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.