Robert Wenzel
Economic Policy Journal
January 21, 2011

President Obama will name Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric CEO, to head a new advisory panel focused on “promoting economic growth by investing in business.” Think of it as central planning by the corporate elite.

President Obama is, of course, all excited by this,“Jeff Immelt’s experience at GE and his understanding of the vital role the private sector plays in creating jobs and making America competitive makes him up to the challenge of leading this new Council,” said the President.

In a WaPo op-ed, by Immelt the truth was laid bare about this new panel.

Immelt sounds like a clueless central planner, who doesn’t understand how markets foster innovation and move product to the most demanded parts of the economy. His comments indicate a lack of understanding with regard to price signals and the fact that central planning can not be successful in improving the standard of living of a country:

Business leaders should provide expertise in service of our country. My predecessors at GE have done so, as have leaders of many other great American companies. There is always a healthy tension between the public and private sectors. However, we all share a responsibility to drive national competitiveness, particularly during economic unrest. This is one of those times…

We need a coordinated commitment among business, labor and government to expand our manufacturing base and increase exports…

Businesses should invest more of their cash and resources in advanced products and technologies that will create jobs in the United States, and government should incentivize this investment in innovation…

We must work together to construct an economy that creates more opportunity for more people.

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