus corporations, where all the corporations are allied and aligned against people. But there's another layer, far more interesting, surrounding Jeffrey Immelt and his cordial relationship with the White House. It reveals a corporation vs. corporation rivalry fought via the current political culture wars.
FreedomWorks and the NCPPR, another free-market think tank, have launched a campaign to “dethrone” Immelt from GE, calling him the “king of crony capitalism”, and are running ads attacking Immelt’s conflicts of interest as a blatant sign of corruption. “It’s time to break up the unethical romance between government and big business,” said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe in a statement. “For too long, corporate elites have lobbied to profit from the size and growth of government at the expense of hard-working Americans.”
Oh, this is rich, coming from the organization funded by corporate elites who not only lobbied to profit from government but also hoodwinked ordinary people in order to profit from them. And of course, it's simply a smokescreen for a corporate proxy war between Koch-allied corporations and GE-allied corporations.
Before anything else, GE and Koch Industries are direct competitors in the energy arena. I'm sure the bailout of GE Capital contributed to the rage the Kochs felt about bailouts in general (ideology aside), since a weakened GE would have meant a stronger Koch Industries, but alas. It didn't quite work out that way.
In addition to being in direct competition, GE has positioned itself as a "green energy" company, integrating climate change into their business model. This runs exactly counter to Koch, who continues to not only deny climate change, but fight for the right to keep the country enslaved to oil for generations to come.
I'm still not happy about Immelt's prominence and access to the president, but I do admit to a small "har-har" moment over FreedomWorks and the Koch family going to such lengths to "dethrone" Jeffrey Immelt. Plus, it distracts them for now.