Democrats appear intent on killing jobs and decreasing US productivity despite an economy on the brink and record unemployment.
Gibson isn't the only company under attack.
President Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against Boeing regarding building a Dreamliner assembly line in South Carolina. South Carolina is also a right-to-work state.
In the Gibson Guitar case—it could legitimately be called the Justice Dept. job-killing scandal—federal agents descended on the Gibson factories in Nashville and Memphis. Gibson had to shut down; workers were sent home.
A statement issued by Gibson said the agents were armed.
Gibson is to guitars like apple pie is to America. I know because I have three musicians in my family.
Ironically, Gibson hasn’t broken any US laws.
The Gibson statement said, “The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.”
The government’s position suggests the Obama administration is more interested in protecting jobs in other countries. Another example surfaced recently when Americans learned Stimulus money was used to create jobs in China and Spain—US taxpayers subsidized those jobs.
It is no secret that some labor organizations have a heavy hand in current policy. One of the most frequent visitors to the White House was former SEIU heavyweight Andy Stern. Obama, in a completely erratic decision, placed Sterns on the fiscal commission the administration claimed would help reform government spending. None of the commission’s recommendations were followed.
The Gibson raid on Wednesday is actually the second federal raid. The US Report was one of the only media covering the first raid in 2009. Gibson said no charges have been filed as a result of that raid. The corporate statement suggested federal bullying is in play.
In 2008 Congress expanded the Lacey Act. Gibson explained, “The U.S. Lacey Act does not directly address conservation issues but is about obeying all laws of the countries from which wood products are procured. This law reads that you are guilty if you did not observe a law even though you had no knowledge of that law in a foreign country. The U.S. Lacey Act is only applicable when a foreign law has been violated.”
The US Report pointed out the flaws in the current Lacey Act standards after the first Gibson raid. US companies may be guilty of a violation that is not part of US law.
The Lacey Act basically subordinates the rights of American manufacturers to possibly obscure laws in other countries.
The greater question for small business advocates like The US Report is whether the Obama Administration is conducting an anti-jobs campaign against companies that operate in right-to-work states.
Gibson has gone to great lengths to observe various laws that also hamper productivity in third world countries.
Rachel Saltzman, writing for the Michigan Law Review, puts some aspects of Lacey in perspective: “The Lacey Act’s incorporation of foreign law violations can be viewed as part of a broader ‘emerging trend’ toward global enforcement, which represents a dramatic departure from conventional priorities.”
Gibson said, “Since 2009, Gibson has fully cooperated with the Government’s investigation of wood and has provided substantial documentation regarding Gibson’s wood-buying activities over the years. Yet, the Federal Government raided Gibson’s facilities on August 24, 2011, without warning or communication of any kind. Had the Government simply communicated with Gibson, Gibson would have cooperated without having to stop its production and send workers home.”
Obama Labor Board attacks jobs creators in Charleston (The US Report)
Right to Work States (National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation)
Establishing a ‘Due Care’ Standard under the Lacey Act Amendments of 2008 (Michigan Law Review)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/August 26, 2011)
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