Alabama & General Electric
By Robert F. Abbott, author of Big Macs & Our Pensions: Who Gets McDonald's
Profits? the book that explains the connection between the retirement income of the middle
class and the profits of big business
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Ever wonder who owns the mighty General Electric Company? Check out the official records and
you'll find much of it belongs to middle class people such as Alabama's teachers and public employees.
Combined, the Alabama Teachers' and Alabama Employees' Retirement Systems owned 8,067,000 shares of the
venerable GE, according to the most recent report of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, for the
fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2013.
And according to nasdaq.com's calculations, 55% of General
Electric is owned by institutional investors (pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, banks, hedge
funds, and other large investment vehicles).
For more connections between working, middle class people and the world's biggest corporations, please visit our
The Bigger Picture:
Will Profits from Big Macs Add to Your Retirement Income?
In 1948, the McDonald brothers redesigned and remodelled their drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino,
California. Taking inspiration from Henry Ford's assembly-line, they created the fast food revolution, with the
quick service and low prices we now take for granted.
In that same year, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board ruled unions could include pension issues in contract
negotiations. That ignited a massive expansion of pension plans.
In the 1950s, pension funds started buying stocks, rather than just bonds or their equivalents; in addition
mutual funds came of age. With these two developments working, middle class people became owners of big business.
At first, their stakes were modest, but steadily growing.
And in just a few decades, they gained controlling interests in many large corporations through their funds.
Management guru Peter Drucker has called it, "...one of the most startling power shifts in economic history."
Now, working people reap the benefits of those investments, collecting much of the profit distributed by
McDonald's and other big corporations.
Discover how the pieces fit together. In Big Macs & Our Pensions: Who Gets McDonald's Profits? - a new booklet
-(about 25-pages), you will:
- learn more about the McDonald's transformation and its implications for the future
- find out how McDonald's makes its profits (and it involves more than selling Quarter Pounders)
- meet some of the working people who get McDonald's profits through their pension and mutual funds
- find out how low wages became embedded in the fast food industry
- hear accusations from critics of McDonald's wages, and
- learn who has the ultimate say on fast food wages (the answer may surprise you).
You may not be among the owners of McDonald's. But if you belong to any pension plan, or contribute to a mutual
fund or whole life insurance policy, you likely own pieces of some big corporations.
More importantly, though, your retirement income will be bigger and grow more dependably than you would
Big Macs & Our Pensions: Who Gets McDonald's Profits? is now available at Amazon.com