Thursday, March 12, 2009

General Electric (GE) dowgrade, My Rant


While this is no surprise, Standard & Poor’s stripped General Electric of its historic triple-A rating. GE is now rated AA+.

This comes as no surprise to me. GE used to make great stuff. Believe it or not, I just replaced a General Electric air conditioner that was 33 years old. You read that right--33. It never stops startling me that in 1976 General Electric made a product that is revered in the air conditioning industry. I was amazed when our air conditioning guy told me that there are plenty of these machines still running. GE, now, is just about as ordinary as any old financial services company. Kinda sad, if you ask me.

You might be thinking what is my point? No, its not about the fact the General Electric no longer makes air conditioners that run for a half lifetime. This is really about how we now make crap in this country, or buy crap, from other countries all in the name of economic progress.

Here is a myth that gets perpetrated all the time by our elected officials and economist. If we don't keep the economy growing year after year, our growing population will end up eating rocks. Bull. Answer this for me, if we had been growing slowly but surely over the last decade would be better or worse off? One thing for sure, we are doing a great job of raising the standard of living of the populace in China. Kinda like what happened to my dad--the guy who worked in a factory for 35 years.

If we were still making great products like the GE air conditioner I referred to--we would be adding more to the economy not less. Instead of shelling out $3,000 every seven years for an air conditioner you might be doing something really productive with the money. Maybe sending your kid to college--an investment in the future. Or maybe, paying off your credit card debt--an investment in the future.

Well like it or not, we will are in the process of getting back to what is really important. No more $100 million dollar bonuses--just the old fashioned kind--mill and a half.

In other words, companies will be able to provide health insurance for their employees. We will all feel better about ourselves, and our little slice of the world will be a better place.

I understand this is a rant--but it felt good saying it. Go ahead, sound off.
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Bob DeMarco is a citizen journalist and twenty year Wall Street veteran. Bob has written more than 500 articles with more than 11,000 links to his work on the Internet. Content from All American Investor has been syndicated on Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Pluck, Blog Critics, and a growing list of newspaper websites. Bob is actively seeking syndication and writing assignments.

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