Jack Welch as a Virtual Business Messiah

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Jack Welch tweet about unemployment numbers

I worked for GE during the “halcyon” days of Jack Welch.  There were many things to recommend GE in those days, but Jack Welch was not one of them. Today, many people remember Jack Welch as a virtual business messiah. The guy turned massive profits and was and is the darling of Wall Street, but it seems a lot of people have forgotten a lot of things about Jack…one of them being he could also be the most flamboyantly dumb man ever. He returns to that glory with his birther-like charges of Obama fiddling jobs numbers a month from the election.

"Neutron Jack" WelchHis baseless charges are his Harry Reid, “Romney never paid taxes” moment – all huff with no puff. At their heart, the charges are more of an attack on Obama’s integrity than anything to do with the jobs numbers and they contain not a smidge of proof. It’s laughable that a man with less integrity than Donald Trump would make such claims. Let’s review some of Jack’s suspect history of integrity:

  • Jack Welch sold the electronics division, but waited until the next morning to call the division president in to let him know.
  • At a time when the company was stressing loyalty to GE employees, Welch said loyalty to a company was an outmoded concept. He denied saying it, desptie dozens of witnesses.
  • His nickname was “Neutron” Jack because of his penchant for “killing” employees by offshoring their jobs but leaving the factory buildings intact – much like a neutron bomb would. In fact, forget Bain. He was one of the pioneers in offshoring while touting the superior abilities of American workers.
  • Under his “leadership”, GE created several new Superfund sites and refused to clean up old ones. One requires dredging the entire Hudson river downstream of a GE plant to remove contaminated river bottom. The work still isn’t done.
  • The company regularly faced fines for financial “irregularities” like teaming with diamond company DeBeers to fix prices and corner the industrial diamond market using GE’s artificial diamond business. They sewed up 90% between them.
  • Jack fell “victim” to what was then the world’s largest divorce settlement. His wife found an affair with a mistress he kept in a very expensive Manhattan apartment to take “Little Jack” for a few sprints around the bedpost.

The list goes on. He has a long history of stretching or downright lying in his past – many of them with solid proof.

Although it too often comes from both sides of the aisle, these charges, without proof, about something so critical to the nation doesn’t speak well for his integrity. Just ask his boys Mitt and Paul, both of whom rarely meet a truth they could tell. I don’t know whether Jack is right or wrong on this count, but I doubt it. I certainly wouldn’t admit I had no proof and then refuse to take my charges back the next day and I’m not doing that here. It’s a long-shot, but Jack may be right – I don’t know and neither does he. But if Obama truly fudged the numbers, why stop at a few tenths of a percent? Why not lop off a lot? Why make the charges if you can’t back them up?

If you choose to listen to a messiah, listen with some context. Messiahs don’t always tell the truth. Sometimes they don’t even know the truth. Here’s another provable fact. Jack Welch was once named one of the Top 10 CEOs in the nation not worth the money paid to them.

Some messiah.

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