Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gibson Guitar Company: Still Holding On

I have been following this disturbing story regarding Gibson Guitar since the government raided their factory last year and confiscated millions of dollars in equipment.  This probable government overreach has been ignored by many, but I feel like it is an important story that musicians and every individual should be aware of for several reasons:

1.  Is it possible that the current executive branch of the federal government is using regulation for political purposes?  The current leadership of Gibson Guitar is thought to be pro-Republican.  I also find it fascinating that the generally left-leaning music industry has been eerily silent in its support for Gibson guitar.  

2. Environmentalism gone awry.  Gibson guitar has been attacked by the Obama administration executive department for allegedly not following the environmental laws regarding specialty woods.  But, they are not talking about U. S. law!  They have confiscated Gibson property for not following Indian law that the Indian government didn't even consider was against their own law!  In addition, the law in question was not something that protected an environment impact, but simply a law about the quality of manufacturing (More details here.)  So, basically, you have the federal government using the Justice Department to use a heavy hand against a company that is not even doing anything against the law that has a negative impact on the environment.

3. Timing.  It seems like a strange time for our American president to be putting a U. S. company in financial jeopardy at a time of economic recession.  Gibson guitar company is a long-standing American company that provides many jobs in the U. S and played an important part in our musical heritage.  This certainly does not seem to be smart economic policy, but it does add credence to the idea that the government actions have more to do with politics than the environment or the economy.  

I have included links to help you learn the history of the issue here.  I think that it is important for musicians and non-musicians alike to be aware of the situation.  What do you think about this situation?  Does it seem fair or should other music companies be held to the same standards?  Had you heard about this story?    

The following investigative story sums up the current situation.  

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