State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Obama:Crony Capitalism Will Create Jobs

President Obama must be playing a practical joke on the American people by  his appointment of Jeffery Immelt, CEO of General Electric, to his economic team heading the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  Since Immelt became CEO of GE in 2001, “GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”[1] Why would you appoint someone to advise on job creation who has not created a job in 10 years?! Whose company would be bankrupt but for a government bailout?!  Perhaps this appointment is quid pro quo for Immelt’s MSNBC being the propaganda arm of the Obama administration.  How can a CEO who’s only skill is crony capitalism, the ability to milk the government for money and favors, help our economy?  Jeffery Immelt has proven a bad CEO for investors also.

The stock, which was $40 and change when Immelt took over, has collapsed to around $16. Even if you include dividends, investors are still down about 40%. In real post-inflation terms, stockholders have lost about half their money.”[2] In addition, GE is a member of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a group advocating weakening our patent system.  If President Obama was serious about creating jobs and strengthening our economy, he would have appointed someone who had created new businesses.  According to the Kaufmann Foundation, all net new jobs “new firms add an average of 3 million jobs in their first year, while older companies lose 1 million jobs annually.”  The study covered 1977 to 2005.[3] According to the SBA, small businesses:

Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.

  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007.
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

President Obama is playing cruel joke on the American people by appointing Immelt as a top economic advisor.  Mr. Immelt’s only real skills seem to be political.


January 25, 2011 - Posted by dbhalling | -Economics, Innovation

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  1. DB,
    Are you going to post your bet at IPWatchDog as to whether tonight’s SOTU speech will include, even once, the word “inventor” or “invention”?

    Odds are running heavily in favor of a “no” response. POTUS will use the word “innovation” numerous times they say. But nary a mention of “inventor”.

    True “innovation”, you see, happens without inventors. It happens when captains of industry like Immelt use MBA power to run (or ruin?) the means of production and the engines of prosperity.

    Party on.

    Comment by step back | January 25, 2011 | Reply

  2. Step back,

    I am sure that inventor will never be used in the speech tonight.

    Yes true innovation involves finance people moving money around. Money is wealth after all.

    Comment by dbhalling | January 25, 2011 | Reply

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