How to get small business moving, Mr. Immelt?

When did Dayton become the first stop on the bullshit express?

We had John McCain go rogue and introduce Sarah Palin as his secret weapon at the Nutter Center- and now, we get a junta of overpaid CEOs from big business trying to figure out how to create jobs via small business:

The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness will hold the first in what the White House said would be a series of “listening and action sessions” Tuesday at labels manufacturer Hooven-Dayton Corp.’s Vandalia plant, 7468 Webster St….

The council’s sessions will take place around the country and are geared toward bringing “new voices to the table” in helping the council arrive at recommendations for the president, the White House said. What’s said at these meetings will help inform the “future policy work” of the council, the Obama administration said Friday.

In Vandalia, administration officials and council members will tour the Hooven-Dayton facility before holding discussions and question-and-answer sessions with local business owners.

“Small businesses need to be the engine of the U.S. jobs recovery,” said Jeff Immelt, General Electric Co. chief executive and head of the new council. “Creating new opportunities and lowering barriers to small business growth is at the core of our mission on the president’s council.”….

The administration said the council’s core mission is to encourage hiring, education and training of workers to compete in the global economy.

Participants in Tuesday’s event will include Immelt; Darlene Miller, president and CEO of Permac; Dick Parsons, Citigroup chairman; Karen Mills, of the Small Business Administration; John Fernandez, of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, and others.

via Obama’s Jobs-Competitiveness Council to hold first session in Dayton.

I’d like to go and introduce a few strategic ideas- but, doubt I’ll get a chance to talk to people like Immelt who think they are worth $10.5 K per hour- no, that’s not $10.50 but, $10,500 per hour- or $175 per minute:

Compensation for 2010
Salary $3,300,000.00
Bonus $4,000,000.00
Restricted stock awards $0.00
All other compensation $389,809.00
Option awards $7,400,000.00
Non-equity incentive plan compensation $0.00
Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings $6,338,956.00
Total Compensation $21,428,765.00
via Jeffrey R. Immelt Profile – Forbes.com.

So, Mr. Immelt, are my ideas, worth five minutes of your esteemed time ($875)?

  1. Since the Federal Government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the U.S.- how about a simplified GSA-EZ schedule for small business– those under $6 million in annual revenue (571 hours of Jeff time). The current GSA schedule requires about 80 hours (or $840,000 in Jeff time) to fill out. By creating a GSA EZ schedule the federal government could widen their vendor base and help many small businesses get a chance to operate in this market.
  2. End “corporate welfare” in the name of “economic development” creating a competition between cities and states for “jobs” where decisions are no longer based on solid business models, but purely on short-term extortion by big businesses- including yours (GE’s new  “Episcenter” on UD property). A level playing field is absolutely essential for small business having an opportunity to compete. The taxpayers subsidized about half your annual salary to this facility. Why?
  3. Instead of protecting the people from online poker, let’s protect the integrity of our financial system by restoring sanity to the Wall Street Casino. The average share of stock is now held for less than 12 seconds- ($35 in Jeff time). The reality is that no business would ask for investment for 12 seconds- we need to return sanity to what the word “investment” means- and force stock holdings to last for more than a New York minute.
  4. Small business needs healthy workers, yet including the health insurance companies in the delivery of health care is like guaranteeing a vig to the mob to stay in business. As a small business I used to provide 100% of my employees’ health insurance. Now, I can barely afford my own. When the CEOs of Anthem and United Health Care both made around $140,000,000 each in annual compensation (making Jeff time look like minor league money) it was clear that the insurance industry wasn’t interested in taking care of anyone but themselves. A single-payer system would cut a ton of overhead out of the health insurance industry, giving us money for actual health care delivery. We’d have to build an effective retraining program to teach former paper pushers how to become pill pushers instead.
  5. There are two major addictions in this country that we need to deal with- cheap oil and high fructose corn syrup. Presidents as far back as Nixon have set goals of “energy independence” yet nothing has happened. We could make major changes by electrifying rail, offering a walk to work tax credit, and by investing in high-speed rail. The addiction of our processed food manufacturers to high fructose corn syrup has created a nation of unhealthy fatties. If we work at getting America to eat better- and to lose weight, our costs of health care will drop as well. This may be too esoteric for the scotch and caviar set- but when you can get more crap calories off the $1 menu than you need in a day, we’re in trouble. When small businesses get hit with price increases in both energy costs and health insurance costs- they don’t have the flexibility that large companies do to pass the costs along, making factors beyond their control a major stumbling block.

This list is getting longer than Mr. Immelt would ever afford me to speak- but, the last two items are absolutely critical to seeing real change in our country and creating opportunity- political reform.

  1. We need to simplify our tax code and payment and collection systems. For small businesses to have to go to a multitude of different government websites- from local to federal, to file paperwork and make payments on a schedule that only tax professionals can keep track of is criminal. We need a single site login with our federal employer ID- where we report our simplified payroll and tax info– so that we don’t spend more time trying to decipher what we owe, to whom and when. The amount of fines levied on small business because of complexity is criminal- the amount that GE doesn’t pay because they can afford tax-avoidance departments is also criminal- it’s time to simplify.
  2. Last but not least, we need to take the auction atmosphere out of politics and reform campaign finance once and for all by making it something the taxpayers pay for- not selling our political offices out to the highest bidder. The cost of campaigns and the bad policy we’ve made to satisfy campaign debts is killing us. In a country that prides itself on having tons of choice in everything from education to hot sauce, the fact that our system asks us to choose between two political parties is a bad joke. It’s time to get down to real politics and honest government.

If Jeff Immelt really wanted to give small business a chance- it would have to start with a new definition of what the American dream is these days. While he may be living it- there is a cost associated with it, that he’s been tasked to offer solutions. The reality is, he’s being incredibly well paid to manage a company he didn’t create, didn’t take any risk to run, or has any personal risk if it fails- the total opposite of what we as small business people have to deal with. When our big businesses have to operate with the same challenges that small business have to operate with- we may see the change we are supposedly talking about with this Jobs Competitive Council.

This took me about 93 minutes to write. If I was paid like Jeff Immelt, I’d be $16,275 richer. Considering $15,810 is what the minimum wage pays in a year, you should quickly see the problem with creating minimum wage jobs the way we are shifting our work force in America. If Immelt was paid based on a formula for how many people he pays- and how much the total payroll is – instead of some whim of the unregulated market, we’d probably see more focus on the kind of jobs we create in this country. But, that’s asking way too much of a man with nothing to lose.

Dayton was the first place we figured out the secrets of powered flight, it’s where we solved the Bosnian war, now, let’s end the bullshit and get serious about rebuilding the American Dream.

 

 

 

 

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23 Responses

  1. jstults May 8, 2011 / 11:13 am
    I think Immelt the Destroyer (of shareholder wealth) should figure out how to run the one big business he gets paid to before he starts writing proscriptions for all the different small ones that could do without his “help”.
    David Esrati:

    If I was paid like Jeff Immelt…

    Funny that:

    Once again, we see that the GE board is behaving like a bunch of shareholder-looting cronies. Even when they pretend to make Immelt’s incentive compensation conditional, it’s on terms which are too forgiving. For such a large industrial firm, you’d think they could manage some theoretically-sound terms which reflect a basic understanding of finance.
    It’s About Time!

    No shortage of principal-agent problems (it’s left as an exercise for the reader to find them in David’s proposals ; – )

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Civil Servants Are People, Too May 8, 2011 / 1:45 pm
    I’ll keep it short and say I agree with most (But not all) of that plan.
     
    Perhaps it is a new platform for a Congressional run?
     
     
     

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. Jaba the Labor Union Slug May 8, 2011 / 3:55 pm
    The only thing you left out is to put an end to the organized crime labor unions.  You can talk about electrified rail all you want but if the union guys at the “recovery and reinvestment act –  putting america back to work” work site are going to have a hand in it most of the money will be stolen even if you could come up with huge cash to hire these criminals to do the work.  Make this a city at the very least that no longer tolerates the stealing of our tax dollars to fund the democrat party that has ruined our city.  Make this a city that does not allow our taxes to be stolen via union dues to guarantee illiterate teachers in DPS will never lose their jobs.

    I know the intersection at Dorothy Lane and Wilmington Pike is not in Dayton but it is a great example of labor union crime.  They have been “working” a few days at a time here and there for a year now and the intersection makeover is still not done.  They did manage to tear up at least a mile of perfectly good sidewalk that is never used and replace it with a brand new one that is never used along Wilmington Pike.  When the organized crime unions are done they will be fat and happy with our cash and we will have new sidewalks and a refreshed intersection that no one wanted.  I guess having a new sidewalk to connect Captain D’s and Burger King will really get the economy going!  Look out Kettering, sounds like the same organized labor union crime “projects” that have made Dayton great are coming your way!

    Smackdown!. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  4. joe_mamma May 9, 2011 / 9:23 am
    First off…I love me some corn syrup and I love oil.  Secondly…the last thing we need is a small group of people defining what the American dream is…just leave that to the individual.  The problem with the current top down approaches like this isn’t that the wrong people are in power, it simply doesn’t work…it’s the “fatal conceit”
     
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc
     
    “People aren’t chessmen you move on a board
    at your whim–their dreams and desires ignored
    With political incentives, discretion’s a joke
    Those dials you’re twisting… just mirrors and smoke
     
    We need stable rules and real market prices
    so prosperity emerges and cuts short the crisis
    give us a chance so we can discover
    the most valuable ways to serve one another” – Russ Roberts & John Popula
     
    Word.

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  5. David Esrati May 9, 2011 / 10:54 am

    It’s been suggested that I rewrite this post- to take the snarky parts out directed at Mr. Immelt.

    What do you think? Does he deserve to get away with his outrageous salary and still be the guy in charge of small biz development?

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  6. bobby May 9, 2011 / 12:49 pm
       Washington Post, June 29, 2009- “General electric,the world’s largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government’s key rescue programs for banks.
      At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.
      The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals rom GE.

       Jeffrey Immelt became a “Class B” Director of the Federal Reserve Bank in Jan. 2006 and remained on the board until his resignation last month. The Class B directors are sworn to represent the interests of the public. It also doesn’t hurt to be on the inside to influence inclusion in the FDIC’s Temporary Guarantee Program that authorized GE to issue up to $139 billion of government guaranteed debt.  
        
       It would be interesting to hear Mr. Immelts views of small business survival and growth without the benefit of government largess and insider political influence that benefit GE and the other Fotune 500 companies. 

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  7. bobby May 9, 2011 / 1:30 pm
    Correction: Class B director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank

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  8. Cancun May 9, 2011 / 3:32 pm
    This is a national politics stunt.  Immelt got a huge amount of obama cash that guaranteed his company would not have to suffer much pain in the recession and guaranteed he would keep his title.  GE workers are unionized so the obama campaign gets a victory because more cash will keep flowing to their campaign fund.  Immelt then pays back the obama bribe by going on these ridiculous publicity tours around the country to show obama really cares about small business etc.  They will see how this impacts the low poll numbers obama has with handling the economy in the areas that Immelt makes pro-obama campaign stops in.  You are already caught up in this standard political con.

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  9. Stephen Lahanas May 9, 2011 / 3:34 pm
    David, one area you didn’t mention was the need to support community banking – this is critical to support small biz and start-ups. Most of the credit crisis over the past few years has been directly tied to credit tightening in the large banks while the small banks are being shut down. The combined effect is devastating.
     
    Also, in regards to simplifying the tax code – it is important that the distinction be made regarding those of us who have very small businesses and what mid-sized and large enterprises should have to do. Essentially, anyone starting up any company – even with one or two employees has to fill out and support all of the same processes that larger companies do. That makes no sense – but we don’t want to give the larger companies more ways to weasel out of their commitments either. BTW – take a look at this: http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/print-edition/2011/05/06/ceo-pay-rises-for-many-area-top.html

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  10. Gary May 9, 2011 / 6:07 pm
    Red tape, and many Daytonians’ blood makes it that way!  In the grand sceme of things, what comes around will go back around, either here or there …

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  11. Gone From Dayton May 10, 2011 / 4:28 pm
    I like the use of “Jeff-Time”.  It puts his outrageous compensation into perspective.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. BOE Related May 10, 2011 / 4:45 pm
    FYI, more Board of Elections information is coming! 

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  13. Ice Bandit May 10, 2011 / 9:28 pm
    This took me about 93 minutes to write. (David Esrati)
     
    ….which coincidentally dear David, is the time it takes a satellite in low earth orbit to circle the globe. And that is fitting, dear David, because like that satellite, this post was all over the map. From another wealth envy whine to a another diss of her Goddess of Wasilla to a treatise on the evils of a particular polysaccharide the only thing missing from this post was a recipe for Bananas Foster. And all of this because Jeff Immelt, the CEO of a multinational, makes less than Charlie Sheen would had he only kept his opinion of CBS brass to himself. Immelt is worth every penny if for only one reason; he got the congress to outlaw his competitors. Did it matter that many still favor the old fashioned light bulbs that have served consumers since the days of the Wizard of Menlo Park? Hell no. And who was the primary beneficiary of the cumpulsory outlawing of the bulbs? Hint, they bring good things to light…..

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  14. David Lauri May 10, 2011 / 10:25 pm
    LOL @ “Goddess of Wasilla”

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  15. joe_mamma May 11, 2011 / 8:18 am
    Interesting Incadescent light buld tidbit I picked up from an annoyed in-law who works for an “independent, not-for-profit, product safety testing and certification program”.  We need more Siegfried Rotthauesers and less bureaucrats.

    As was stated above…the bottom line is that the Immelts, corporations and  “independent, not-for-profit, product safety testing” of the world are not capitalists.  They are Rent Seekers.  It is up to the citenry to demand that their government provide a level playing field because that is what best serves us.  More top down arbitrariness like protecting us from corn syrup to mandating pay scales is not the answer.  It’s just another increase in government power that increases the liklihood of rent seeking.

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  16. David Lauri May 11, 2011 / 6:05 pm
    In “corporate welfare” news today, the Los Angeles Times has a story today about Donald Trump and how he “has relied on tax breaks and federal funding to build his real estate empire.” See “Trump has thrived with government’s generosity” for the story, which starts out as follows:

    Donald Trump, the developer and would-be presidential candidate, portrays himself as a swashbuckling entrepreneur, shrewder and tougher than any politician, who would use his billionaire’s skills to restore discipline to the federal government.

    In his disdain of big government, however, Trump glances over an expensive irony: He built his empire in part through government largesse and connections.

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  17. David Lauri May 11, 2011 / 10:12 pm
    Speaking of the “Goddess of Wasilla,” I found something that Andrew Sullivan said in a blog post funny. Commenting today on a piece in The Atlantic about the Goddess of Wasilla and on another blogger’s comments on the illustration of the Goddess of Wasilla that accompanies the story in The Atlantic, Sullivan says:

    Joe McGinniss asks if the Atlantic could have picked a more flattering painting of Sarah Palin. Maybe a slightly more obvious halo?

     
    To get what Sullivan’s talking about when he mentions the Goddess’s halo, go to The Atlantic‘s story, “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin,” and see the illustration in all its glory for yourself.

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  18. Ice Bandit May 11, 2011 / 10:34 pm
    ….pity dear DL, for yea are of little faith. It is commonly known that the Goddess’ halo is real, and that illustration did neither Her Hotness nor her illumination justice. During the long and cold Alaska nights, it is not unusual for the Goddess to extinguish all the lights in the Palin household. Yet her halo provides sufficient light for the purpose of reading novels and periodicals. And of course the artist didn’t capture the Goddess’ true beauty, but what artist could. Were Da Vinci alive today and commissioned to capture Her Hotness’ beauty on canvas, he would hang his head in impotence and return said monies. It is also commonly known that when the Goddess is in Wasilla, the Aurora Borealis refuses to appear, knowing that the Goddess’ beauty eclipses theirs. A Beatification Committee is currently being formed to document the Goddess’ miracles…..

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  19. Bubba Jones May 12, 2011 / 7:39 am
    Hey Ice!  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say “I think you kinda like Ms. Palin”? ;)
     
    I was at her “Coming Out Party” at Nutter in August ’08.  I saw first hand that she’s got a pretty nice set of legs on her!!

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  20. Ice Bandit May 14, 2011 / 6:27 am
    ….and no sooner had the group charged with considering the Goddess’ sainthood assembled, the news of Her Hotness’ first miracle arrived. The case is that of a 79 year-old man who attended a Palin fund-raiser. After an inspiring and motivating speech, the older gentleman moved to the podium to shake hands with the Goddess of Wasilla. There, upon touching hands and basking in the radiant glow of the Goddess’ beauty, the old man was immediately cured of his long standing erectile dysfunction…….

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  21. jstults October 5, 2011 / 8:06 pm
    Regarding GE’s China Avionics Deal

    …it’s pretty clear that the place where most of the jobs will be created by this China-based venture will be….China! So much for Jeff demonstrating to other US executives how to create US jobs.

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  22. Cincinnatus July 30, 2012 / 10:57 am
    General Electric’s healthcare unit recently announced it was moving the headquarters of 115-year old X-ray business to Beijing. Ironically, the head of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt.  

    According to a March 24 New York Times article, GE paid zero taxes in the U.S. in 2010.  Meanwhile, the Congressional Research Service found that the Chinese State Tax Administration and China Tax magazine jointly released a number of lists of the top taxpayers in 2007 and GE featured prominently.   The Beijing subsidiary of GE was number 32 on the top 100 taxpaying firms in the commercial services sector.  It is noteworthy that GE, which pays no federal taxes in its home country, is honored for being a significant source of tax revenue to China.  

    Our engagement with China has not only empowered the government, failed to change their political system and undermined our economic security it has fueled China’s military apparatus.  Again, the president’s “jobs czar,” Jeffrey Immelt, is at the center of these concerns.

    Wolf: U.S. Should Not Cooperate With People’s Liberation Army to Help Develop China’s Space Program
     
     

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  23. Bubba Jones July 30, 2012 / 11:25 am
    >>>  Ironically, the head of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt.  <<<

    Since Obama hasn’t thought it necessary for the Jobs Council to meet since January, Immelt has had plenty of time to talk to the Chinese. 

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