The Gibson Guitar company has become a cause celebre for some conservatives as a victim of government regulation stifling the business sector.
The company is being forced by the federal government to pay a $350,000 penalty for using wood harvested from protected overseas forests to forge its legendary guitars.
Gibson's transgression, according to a Justice Department official, involved illegally imported wood from protected forests in India and Madagascar. A portion of the company's fine will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote conservation.
As the The Daily Beast's liberal Michael Tomasky observes, Gibson has in recent days become representative of the "battle for survival under the jackboot of totalitarianism."
Via The Wall Street Journal, The Blaze, and The Daily Beast.
Once again, its easier to go after the buyer than it is the seller who is just as much at fault. I like Gibson products, they are some of the best guitars out there, and if I had more money, I'd have more than two of theirs. I own a Les Paul and an SG. I'll keep supporting you Gibson!
Uh, yah. And some Fenders are made in Korea and Mexico too. If you want US stuff you pay more. Not sure what your point was there Weebs. I assure you Gibson makes US versions too, I've been to their plant in Memphis and they take pride in what they make there. You just pay more. As far as acoustics go I use a Takamini it competes well with the Martin sound.
From Rolling Stone: "Gibson was accused of violating the Macey Act, which has since May 2008 outlawed importing wood harvested and illegally exported under another's country's laws. In August 2011, federal authorities raided a Gibson factory in Nashville, Tennessee, seeking wood imported from India. Two years earlier, armed agents stormed a Nashville Gibson factory over imported wood from Madagascar." So we are now enforcing other country's laws. I wouldn't be surprised if Gibson moved it's manufacturing plants over seas. Way to protect jobs. Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/gibson...
This happened a long time ago. Though they had permission to buy the special wood, and they followed all of the laws and regulations governing that type of wood. The country in which the wood was purchased wasn't even pressing charges because everything was done properly and it was the USA that filed the charges and they told Gibson that if they didn't like it to move it out of the country. It's just our government continuing their agenda to move all manufacturing out of the country.
I have to disagree with your conclusion. I don't think it's an agenda to move all manufacturing out of the country. I think it's politics...
"It’s worth pointing out that Henry E. Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s Chief Executive Officer, is a donor to a couple of Republican politicians. According to the Open Secrets database, Juszkiewicz donated $2000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN07) last year, as well as $1500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Juszkiewicz also has donated $10,000 to the Consumer Electronics Association, a PAC that contributed $92.5k to Republican candidates last year, as opposed to $72k to Democrats."
"One of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood.” In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson’s guitars." http://landmarkreport.com/andrew/2011/08/ceo-...
I like Martin products too, they are just a bit out of my price range. I couldn't care less how these men vote or feel, as long as the Government leaves them alone so they can continue making products I feel are top notch.
Gibson Guitar Corporation issued a press release stating that government officials raided their Tennessee manufacturing facility over warrants concerning the legality of the importation of wood purchased from India that they use in their world famous guitars. The wood–which is certified and regulated by the Forest Stewardship Council–is not illegal, but rather subject to a domestic law in India frowns upon the processing of this wood by non-Indians.(Gibson uses American labor for the processing.)
The Gibson facility wasn’t raided over allegations of tax evasion, charges of embezzlement, or even something as drab as child labor. Not even close. It was raided over what the DOJ deems an inability to follow a vague domestic trade law in India (one that apparently the Indian government didn’t seem too concerned about enforcing) regarding a specific type of wood. Not illegal wood, just wood with obscenely specific procedural guidelines.
Fender Guitar uses the same wood, but uses Indian labor for the processing.
Gibson Guitar CEO is a big Republican donor.
Fender Guitar CEO is a big Democratic donor.
Remember this: When Obama bailed out GM...84% of the car lots that were closed were owned by big Republican donors.
Wow. Considering the fact that corporations are willing to settle out of court for a lot more and over a lot less in order to make a headache go away, making any assumptions about their guilt or innocence based on that settlement would be foolish.
Gibson found itself in the position where it could stop the raids. They could stop the uncertainty and call of the government dogs by losing $1 M in wood and pay $350,000.
Because of the decision by Gibson to cave-in to the government Michael Tomasky jumps to the conclusion that "Gibson is acknowledging culpability here. So, another myth demolished. I knew I always preferred Fenders."
This is a phenomena among Liberals that combines willful ignorance with a jump to conclusion. All for a political purpose. In this case Tomasky is defending the selective targeting of Gibson as opposed to their main competitor, Martin Guitars. That would make Tomasky foolish if he didn't know exactly what he is doing. I give Tomasky too much credit to be foolish. When that happens when a smart guy takes a foolish position in order to convince others... When someone takes a "foolish" position and isn't foolish themselves, they are being deceptive.
I knew I didn't read Tomasky for a reason. My estimation of him gets worse and worse with every story this site features by him.
This had nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with politics. I'm surprised that no one is bothered that this administration would happily sacrifice jobs to punish a company for political motives. This is selective prosecution. I don't think this is Gibson's fault all. After all, this is govt's fault. Gibson didnt build this business govt did, right? But only Gibson takes the fall. No hipocrasy there.
I am all for conservation regulations when they are reasonable and based on good science. I am not in favor of the significant number of conservation measures that are based on emotional appeals, such as the inclusion of polar bears on the endangered species list under the assumption that global warming will destroy their habitat - even though polar bears today are doing just fine.
This has nothing to do with wood or even guitars. Its a warning to Republican donors: 'We're the government and we're watching you! If we don't like what we see, you will pay. The guidelines are just don't piss us off'. This goes for the rest of you!