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A CLOSER LOOK AT GE AND JACK WELCH
Your article "How Jack Welch runs GE" (Cover Story, June 8) shows why so few fully understand General Electric Co.'s achievements. The most important constant in GE's success equation has been the unending effort at de-bureaucratizing every facet of the operation.
GE's people around the globe have achieved fantastic creativity, yielding stupendous profits because of recognition by everyone that there is no limit to what can be accomplished if the best ideas are shared throughout the company--and if the obsolete trappings of "management" (turf, layers, "not-invented-here syndrome," and other such nonsense) are relegated to the garbage heap.
I enjoyed your article on Jack Welch and his impressive management style and abilities. How unfortunate it is, then, that a man of his considerable talents refuses to clean up the PCB pollution that General Electric dumped into the Hudson River in the 1950s and 1960s. Imagine how much greater his legacy would be if he spearheaded a renewal of corporate environmental responsibility.
Francis Pio Ruggiero
On the inside door of my refrigerator is a seal emblazoned with the GE trademark and the words "Symbol of Research, Mark of Reliability." You bet. This 1936 refrigerator still runs reliably. It replaces a 1986 GE refrigerator that failed five years and two months after its purchase. When I inquired about repairs, the service depot manager pointed to a row of similar dead soldiers out back, each fitted with an infamous GE rotary compressor like mine. It would have cost more to repair the refrigerator than to replace it. When I complained to the company, I got a firm brush-off and a $75-off coupon valid for 30 days toward the purchase of a new GE refrigerator. Would that I had invested in General Electric stock rather than purchased one of its products!
Thomas A. Burns
Arcata, Calif.Return to top
THE BORDER NEEDS MORE X-RAY SCREENING, NOT LESS
Regarding "This drug hunter bruises the fruit" (Up Front, June 8), the large X-ray cargo screening machines in use along the border have resulted in the significant capture of illegal drugs. The largest cocaine seizure in three years, two tons of cocaine worth over $200 million dollars, was seized at the U.S.-Mexico border using mobile X-ray detection equipment from American Science & Engineering Inc.
The truth is that more--not less--deployment of X-ray inspection technology on the border, combined with every other available means of detecting illegal drugs, will help protect us from this epidemic.
Ralph S. Sheridan
Chief Executive Officer
Billerica, Mass.Return to top
WHY RED TAPE MAKES SUVs MORE DANGEROUS
In "When air bags aren't enough" (Social Issues, June 8), you list several plans for reducing the threat that trucks and sport-utility vehicles pose to motorists in cars. These options tend to be costly or highly regulatory. A simpler solution that does not offend the free market would be to level the playing field between cars and trucks by reforming all federal regulations that make the heavy-hitter vehicles artificially inexpensive compared with cars.
Federal regulations draw inexplicable distinctions between passenger cars and trucks by way of federal gas-guzzler taxes, luxury taxes, safety regulations, emissions regulations, and fuel-economy standards. This has made the heavy vehicles unnaturally attractive to purchasers and has added thousands to the cost of each car, squeezing some buyers into lighter, less safe cars. Meanwhile, trucks are free of even the most basic regulatory common sense, such as bumper height regulations. Eliminate the arbitrary distinctions between vehicles that are driven on the same roads for the same purposes, and this safety "problem" should begin to diminish.
Bennet K. Langlotz
National Motorists Assn.
Oregon Chapter Coordinator
Portland, Ore.Return to top