Analyst: Boeing 787 “ghastly letdown”

Andrea James, the P-I’s aerospace reporter, has a post concerning the views of Richard Aboulafia, an industry analyst with the Teal Group. I guess it’s not just foul tempered bloggers like me who are amazed at what has become of Boeing and the 787. From James’ post (emphasis mine:)

Boeing’s latest delay — its fifth — and purchase of supplier Vought combine to prove that the company’s strategy of saving money from outsourcing work to suppliers “has been dwarfed by the cost of remedying the damage wrought by that strategy.”

“This is all seriously bad,” Aboulafia said. “As we digested the news, I paused to reflect on just what a tremendous drug-like rush the 787 program once was, and just what a ghastly let down it has become.”

What was supposed to be a category killer has turned out to be even worse than the “commercially irrelevant” Airbus A380, Aboulafia said. Because, at least the A380 flies.

James goes on to quote Aboulafia, there’s some interesting history there about the McDonnell Douglas-Boeing marriage in the late ’90’s. It’s a familiar story for those familiar with late 20th-Century and early 21st Century American “capitalism.”

So what say before our entire state’s political class goes on bended knee to Chicago, promising the sun, moon, stars and no unions, they take a good, hard look at Boeing? Yes, the company is an historic and important part of this state. I can’t even imagine how hard this is for long-time Boeing folks. The company that helped win World War II and build the Pacific Northwest’s industrial base is now a basket case.

Boeing is apparently in seriously deep shit, folks.

But a lot of entities, including households, local governments and educational institutions are also in deep shit, and the people simply can’t afford any ill-considered and hasty offers to a company whose management has so clearly dug its own hole. It would be one thing if Boeing management had a good attitude, but in trying to blame unions for their woes they have revealed just how craven they really are.

The first and non-negotiable starting point should be that Boeing stop demanding no strike clauses and other union-busting tactics, and the second non-negotiable starting point is that Boeing commit to keeping assembly jobs in Washington state.

Absent those two things, there’s really not much to say. Playing the destructive game of pitting locality versus locality is ultimately self-defeating, both for workers here and in South Carolina. This isn’t a basketball team, folks, although the basic technique is the same. Threaten, threaten, threaten, and then threaten some more.

We all know how good Democrats are at giving away the store before negotiations even start, so for once in the history of the universe it would be nice to see some Dems start out strong and maybe even shove management’s face in their failures a little bit. Sure, it would be political grandstanding, but not any worse than say, calling the cops. Just sayin’.

The taxpayers of this state are already subsidizing the faltering newspaper industry with a massive tax break, for no good reason that I can think of, and likely to no useful effect either, as the newspapers still don’t understand the new landscape.

But the titans of industry and their boosters inevitably demand our money when they screw the pooch with bad business decisions. What we’ve seen happen at the national level is that people wake up to a new round of layoffs followed by a new round of executive bonuses. The least our political class here could do is make sure we don’t throw any good money after bad in the aerospace sector, and make sure that any efforts to assist Boeing are done with the interests of all the citizenry in mind, not just executives and stockholders.


  1. 1


    John says his negotiating tactic would be to “lay down the law” with Boeing, and DEMAND that they stop asking for no-strike clauses, and secondly he would DEMAND that they sign a contract saying they will keep assembly jobs in Washington forever.

    I think John’s strategy is a recipe for getting Boeing to go to South Carolina.

  2. 2

    Piper Scott spews:

    Hey DeVore,

    Why don’t you go out and gain a controlling interest in Boeing shares if you think you know better than its current management, which certainly has done some head-scratching stuff.

    Until then, where is it you get the whatever to tell them what to do?

    Our so-called “political class,” most of whom have never managed a business or have a clue as to how one operates, is the last bunch of honyots to be making decisons about a business.

    And you bemoan the troubled state of entities that rely upon businesses (and other taxpayers) for their survival. Yet instead of advocating for the health and survival of businesses, you want to curb, curtail, and constrain them in a way that will cut away their ability to survive.

    Remember…businesses are free agents. They can come or go as they see fit. A few more like you only gives them further reason to go.

    The Piper

  3. 3

    ivan spews:

    Maybe we should all be like the Piper, whose default response in all of these discussions is to drop to his knees and suck management dick. It’s so much easier that way.

    In the world of right-wingers, all management is infallible, and only management is infallible. Don’t forget to swallow, y’hear?

  4. 4

    Piper Scott spews:


    As a class and generally, I trust business people way more than I trust government people.

    Business doesn’t need government to exist. Government cannot exist with businesses and other taxpayers.

    Like people, no business is perfect, and many make mistakes in judgment or even do improper things. Certainly Boeing has screwed its fair share of poochs over the years. On the whole, however, is Washington state better or worse off for its presence? And the presence of other large businesses?

    Ignorant cheap shots from the uneducated yet hand-out-grasping peanut gallery only adds to an already excessive irritant factor. Like gnats and mosquitos at a picnic, at some point they become enough of a nuisance to cause you to pack the hamper, fold up the blanket, and leave.

    Without question, one of the worst things that has happened to business in my lifetime is the cozy relationship it has with government. The very idea of bailouts is offensive in the extreme, as are subsidies and so-called “targeted investments.”

    Whatever incentives were extended to Boeing or newspapers should either be applied across the board or not at all. And government filching into everyone’s pockets should be severely curtailed by iron-clad restrictions on both spending and revenue.

    If you lack either the comfort or confidence to live in an environment where your success or failure isn’t measured by the size of a gub’mint check and the quality of your life is exclusively your responsibility, then look in the Yellow Pages under “Therapist.” Good luck.

    The Piper

  5. 5

    RonK, Seattle spews:

    So you’ve got two “non-negotiable starting point[s]”.

    What’s your “or else”?

  6. 6

    RonK, Seattle spews:

    Piper: “Business doesn’t need government to exist.”

    Concise, conclusive proof Piper is an idiot.

  7. 7

    Piper Scott spews:


    Then prove that business is dependent upon government for survival. Don’t just make a fool of yourself with ad hominem attacks.

    And write when you find work…

    The Piper

  8. 8

    czechsaaz spews:

    What is it about municipalities and business? O.K. Boeing, you want to move to South Carolina. We’ll be re-assesing your property tax at current market value for Boeing Field and Paine Field.

    Oh, you’re moving. Fine, we’ll be sure to collect the sales tax on Paine Field and Boeing field should you find a buyer. Oh, meanwhile here’s your market rate tax assessment for the property you’re not using but are still the legal owner.

    Really, you’re going to ship all your production to South Carolina? Did we mention the environemntal imapct studies you’ll have to do in order to put your Washington properties up for sale. O.K. Here’s your new market value tax assessment for the properties you own here that will probably take decades to bring up to environmental code, so you can put them on the market, so you can sell them and oh, some of them are in King County so we’ll be collecting 18% on the sale price when and if you find a buyer. Meanwhile, don’t forget to pay your property taxes so we won’t be forced to forclose on you…

    Why is it that municiplities bend over all the time? Particularly for a business that moving would be nearly impossible?

  9. 9

    Jane spews:

    The company that helped win World War II and build the Pacific Northwest’s industrial base is now a basket case.


    That’s a pretty big conclusion based on the opinion of a single analyst.

    The company gambled on a new approach to production and new technology. Obviously, they’ve made some significant mistakes. But my hunch is they will learn from this and emerge stronger.

    In any event, my guess is they have a much deeper understanding of the business than you do.

  10. 10

    k spews:

    Hey Pipe, how about roads, public safety, national defense, public health to start with.

    Or did you like the good old days with cholera and TB?

  11. 11

    Piper Scott spews:


    Where does the money come from to pay for all that? Without a thriving business climate generating tax revenue, they don’t exist.

    But you can have commerce without public health. But you can’t pay for public health without commerce.

    Or have you never had a real job to teach you that?

    The Piper

  12. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s how 21st century “capitalism” works:

    1. Business successful: Execs get all the profit, workers get low wages, creditors get paid back, shareholders get low or no dividends.

    2. Business not successful: Execs still get lots of money, workers get laid off, shareholders and creditors lose their equity, taxpayers get stuck with bill for bailout.

    Some folks call this “capitalism.” I call it socialism for the managerial class.

  13. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 You can ASK, nay DEMAND, anything you want but asking and getting are two different things.

    As for South Carolina, if they want our gangsters and their protection rackets, they can have ‘em.

  14. 14

    gJohn spews:

    czechsaaz spews:

    What is it about municipalities and business? O.K. Boeing, you want to move to South Carolina. We’ll be re-assesing your property tax at current market value for Boeing Field and Paine Field.

    Hmmmm, Boeing Field and Paine Field already belong to King County and Snohomish County respectively. I bet there are laws preventing Boeing from selling public property. But if there are not, someone ought to look into this major loophole………

  15. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 “Our so-called “political class,” most of whom have never managed a business or have a clue as to how one operates, is the last bunch of honyots to be making decisons about a business.”

    Wrong, piper. Our political class is the second-last bunch of honyots to be making business decisions.

    As is crystal-clear to observers of Boeing and American business in general, the last bunch of honyots to be making decisions about businesses is the folks who have been running them.

  16. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 “As a class and generally, I trust business people way more than I trust government people.”

    Of course you do. (Crickets chirping.)

    Btw, how’s your stock portfolio doing? (creek-creek-creek-creek)

  17. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The 787 kinda makes you yearn for the good ol’ days when Boeing CEOs were cheating on their wives with the young office help.

    Back then, they fucked up mostly their own careers and personal lives, and didn’t necessarily take the whole company down with them.

  18. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “prove that business is dependent upon government for survival”

    Accelerated depreciation
    Antitrust exemptions
    Deferred taxes
    Depletion allowances
    Direct subsidies
    Generous tax exemptions and deductions
    Government-sponsored research
    Infrastructure improvements
    Legal liability caps
    Market protection measures
    No-bid contracts
    Right-to-work laws
    Special tax incentives
    Tax rebates
    Workforce training programs

    Cabela’s is a good example of a company that feeds off government incentives and subsidies. This company makes most of its profit by getting local communities to build its stores and associated infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.) with public money. Typically, Cabela’s also gets to keep the local sales taxes it collects for anywhere from 30 to 50 years. A typical Cabela’s store pulls in around $50 to $60 million of public incentives and costs about $25 to $30 million to build, so every time the company opens a new store it pockets tens of millions of dollars, even if the store never makes a profit from its retail sales. In return, the local community gets a couple hundred minimum-wage retail jobs. It’s a great deal for the company and a terrible deal for taxpayers.

  19. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 “Where does the money come from to pay for all that?”

    From workers, piper, from workers. Have you looked at tax rates recently? Middle class worker = 32.65%; billionaire capitalist, 15%; half of U.S. corporations, 0%.

    But guess what, three decades of Republican cheap labor policies that have left workers poorer and poorer are undermining the tax base and leaving governments poorer and poorer, too. The revenue just ain’t there anymore to support all these giveaways to business, so companies like Boeing that suck billions in subsidies out of public treasuries and pay little or no taxes will have to learn to support themselves, because the public dough ain’t there anymore.

  20. 20


    You could also just point out that there’s a direct correlation between countries with strong, stable governments and healthy, successful businesses.

    As always, the Crackpiper’s position is to reap the rewards of having a strong government, then childishly rail at it as a “nanny state” (which means something very different than what he thinks it means).

  21. 21

    ArtFart spews:

    @4 “I trust business people way more than I trust government people. ”

    Why? What do you propose as a shining example to us all of a “trustworthy businessman”? Bernie Madoff? Kerry Killinger? Harry Stonecipher?

    How about Bill Gates, Jim Sinegal, Teresa Kerry or George Soros? Naaaah…couldn’t possibly be one of them. After all, they’re liberals…

    “Business doesn’t need government to exist.”

    Oh, really???? Recent experience seems to show a lot of businesses that, absent adequate regulation, stepped on their dicks…or someone else’s.

    Piper is basically advocating “Darwinian economics”. He may be right in principle that we’d be better off with businesses that can stand on their own without help, I wonder whether he himself really has the stomach to see it tried in practice, because neither he nor anyone under the age of eighty has seen such a thing, because it hasn’t existed since before World War II.

    There are a lot of dinosaurs around, Piper. How confident are you that you’re not one of them–or whether you’re a brontosaurus or a raptor?

  22. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 Rightwing ideology is very simple, Lee. (Of course, I’m not telling you anything here that you don’t already know.)

    They get all the money. We get to fight their wars, pay all the taxes, do all the work, bear all the risks, and pay for their mistakes and bad decisions.

  23. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s how the conservative entrepreneurial business model works:

    You get the risks, they get the profits.

  24. 26

    sarah68 spews:

    The thought that comes to mind the last few days when I hear the word “business” is the news that AIG managers will soon get yet another bonus, because they have to reward the people who are guiding them through the mess of their own making or those people might go to another business which needs guidance. Of course, we know that all these people are part of the same group; A goes to help out the company that B ruined, and B goes to help out the company that A ruined, and they all get bonuses.

    I have not heard of any bonuses for the people making less than $50K a year. They haven’t screwed up enough to warrant bonuses.

  25. 27

    ArtFart spews:

    One of today’s lead stories in the Seattle Dead Trees Gazette has Congress preparing to pass a health care bill largely funded by a modest tax increase on incomes above $250K for indivuals and $350K for families.

    Yesterday, KOMO News did a puff piece about the new executive chef at Canlis’. The bulk of comments posted there pointed out that with cocktails and extras it’s pretty easy to spend $500 per person to have dinner there. This is a hefty increase from when we were last there in 2004, to celebrate what turned out to be my Dad’s last birthday on this rock. Apparently with that steep a tariff, Canlis’ continues to do a brisk business.

    At the same time, Tiffany & Co. is opening a new store in University Village, and Nieman-Marcus will launch a new full-up department store in Bellevue this fall.

    Granted, we common folk will occasionally stroll through those stores, and might occasinoally buy a pair of candlesticks but not a $2,000 suit. And I hope perhaps to celebrate my 75th birthday or our 50th anniversary at Canlis’, should my bride and I be fortunate enough to be around that long.

    What keeps these businesses going isn’t us mere mortals, but people who are really, really rich. And it would appear that even in these hard times, there are enough of the uber hoi polloi to fill the tables at insanely pricey restaurants, buy the fancy duds at Neiman’s and drive off in those Aston Martins that Park Place Motors is peddling.

    I know our trolls are going to be screeching about how putting such a horrible burden on those people is going to be the end of civilization as we know it. To them let me say in advance, bullshit. If they can buy $500 meals and $200,000 cars, it ain’t gonna hurt that much to keep the people healthy upon whose labors they have so handsomely profitted.

  26. 28

    evil is evil spews:

    Just curiosity but who owns Boeing. Boeing seems to own the Air Force, but who gets the merchants of deaths profit. Just asking, could be interesting.

  27. 29

    correctnotright spews:

    Piper says:

    As a class and generally, I trust business people way more than I trust government people.

    Hmm, Piper I have some excellent land under water in the Florida swamps to sell you…..and anyone else who is that gullible.

    did you not pay attention to the banking mess, where lack of government oversight into the greedy credit-default swaps (made legal by Phil Gramm) led to the wrecking of our economy?

    Have you not paid attention to the big businesses and multi-national corpoarations who put short term profit above long term stability?

    If you trust business so much – then you deserve to have your retirement wasted by the fool executives who have ruined our economy.

    It wasn’t the workers or the unions making the stupid decisions ….and it wasn’t the government. It was the LACk of governemnt oversight that screwed the pooch.

  28. 30

    Jim, a genuine musician spews:

    The Pipester knows nothing of the massive incompetence today at Boeing, and has therefore committed “ignorant cheap shots from the uneducated yet hand-out-grasping peanut gallery” himself.

    The current Boeing exeutives are presiding over the demise of a once great and proud company that impacted world history, and for YEARS in succession was the leading Dow component.

    Jim, a genuine musician who has not, is not, and will not attempt to operate a bagpipe assembly.

  29. 31

    czechsaaz spews:


    You’re right, illustrative of a larger point. There’s a lot of land that Boeing owns in and around those county properties that we, the taxpayers, subsidize by not assessing value in a standard industrial property formula. Not to mention that Boeing doesn’t pay a user fee for the airfields commensurate with actual value, though that is probably a poorly negotiated lease that we’re stuck with until it expires.

    Incentivizing business investment is one thing. But not calling bullshit on a business that would require billions in re-investment to relocate is another.

  30. 32

    Michael spews:

    I think it’s time for Washington State to launch operation: Post-Boeing Washington State.

    Given recent events, it’s time for us to move on. If they come with us cool, if not ‘oh well. Were not a Boeing, Boats and Timber state anymore. It’s time to take money, energy (as in human) and and time that would normally be devoted to Boeing and use it to grow other sectors of our economy.

  31. 33

    uptown spews:

    @4 Business doesn’t need government to exist.

    Let me count the ways business needs government…

    1) copyrights
    2) patents
    3) infrastructure (roads, ports, schools, hospitals, medical research, airports, etc…)
    4) geographic stability – the military and police
    6) land ownership (don’t have to start a war to get some land, like they used to)

    *) the big one – internationally recognized money

  32. 34

    Right Stuff spews:

    “Boeing is apparently in seriously deep shit, folks.”

    Yeah? Well not so much….
    Boeings position in the state of WA may be in deep doo-doo…But the entire company? NO.

    Bemoaning the tax breaks and exceptions that Boeing “gets”, is exactly like biting the hand that feeds you….
    If liberals don’t like Boeing, or the tax incentives the state has to competively offer, then revoke them…Have the unions play hard ball…Then watch as thousands and thousands of jobs go poof.. Of course, with those jobs go schools, teachers, city employees, etc etc etc etc as the communities dissapear.

    Bottom line..This all lays directly at the feet of Democrats.
    Voters are watching.

  33. 35

    Michael spews:


    So it’s either let Boeing get it’s way and let it turn our state into a third world country or watch Boeing go somewhere like S. Carolina that already resembles a third world country…

    Fact ‘O the matter is the city of Renton sat down years ago and put together a Post-Boeing plan for the city and it looked pretty good.

    We already lost Boeing headquarters and all the jobs that went with it and we didn’t dry up and blow away….

  34. 36

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @4 Piper,
    Lets start with some basics: business needs the rule of law, courts to enforce contracts, police to give that enforcement some teeth, and a government monopoly on force is fairly handy as it means your competition doesn’t try to blow up your physical plant or kill your employees and officers. Furthermore things like roads, airports, water, sewers, fire protection, police protection, and even schools are all kind of nice to have if you are trying to run a business.

    Funny thing is even in places where you may have “no government” for a while eventually someone comes along who has to start acting like a government after a while. Look at Somolia where many of the warlords are acting like governments for all intents and purposes.

    In Boeing’s specific case the government happens to be one of their largest customers. Their commercial products benefit from a lot of government funded research. Their main product wouldn’t exist without the regulations and air traffic control system that make flying incredibly safe. Not to mention the system of publicly funded airports that both their commercial customers and Boeing’s manufacturing facilities depend on.

  35. 37

    k spews:

    Back from the Sounders….

    Pipes @ 11- I did not say government could survive without business. I do not believe that to be the case. You said business could survive without government and I and several others have pointed out the absurdity of your statement.

  36. 38

    worf spews:

    Business has no use fo any gubmint – which helps explain the great sucking sound headed towards Somalia, the pooper’s new Galtian paradise.

  37. 39

    Chris Stefan spews:

    I’m curious what sort of deal Cabela’s cut down in Lacey, especially given that many of Cabela’s favorite goodies to demand wouldn’t be legal under WA state law. Also while Thurston County doesn’t have nearly the economic activity that King County does they don’t exactly need to beg for whatever jobs they can find either.

  38. 40

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @34 Wrong stuff:
    So now other businesses are following the professional sports team business model where they demand everything from tax breaks to outright giveaways and subsidies from the public.

    At what point should the citizens demand elected officials say “enough”? At what point do the costs of the tax breaks and giveaways exceed any marginal economic benefit those receiving them might bring to a region? At what point do you have every private entity in a position to engage in economic blackmail doing so?

    Frankly I say let Boeing build it’s second 787 line in South Carolina. I see it as no different than having the 737 fuselage work or section 41 work done in Wichita.

  39. 41

    Piper Scott spews:


    Lee bother me? Nah – what he says all the time about rabbit applies equally to him.

    And we did – my grandsons, almost four and almost two (they share the same birthday, September 15, and were born two years apart), had a blast! All the animals were out today, including a couple moose.

    Reasonable public expenditures on parks are appropriate. Bailing out companies and dinosaur industries isn’t.

    Thanks for the kind word…

    The Piper

  40. 42

    Piper Scott spews:


    “…business needs the rule of law, courts to enforce contracts, police to give that enforcement some teeth, and a government monopoly on force is fairly handy as it means your competition doesn’t try to blow up your physical plant or kill your employees and officers. Furthermore things like roads, airports, water, sewers, fire protection, police protection, and even schools are all kind of nice to have if you are trying to run a business.”

    Alright, let’s limit government involvement/interference in business to that. No more bailouts, no subsidies, no jiggling the tax code for so-called incentives or anything like it.

    Let businesses rise and fall on the quality of products and services, the skill of management and the workforce, and, occassionally, luck.

    I could live with that.

    The Piper

  41. 43

    Piper Scott spews:


    For every crook or idiot in the business world (and there are a lot of them), there are way more in government, many of whom now serve in Congress and the Washington State Legislature.

    Government never risks its own money or resources – it risks ours. Entrepreneurs, investors, capitalists risk what is theirs. I trust those who put what they own on the line, but I don’t trust those who conveniently waste what was entrusted to them by voters.

    The premise still holds: you can have commerce without government (may be messy, but it’s possible). You can’t have government without that which comes from commerce: money.

    I’ve spent decades around people from both walks of life, and my experience validates my beliefs.

    The Piper

  42. 44

    k spews:

    Swell Pipes. I also have the experience of working with public sector employees who believe their work really helps others. I have had the experience after the Nisqually Quake of working side by side with folks who chose to serve the public rather than going home to be with their families. We worker for over 12 hours ensuring that you and yours (if you were in our jurisdiction) were safe.

    So yeah there are a few bad apples, but there are dedicated hard working folks who are routinely shit upon by ignorant fools.

  43. 45

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    So K said

    So yeah there are a few bad apples, but there are dedicated hard working folks who are routinely shit upon by ignorant fools.

    Well why don’t the dedicated hard working folks work hard to get rid of the few bad apples? Why do they continue to survive? My younger son had a worthless elementary teacher. We asked some of my older son’s teachers about the person. Mrs Puddy and Puddy were told all the teachers know the person is a bad teacher but with tenure the person can’t really be fired. What’s up with that?

    In bidness, the bad apple is given the big SEE YA!

  44. 46

    k spews:

    I’m not a teacher. Ask them.

    But repeatedly painting all public employees with the same brush is destructive.

    ANd whose head is rolling for the 787 fiasco in Boeing? That’s right, it’s all labor’s fault.

  45. 47

    Michael spews:


    All that road work (plus power water and sewer) leading in to Cablea’s couldn’t have been cheap and I doubt they paid for much of it.

  46. 48

    Michael spews:


    Often times in bidness the bad apple is given lateral transfer after lateral transfer… I’ve had shit employees that I’ve been forbidden, by management, to can.

  47. 49

    ArtFart spews:

    @43 “Entrepreneurs, investors, capitalists risk what is theirs.”

    With all due respect….I’ve worked in private industry since 1979, and I’ve never seen a private company–even a highly successful one–that got by strictly on its own. “OPM” is the lifeblood of business. That’s why there are all those investment banks, and for that matter, why there’s a stock market. Even companies that aren’t in a startup/growth phase depend on sizeable bank floats for day-to-day cash flow. Microsoft is one of the few companies I’ve ever heard of that has a really large amount of its own readily available cash and highly liquid assets, and they’re sort of an odd case because their “manufacturing” doesn’t really involve any “raw materials”, aside from the Xbox and a line of computer accessories. All those products together amount to only a tiny fraction of the revenue from Windows and Office–which is a good thing, because they all lose money.

  48. 50

    ArtFart spews:

    @46 One thing’s for sure…Al Mulally, who everyone thought was crazy when he left the Kite Factory, now looks like the smartest guy in the room.

  49. 51

    ArtFart spews:

    Business now operates under an ethos where it’s expected, almost mandatory, for a corporation to seek every opportunity to grow its revenue and maximize short-term profits. This leads to a calculus that weighs the risk factors inherent in circumventing or flat-out breaking the rules of law and common sense, against the potential benefit of getting away with it. We now have an entire population of management who have been marinated in this environment for so long that few can resist the temptation to let greed and hubris carry them away. That’s why we’re still seeing mega-banks fighting for the right to pay huge “performance” bonuses to executives whose greatest “accomplishment” was going begging to Paulson, Bernanke and now Geithner for help after they screwed everything up.

    It’s also worth noting that the leadership of the previous administration, who pledged to “run government like a business” as they took control, did exactly that–throwing out the rulebook (i. e. the Constitution), cutting shady deals, playing fast and loose with the public’s trust–and the people, as the ultimate shareholders in this “company”, deserve to see those officals called out for their misdeeds. This should also be done as a deterrent against the present (yes, this one, dammit) and all future administrations trying the same shenagigans.

  50. 52

    Right Stuff spews:

    “Fact ‘O the matter is the city of Renton sat down years ago and put together a Post-Boeing plan for the city and it looked pretty good.”

    Uh, the city of Renton did look ahead, and removed their collective mouth from the Boeing teet, onto the teet of sugar daddy Paul Allen…Whom got no tax incentives????

    Having HQ move is a drop in the bucket in terms of jobs as opposed to entire production lines…

    There is way more to this situation and potential move of the 787 line…
    Currently there are 747, 767, 777 and 787 lines in Everett…The 767 line is going to die very soon.. Now what makes more sense, converting that 767 line into another 787 line? or retooling Vought for a 787 assembly line?
    If an assembly line is opened in SC then the cost benefit annalysis, labor, and Gov calculations have shown greater profit margin in doing so. Boeing isn’t going to move assembly out of spite…That is pure labor union BS.

    Once again, all the cards are in the hands of Democrats.. If they screw this up and allow the 787 line to leave WA, with all the additional small businesses that are supported by those jobs……

    It’s all on Democrats and voters are paying attention.

  51. 53

    Blue John spews:

    In my opinion, as much as I hate how Boeing is running their company, we would be fools to encourage them to leave.
    That we need to make things again as a country is one fo the key points that economic progressives keep hammering home. Look at Detroit! Once they stopped making things, the communitity died. I don’t want to see that here.
    My fellow progressives who are encouraging Boing to leave out of principle, reminds me of the idealistic parents who send their kids to an awful school out of principle. The kids and the community gets hurt and nothing changes. This is a time for pragmatism and realism.

  52. 54

    ArtFart spews:

    @52 It appears that what’s happened in Renton is that a bunch of Boeing’s old parking lots have become filled with “big box” retailers and several huge, incredibly grotesque condo blocks that remind one of the Soviet Union at its dreariest. I don’t exactly see all this as a great improvement.

  53. 55

    Jake spews:

    Boeing is up to it’s old tricks again. People have a short memory. You don’t recall how many tax breaks they twisted out of Olympia just to build the 787 here? What happened to that deal? I would tell Boeing that if they decide to build it elsewhere then they will have to pay the full taxes back on everything they have done on the 787 program.
    As for moving to South Carolina and bulding it there, good luck on doing that. It would take a monumental effort to set up a factory to build it, train the people, and get production up to speed. We are talking years not months to do that kind of task. The Boeing company bets the entire company on each new airplane it builds. How long do you think their customers will wait for their airplanes? They could lose the company over this kind of saber rattling. The union is not going to give up it’s only bargaining chip. The ability to strike is our only bargaining tool. The company would have to come up with a contract that would give all the union members pay raises, guaranteed benefits, and job security to get the kind of deal they want (a no strike clause).

  54. 56


    Piper Scott @4, you wrote:

    “Business doesn’t need government to exist. Government cannot exist with businesses and other taxpayers.”

    The first sentence is counterfactual; without government there can be no businesses. Governments do all those tedious things like rule of law, run the courts, license corps, levy taxes, and buy all those elements of civilization that businesses require to do business.

    The second sentence doesn’t even make sense. As in governments and businesses are mutual exclusive?

    Seriously? Do you believe such things? It boggles the mind.

  55. 57

    Piper Scott spews:


    That should be, “Business doesn’t need government to exist. Government cannot exist without businesses and other taxpayers.”

    Commerce is possible without government. It may be messy and require high levels of self-help, but it is possible.

    But without tax revenue, there is no government since there is no way to pay for it short of barter.

    In the what-comes-first scenario, government is far behind.

    Remember, the Founders didn’t do their Revolution and Constitution thing to create a big government and see its power and intrusion in the lives of people increase, but rather because the government of the day was too big and intrusive.

    Read the Declaration of Independence then ask yourself: would the intent expressed in 1776 embrace or oppose the growth and spread of government today.

    I would submit that Jefferson, the Founder who seems to be favored by those on the left, would be appalled at what passes for government today since it is antithetical to liberty, something he prized.

    Government isn’t the end, it should be merely means to an end. That end is maximization of the freedom and liberty of the people including civil liberties, economic and property rights liberties, and hard and sharp restrictions on government and its growth.

    That clarify things for you?

    The Piper