Letter: Connecticut needs to rethink GE move

To the Editors:

State Rep. Gail Lavielle’s Letter from Hartford provided a welcome self-assessment of what needs to be considered by Connecticut to attract, retain and deter business from leaving. GE has been headquartered in Connecticut for over 40 years. A company like GE can obviously operate from virtually anywhere. Moreover, a decision to move GE HQ is not done quickly, not done lightly and not done without consultation with the board of directors. It was a big decision to take. It’s disruptive to an organization.

The reason for this decline in Connecticut lies in the philosophy of some in government: business is the predatory enemy and needs to be fleeced via the tax code. Ultimately, it impaired GE’s ability to compete. The governor’s reaction was too little too late. Once CEO Immelt decided to form a team to think it through, it was already a fait accompli.  The decision was not “if” but “when and where” to move. And Democratic Sen. Martin Looney’s accusation that GE had an ulterior motive of moving to hide already planned layoffs demonstrates that philosophy.

Connecticut alienated GE when it was here and denigrated it when it was walking out the door. It may never come back. GE employs 5,700 in Connecticut (Source: CNBC article by Jacob Pramuk of June 4, 2015). How many of those will it take away in the long run?

We thank Rep. Lavielle for her honest assessment and encourage her to strive, along with other right-thinking colleagues in government, to turn it around.
Nicholas R. Battista
Hickory Hill Road, Jan. 25