Obama to Boeing: Drop Dead

This could well be the most outrageous insult yet to the free market economy:

In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina.

Do I need to explain how many kinds of wrong this is? Not only is the federal government saying to Boeing that it gets to decide where it puts its production lines, it’s telling South Carolina it may as well not enact laws designed to attract investment. All that’s missing are the words “Five Year Plan.”

Remember those two recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board? The guys making these decisions about the commanding heights of the American economy have never even been confirmed by the Senate.

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BERLINSKI > We Have Entered Advanced Insanity

  1. Johannes Allert

    I heard next week we’ll be addressing one another as ”comrade.”

    This administration knows next to nothing about the free market system. Perhaps the Obama administration will just take over the company and change the “o” in Boeing into Obama’s election logo…..brother..!

  2. Aodhan

    The term “pro-labour” is misplaced.

    It is anti-labour, because the fortunes of companies and workers are positively not negatively correlated, meaning that undermining the profitability and viability of the former ultimately reduces employment opportunities and conditions for the latter.

    Hence, “short-sighted” would be a better term.

  3. Claire Berlinski
    C
    Aodhan: The term “pro-labour” is misplaced.

    To say the least.

  4. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    This is yet another indication as to how important it is that Obama be ousted in 2012.

  5. River

    This is another sign of the deep sleep Americans are indulging in. Gallup finds that almost half of our fellow citizens are just fine with Obama; and still over 80% of blacks. Of course, the Regime Media is highly culpable, cranking out a blizzard of lies and distortions.

  6. The Mugwump
    Paul A. Rahe: This is yet another indication as to how important it is that Obama be ousted in 2012. · Apr 21 at 4:06am

    Will it be enough?  Not likely if an incoming Republican administration is unwilling to take a chainsaw to the federal bureaucracy.  Whole departments need to be axed, their necessary functions folded into other departments, or their authority turned over to the states for local administration.  We’ll know we’re on the right road when howling mad leftists pour into the streets for a tantrum including rioting and the usual mayhem.  Disaster ahead if we lose; civil disorder if we win.  There will be dark days ahead.        

  7. Cutlass

    Who is John Galt?

  8. Israel P.
    Paul A. Rahe: This is yet another indication as to how important it is that Obama be ousted in 2012. · Apr 21 at 4:06am

    You get further saying “not reelected” rather than “ousted.

    When Ezer Weizmann was running for a second term as President of Israel (elected by Members of Knesset), an MK I know said he would not vote for the other guy because he found it unseemly to oust a President.  So he voted for Weizmann, whom he hadn’t voted for the first time and didn’t care for at all, because he thought it an affront to the office to do otherwise.

  9. Frozen Chosen

    I saw an item a few weeks back where the Obama administration has broadened the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to the point where it covers virtually anyone.  They did this by executive fiat.

    You can debate whether the Obama administration is the worst of the past 100 years but there is no denying it is the most anti-business.

  10. Israel P.
    Frozen Chosen: You can debate whether the Obama administration is the worst of the past 100 years but there is no denying it is the most anti-business. · Apr 21 at 4:42am

    As Aodhan says above, we have to jettison the labels that put employers and employees in opposition to one another.  In this context, you might want to say “anti-business and anti-all-those-who-depend-on-business.” 

    Then we teach people that this includes employees, local governments and most everyone else e xcept the class warriors.

  11. david foster

    And so what happens when/if additional costs flowing from moving the line back to Washington State should make Boeing less competitive vis-a-vis Airbus and other non-US manufacturers?

    I would guess that’s entirely a function of how *cooperative* Boeing is with the Administration across its full range of policies. If Boeing CEO Jim McNerney should choose to out-Immelt Immelt and be a good “progressive” businessman, then I’m sure Obama & friends will arrange all kinds of special subsidies. But if McN stands up for his right to run Boeing without undue government interference, then no such help is likely to be forthcoming.

    This is economic fascism.

  12. Spin

    A couple of points:  the manufacturing facility in S.C. is about continuity of business.  They have a ton of orders for the 787 and they can’t build them all at the Everett plant.  There’s no place to move the line “back” to.  There is a 787 line running at Everett.  They would have to stop production of the 777 or the 747, which they will do eventually, but there are still orders for those planes as well.  Second, the idea that Boeing might not be as competitive as Airbus is kind of nonsense.  Both companies operate like mini-governments.  The bureaucracy is just unbelievable.  That is to say that neither are that competitive.  When companies are that large, and the products they make are that expensive, and there are simply no real competitors, I think some weird kind of quantum economics come into play or something.  Decisions to buy Boeing or Airbus become largely political.  

  13. Spin

    I meant to add:  the involvement of the FAA in the aerospace business is oppressive enough.  The effect FAA regulations have on the cost of building an airplane is pretty dramatic.  Fortunately for Boeing, Airbus have their own version of the FAA to deal with.  

  14. david foster

    Ken…are you suggesting that if Boeing costs/prices were to increase by, say, 20% that that would not affect airline purchasing decisions?

    Yes, these decisions are highly political (which is one reason for Boeing’s rather bizarre sourcing strategy) but surely price is an important factor. If not, they could just jack it up and pay workers whatever they want.

    Reliability of scheduled delivery is also an important factor to airlines, many of which are no doubt already pretty unhappy with the Dreamliner slips, and actual or threatened strikes at the Washington facility cerrtainly damage the company’s reputation for reliable delivery.

  15. oddhan

    It’s odd that since Boeing moved it’s HQ to Chicago to expand it’s political clout, it’s been repeatedly beaten about the head by the government it was trying to influence.

    But therein explains the source of the complaint. The IAM by itself has been demanding this, but they also donate to two relatively powerful senators from Washington who presumably leaned on the NLRB.

    The IAM forced Boeing to expand to SC, now they want to turn back the clock. The Wobblies who run the IAM don’t care if it kills the company, that just means the feds take it over as Boeing is now ‘too big to fail’.

    As for Immelt, guess who McNerny worked for before coming to Boeing…

  16. Daniel Frank

    You know how Obama is trying to shut down domestic petroleum exploration while giving the Brazilians $2B to accelerate their own production?  He’s all about subsidizing foreign industry, while weakening industries and destroying jobs at home.

    Well, just think of this as the Airbus subsidy.

  17. Brian Watt
    Johannes Allert: This administration knows next to nothing about the free market system. Perhaps the Obama administration will just take over the company and change the “o” in Boeing into Obama’s election logo…..brother..! · Apr 21 at 3:57am

    It’s not a question of knowing “next to nothing about the free market system” it’s a question of total government control of the means of production. Obama and team understand the free market system, they just detest it because in their eyes it’s run by evil fat cats who want to oppress the masses…wealth must be spread…comrade.

    The man was a Marxist-Leninist in college, tutored by a communist, chummy to Marxists all his adult life and continues to appoint radical Marxists in his administration who bypass Senate confirmation or any Congressional scutiny. Yet, most Americans are still in denial about who he is and how he wants to “fundamentally change” this country. 

    If you ignore his Marxist background, to Romney and others, Obama looks incompetent. If you take it into account, he is incompetent as a fox.

  18. Kervinlee

    This kind of stuff looks less like socialism and more like fascism.

  19. Brian Watt
    Kervinlee: This kind of stuff looks less like socialism and more like fascism. · Apr 21 at 7:45am

    That’s fine, since fascism is a variant of socialism. Read Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism.

  20. david foster
    Brian Watt

    Kervinlee: This kind of stuff looks less like socialism and more like fascism. · Apr 21 at 7:45am

    That’s fine, since fascism is a variant of socialism. Read Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism. · Apr 21 at 7:50am

    The classical socialist wants to actually *run* the economy…he thinks economic prosperity is important, and believes, however incorrectly, that he can do a better job in running the steel mills and aircraft manufacturers than can their current owners & executive. The Fascist tends to place much less importance on economic values, being more concerned with things like race, nationality, aesthetics, and various forms of mysticism, and does not want to actually *run* the economic enterprises, as long as they are under his thumb and are willing to be properly “co-ordinated” (a Nazi term) with State desires.

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