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Entering an Election Year, Democrats Sharpen Focus on Jobs December 2009
Jobs Bill Signed into Law by Obama –March 2010
Obama Calls for “Full-Scale Attack” to Revive Struggling Economy August 2010
Obama Address to Focus on Jobs  January 2011
Obama Told the Crowd, “I don’t think it’s good enough for us to just do it part way. …
Let’s go Ahead and Fix It.”August 2011

Now we are to understand next week the President will enlighten us as to how the government will create jobs. What, you may ask, does this have to do with guitars?

On August 24, 2011, 20 heavily armed agents with Obama’s Department of Justice, the Fish and Wildlife Service and Homeland Security stormed the Gibson Guitar factory in Memphis, Tenn. Gibson, one of the few guitar manufacturers left in the country, employs 2000 people. Its owner, Henry Juszkiewicz, estimates 2-3 million dollars of inventory was confiscated.

“Can you imagine a federal agent saying, ‘You’re going to jail for five years’” said Mr. Juszkiewicz, recounting the incident. “I think that’s way over the top.” Gibson employees, he said, are being “treated like drug criminals.”

No charges were filed against Gibson, nor were any filed after a previous raid in 2009. The pretense of the raid was alleged violations of the Lacey Act; supposedly Gibson didn’t follow a vague Indian domestic trade law, specifically the removal of Rosewood. However, India has not shown interest in filing any charges against Gibson or the broker who sold the wood to Gibson.

Few U.S. manufacturers of guitars remain in the country as most have moved to the Pacific Rim. If the focus is on creating jobs, why does the administration harass a company that employs American workers?

Gibson’s primary U.S. competitor is Martin Guitars, which has not been targeted by the Justice Department and, according to their catalog, also uses “East Indian Rosewood.”  The Open Secrets database shows Martin’s CEO, Chris Martin, is a longtime Democratic supporter, donating thousands in the past two election cycles. On the other hand, Gibson’s Juszkiewicz has donated  considerable sums  to Republican candidates.

Does anyone remember the auto dealerships that closedover 75% of which had donated to Republicans-and the corresponding jobs lost when Chrysler and General Motors became Government Motors I and II?

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

WC (Bill) Augustine

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  1. Obama’s War on Gibson Guitar Jobs | Lake Minnetonka Liberty

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