los an G.E. les


They’re moving.

They’re going to where the surroundings are more conducive. More appropriate. More today.

It’s not about money—it’s about the future. About growth. About image.

Sure they’re leaving people employees—workers who depended upon them for jobs that allowed them to feed their families, pay their rents and mortgages, maybe even save a little for some little niceties, but sometimes you have to move on.

So goodbye and godspeed, St. Louis Rams—enjoy the California sun. Maybe drop us a line once in a while.

Oh, did you think I was talking about General Electric leaving Connecticut?

I could be—the story isn’t much different. The Rams do wear nicer uniforms, and they’ve always shown one of the more attractive helmets in football…

Rams (attractive helmet, yes?)

…but they flit from place looking for the same Elysian Fields.

The Rams? L.A.

G.E.? Boston.

Robert Frost said once in a poem that mankind is drawn to the ocean—that he prefers to seek out the farthest jetty, the longest pier, whatever it takes to be on the water. I guess that’s true of sports teams and industry also.

Of course we can blame the economic climate of Connecticut—blame the Democrats for their high taxes driving industry out of the state. That’s easy. And simple. And facile. I’d rather put the blame where it belongs: with Congress.

Remember the furor a few years back when it came to light that G.E., with profits of nearly $15 billion had no paid no federal income tax? It’s not quite that simple: G.E. has a financial arm that lost billions and allowed them to weigh these losses against their profits. But considering their profits register in the tens of billions, are they still better off than you and I? (In 2010 their tax rate was %7.4—what do you think?)

So G.E. isn’t breaking any law. Our legislators, especially over the past thirty years, have designed the tax structure and engineered the loopholes to allow G.E., Apple, Google, Citibank, et al., to skate. Once again, it’s your government working against you.

Don’t misunderstand me. G.E. is not blameless. They dangled the carrot in front of Connecticut’s nose for years, finagling tax breaks and considerations until finally doing what they’d always planned to do anyway. It’s business, as Dickens’s archetype businessman Ebenezer Scrooge would readily admit. It’s competitive. It’s cutthroat. It’s Gordon Gekko and Bernie Madoff. And current politics aside, it’s Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. They’re all in bed with the same Congress and the same government that expects us to buy TurboTax every year and report that hundred bucks we made working overtime one Saturday morning last March.

So farewell G.E. Enjoy Boston. Lots to do there: museums, restaurants, Celtics, duck boats. We’ll be fine back here in Connecticut as we always are when companies like you and gun manufacturers move out of state. And when you tire of Boston and move to L.A., have a good thought for that former St. Louis football team who, by that time, will probably be the Offshore Account Rams. I do hope they can keep those helmets.

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