The Romney/Ryan campaign is giving away an Epiphone guitar signed by Kid Rock. The guitar, which appears to be a G-310 SG Electric Guitar in Vintage White, is manufactured in China, and has been since 2002. Y’know, that one place that specializes in receiving American jobs. As Epiphone explains on their website:
The effectiveness of combining Epiphone and Gibson expertise and experience with Asian production efficiencies ushered in a new era for Epiphone and brought about exceptional instruments at price points the average working musician could afford. That tradition continues today at Epiphone’s Gibson Qingdao (GQ) factory near Qingdao, China where only Epiphone instruments are crafted.
Epiphone is owned by Gibson Guitars, Inc. Gibson’s CEO Henry Juszkiewicz recently admitted to illegally importing exotic wood in violation of environmental law. Previously, Juszkiewicz said that he’d move his operation overseas or raise prices in retaliation for the raid, meaning the company would kill off American jobs. But Epiphone guitars are already made in China, so the CEO claiming Gibson will kill American jobs is somewhat dishonest — they already did. Anyhow, Gibson is now a hero of Tea Party peeps because government = bad.
Also, the number-one retailer for Gibson and Epiphone guitars is Guitar Center, a massive chain being driven into the red by interest on $1.4 billion in debt incurred when Bain Capital took the company private in 2007. Mitt Romney received retirement dividends from Bain until just a few years ago.
What does this all mean? Two things: First, it’s really easy to weave related things into an ominous-looking, vague, pseudo-conspiracy theory; and second, Romney/Ryan is giving away a guitar made exclusively in China while trumpeting American manufacturing and in the middle of Bain Capital moving jobs to China from the Sensata plant in Freeport, Ill. — after forcing the workers to train their Chinese replacements and flying the Chinese flag over the factory. As Reuters explains, Romney benefits from this deal:
Anyone who owns a mutual fund or retirement account may benefit when a U.S.-based company decides to boost profits by moving operations overseas. As a major investor in Sensata, Romney could gain from an outsourcing move that is likely to cut costs and increase the company’s presence in emerging markets. Romney owns at least $7.8 million in eight Bain funds that collectively hold 51 percent of Sensata’s shares, according to a disclosure report he released in June. Romney earned between $1.4 million and $9 million in 2011 from dividends, interest and capital gains from those funds, which also invest in other companies, the report shows.
Ultimately, I might enter the contest. Why? So I can pawn it, or sell the guitar to a right-winger who might want it.
But then Kid Rock had to go and sign it…