Is Boeing a terrorist organization?

It's not the only corporation whose practices may be getting too sweet treatment from politicians here.
Governor Jay Inslee signs Boeing bill, flanked By Sen. Patty Murray, Boeing CEO Ray Conner (second from left) and other state officials.

Governor Jay Inslee signs Boeing bill, flanked By Sen. Patty Murray, Boeing CEO Ray Conner (second from left) and other state officials. John Stang

Boeing's Everett factory could see additional work on the planned 777X model of airliners.

Boeing's Everett factory could see additional work on the planned 777X model of airliners. Jetstar Airways/Flickr

Rhetoric over the future of the 777X program flew to new heights when Seattle Socialist-elect Kshama Sawant said at a union rally that Boeing's threats to move jobs out of state amounted to "nothing short of economic terrorism because it's going to devastate the state's economy."

Boeing has been accused of "blackmail," "extortion," and of sending ransom notes to the state to get new tax breaks, regulatory concessions and new transportation spending to make its stay here more palatable. On top of that, they've demanded major concessions from the Machinists Union. Despite the Legislature's rushed approval of a $8 billion package of goodies for the company, the Machinists said "no" to their item on the company's wish-list.

Boeing is now playing the dating game with up to 15 potential re-location sites ranging from California and Utah to Texas and Alabama.

"Terrorism" is an extreme characterization for what Boeing is doing, but the consequences could still be damaging. The loss of jobs — especially well-paying union jobs — will be painful. But also damaging is a self-inflicted sense of panic.

"We have become a fearful state where our aspirations are subordinate to our fears. We cannot even ask questions, but must do as we’re told. Corporatism, and its ceaseless rewards for the 1 percent, is a fealty demanded of both parties, even as the 99 percent — working families held hostage — reject their captor’s demands." Who said that? Radical Sawant? No, former Democrat state representative Brendan Williams, writing a Seattle Times oped about Boeing's bullying.

While the Machinists have been set up to play the scapegoats in the drama — the public may fault them for being selfish by rejecting a better deal than many of us get — the fault is really within ourselves. There is much talk about a race to the bottom, but we've greased the skids in that race by giving Boeing so much in exchange for jobs.

The outrage is that it has not bought us any loyalty in return. It hasn't altered the corporation's fiduciary responsibility to the bottom line. It hasn't brought us love or gratitude or a future we can count on. This isn't terrorism. This has the earmarks of an abusive relationship. We just can't imagine life without the lug.

We've given Boeing senators, congressmen, governors and legislatures. We've designed a tax system to suit them, freeing the company from onerous burdens the rest of us can't shuck off. For decades we've pursued policies that have forgiven Boeing's worst excesses, from corrupt and outrageous corporate behavior to ridiculous defense contracts. We've enabled pork-barrel spending on its behalf, and we've hooked ourselves to the yoke of the most regressive-tax system in the country to help make it happen.

For politicians who are inheriting decades of enabling, we can't expect that they will go cold turkey. No elected in the state — save perhaps council-member-to-be-Sawant — wants to be known as the guy or gal "who lost Boeing." They will do what they can to salvage the situation.

But playing this game does real harm. The new Boeing tax breaks make it that much more difficult to reform the tax system because it removes potential revenue streams that could flow from the haves to the have-nots. Boeing's tantrums make it all the more difficult to institute income or corporate taxes that could lift the burden from the rest of us. Plus, every major corporation in the state can validly make their own mini-extortion case.

It's not enough to say that living wages are a reasonable return on our collective investment, especially with when you remove stability, reliability and predictability from the equation. If Boeing is no longer loyal to place, why should this place be loyal back? With the 777X headed into the sunset, we ought to accelerate planning for a Boeing-free future. We also ought to re-consider the kinds of contracts — literal and social — that we will sign with private companies.


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Comments:

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 7:02 a.m. Inappropriate

Cleveland Stockmeyer is going to sue about the arena plans? That's rich.

Stockmeyer (and his law partner Phil Talmadge) copied Sound Transit's structure when they did some work setting up the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority. Cleve wanted to be a big public-sector player using that taxing district. As Cleve wrote for a Muni League report in 2003: “In 2001, with law partner Phil Talmadge I represented the ETC and devised the strategy to constitute the monorail board as a stand alone agency.”

http://www.munileague.org/cec/2003/report/mono/StockmeyerC.htm .

Remember how that played out? Stockmeyer sucked up to the democrats around here and got them all to back the monorail authority plan. This is from the 2002 voters guide:

“Broad support. Monorail supporters include League of Women Voters, Washington Conservation Voters, King County Labor Council, King County Democratic Party, Sierra Club, Speaker Frank Chopp, environmentalist Denis Hayes, Dick Falkenbury, Peter Sherwin, Judy Runstad and many more.”

That “Statement For” in the 2002 voters guide was signed by no less than Greg Nickels, Dan Evans, and Jim McDermott.

Then that unaccountable local taxing district started imposing heavy car tab taxes for years, hauling in $200 million of tax revenue and completely wasting it. Stockmeyer was one of the political appointees on that board who imposed the taxes and adopted the abusive financing plan. He was one of the forces that caused that debacle. Just Google his name and “monorail”.

The monorail authority was “Sound Transit Lite”. Rick Anderson's piece about some of the key players in the monorail authority debacle is pretty accurate, as far as it goes:

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2005-07-13/news/joel-horn-s-blank-check

There is no way any lawsuit by Cleve Stockmeyer is going to be anything but a sham. The fact that it's getting touted here shows it is going to be another example of the insider-lawyers bringing lame claims to get the judiciary around here to act dishonestly again to shaft people. This essay describes how the supreme court justices use litigation to hand out unwarranted case law on a regular basis to shaft the financial interests of individuals and families here:

http://susan-owens.webs.com/

A lawsuit relating to the proposed arena financing plan would not be “ripe” (a term lawyers use to refer to whether or not some claim is proper). Peter Goldmark sued about the arena plan on behalf of a Longshoreman's local, and that suit was dismissed on the grounds that it was not ripe. The same problem exists with the action Cleve says he wants to undertake now.

No honest lawyer would bring a lawsuit that could harm the interests of the interest group here that uses muni bond financings. Hey Stockmeyer – do you know how to log in here and post? Disagree with any of this? Let's discuss your take on how things go down in lawsuits relating to muni bond financing practices in this state.

crossrip

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 8:47 p.m. Inappropriate

Has this comment been misplaced? This is a Boeing story. Keep your rants germane.

simorgh

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 7:18 a.m. Inappropriate

@ "simorgh":

Stockmeyer is quoted in the fourth-from-last paragraph as a municipal finance law expert, without irony. Touching on his credibility and roles for years with the reprehensible monorail authority is germane.

The SoDo arena would benefit from muni bonds. This piece says Stockmeyer would sue. The manifest pattern of our judiciary using that kind of lawsuit to misuse its power to benefit the public finance interest group at the expense of the public also is germane to the topic of this piece (e.g., how public sector players suck up to rich entities at the expense of people living here).

Here's a tip for Knute -- keep snuggling up to dogs like Stockmeyer and you'll pick up fleas.

crossrip

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 2:28 a.m. Inappropriate

"Stockmeyer was one of the political appointees on that board who imposed the taxes and adopted the abusive financing plan. He was one of the forces that caused that debacle. Just Google his name and “monorail”.
--
Wrong as usual. Stockmeyer was elected.

ivan

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 6:51 a.m. Inappropriate

"Wrong as usual. Stockmeyer was elected."

Stockmeyer was not elected to the SPMA board. He was one of the political appointees on that board from 2003-2005, when it was all political appointees.

He ran for a seat when the board decided to put two of the seats up for election in 2005, and he lost:

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2002666958_cleve06m.html

He lost the race to Jim Nobles:

http://your.kingcounty.gov/elections/2005Nov/resPage20.htm

Disagree with anything else I've written, ivan?

crossrip

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 2:42 p.m. Inappropriate

I stand corrected. Thank you.

ivan

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 7:03 a.m. Inappropriate

Thanks for drawing the parallels between Boeing and the proposed SoDo sport arena. I'll never cease to be amazed at how many people are incensed whenever a major corporation gets special-interest treatment from our government, but then rally around any effort to give public subsidies to a privately-owned for-profit professional sports team. Both practices are equally disgusting.

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 9:49 a.m. Inappropriate

Crosscut Delivers!

Merriam Webster defines:

"the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion"

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 8:48 p.m. Inappropriate

TERROR is not a synonym for FEAR. Fearmongering is not Terrorism. A circular definition won't change anything.

simorgh

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 9:43 a.m. Inappropriate

"Fear" is something you feel when bombarded with "Terror".

A terrorist uses fear as a weapon to achieve their goals. Simple.

"Fear mongering" is a tactic: saying something over and over and eventually people will think it is true.

There are many levels and words to describe the actions but the end result is the same for the terrorist: you either win, or the people ignore you.

Posted Wed, Dec 4, 8:10 a.m. Inappropriate

Regardless of Merriam Webster, terrorism is usually considered to be the use of violence against the civilian population to achieve a political goal.

Labeling everything you don't like as "terrorism" is insulting to the real victims of terror.

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 10 a.m. Inappropriate

"There is much talk about a race to the bottom, but we've greased the skids in that race by giving Boeing so much in exchange for jobs."

Let's talk about that for a moment, Knute. What Boeing has been given is indeed $8 billion in tax breaks over a 16-year period. The other side of the coin is that those 20,000 jobs (at minimum) averaging $80,000 annually generate $1.6 billion in yearly taxable income. Multiply that over 16 years and that comes to $25.6 billion going to union members who go on strike every opportunity they get to halt delivery on orders, yet it's Boeing who you and others call "economic terrorists." At least they've provided tens of thousands of well-paying jobs in this market. No way will Chris Hansen and his group even come close to having that kind of impact...BIG difference between subsidizing an arena that may employ hundreds of mostly part-time workers and helping the business that has been the economic linchpin of the Seattle area for decades.

I totally agree with anyone who says Boeing employed high-pressure tactics last month...they did, and it was a pretty lousy way to treat people who've been working partners for a long time. However, I also don't blame Boeing one bit for seeking to move to an area where their labor force isn't going to walk off the job on a regular basis because Airbus is much more competitive now that they're building their planes here. Between the overwhelmingly "no" IAM votes, Ms. Sawant's ridiculous statement about taking over factories, teachers picketing in support of the IAM and Seattle's own Chamber producing an ad featuring a Airbus plane, it's got to be hard for Boeing to view all of this as anything but a collective "F--- Off" message to them from the Seattle area. It's pretty obvious that other regions are choosing to extend a hand of welcome rather than extending a middle finger, and there's a reason why: They don't look down their noses at 20,000 full-time jobs that'll pay well for their area.

Be careful what you ask for, Seattle, because Boeing might just take you up on your generous offer to f--- off. Principles are good to have, but they don't pay bills.

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 10:08 a.m. Inappropriate

The other side of the coin is that those 20,000 jobs (at minimum) averaging $80,000 annually generate $1.6 billion in yearly taxable income.

Income isn't taxed in this state. That goes for Boeing's income as well as the income of its employees.

Those tax breaks should be repealed. Boeing will keep paying thousands of people here for years.

Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon and other rich companies (and individuals) should be targeted by taxes to pay for a far bigger share of state and local government expenses. The democrats who've been setting taxing policies in this state for a generation have been heaping regressive taxes higher and higher on the lower middle class, while giving the wealthy -- especially rich corporations -- essentially a free ride:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/19237_TaxFoundation_v2.gif

Yup, that's one of the ways the democrats here "won" the race to the bottom.

crossrip

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 1:30 p.m. Inappropriate

Let us review those 20,000 jobs at $80,000 per year: This price is a "complete wage package" with maximum overtime included. Drop the health care and pension contributions per the proposed contract extension that was rejected, drop the OT and you are getting pretty close to $40,000 per year. Hmmm, that does not sound all that rosy, in fact it is getting pretty close to the bottom of the food chain in Seattle. According to “Faux News,” a family of four needs $70,025.00 a year to live comfortably in the Puget Sound area. A family of three needs $52,611.00 a year. All of a sudden, with pension and healthcare cuts and no overtime, you have a job that is above the poverty line, but not by much.

Therefore, all those “great paying jobs” that are going to disappear when Boeing leaves, would have disappeared if Boeing stayed.

If I did to my spouse what Boeing does to the state and it’s workforce, I would be arrested for domestic violence and sent to jail for a very long time.

Posted Sat, Dec 7, 8:49 a.m. Inappropriate

Thank you. Well stated.

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 10:39 a.m. Inappropriate

I always find it ironic that two of the biggest tax dodgers in WA state - Boeing and Microsoft (MS Licensing Inc), are the first to complain about the quality of our short changed education system.

Catherine

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 11:10 a.m. Inappropriate

This excellent column accurately lays out the dynamic of our society-wide political prostitution to corporate power. Yes, it's true that the streetwalker who walks away from the high roller ends up with less change in her pocket. And, yes, the gal on the next corner sends her thanks.

It's an existential problem: we define ourselves by the actions we take under difficult circumstances.

On an institutional level, the saddest part is to see how completely the Democratic Party has abandoned working people. The Republican sense of the highest good has always involved sticking it to the unions, so there's no change on that level. But there was a time when Democratic politicians would have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Machinists' Union. No more, alas.

woofer

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 1:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Time to change who the Democratic politicians are (irony--Sawant helped), change the Democratic party (from the bottom up), or change parties (last resort...).

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 4:57 p.m. Inappropriate

Well Guilty Bystander has a point even if the numbers were off. NOT counted here is the huge subsidizing of the UW to turn out folks for this Boeing workforce. 4 of 5 employees have 4 year degrees. 35,000 of the 185,000 have advanced degrees. Do you think the UW would have an MIT level Computer Science departments if tax evaders Microsoft, Boeing, et all were not here? Would the UW have the Wind Tunnels, Physics Lab, Composites Lab, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering if not for Boeing and its suppliers located here?

You can argue the numbers all you want, but 1972 can and will repeat here. More so in Snohomish County - Remember that the 787-10 cannot even be built here - too large for the Dreamlifter. Once the 777-X is up, between it and the 787-10 the 747 is gone, and so will the largest single group of best paid employees in Snohomish County.

I am not for giving away the store, but our tax system is so messed up anyway (one of FIVE states without an income tax, and a state constitution that pretty much dictates 95% of how revenue is spent) that we have made peace with having to compete with other states and the revenue generated by all of us Little People seems to be worth the competition.

IF you want to bitch about subsidizing Corp. America, why have a Port - the majority is stuff just passing through! Why bother with the The Locks,built with Tax Dollars to support shipbuilding and Timber and Coal industries. Why have tax exempt trade zones so Wheat farmers can ship from our state. Prior to Microsoft, the greatest number of millionaires per capita were in Washtucna WA. All Wheat Farmers. Made possible by us footing the bill for irrigation made possible by the dams we paid for.

It’s OK to use taxes and give breaks to create an entire fake ecosystem to subsidize wheat, apples and wine grapes, but not to keep industries with high paying jobs that promote education? Boeing Commercial Airplanes (not the military side) is what the Wide Bodies are about. You may be cheering now that the Union made a stand for the working man. I am curious as to where the IAM will find work after they leave. The other companies the vagabond Machines used to move to California to work for when Boeing laid off are now merged and only one major is left standing.

The WTO found Boeing to have received 5 BILLION in Subsidies, but it's COMPETITOR AIRBUS got 15 BILLION. The EU bankrolls Airbus DIRECTLY to assure technology jobs stay in Europe. Boeing has to profit for its shareholders. Amazing how we cite Europe when we want GMO's labeled and better healthcare, but bitch when we give tax breaks to the evil profit-mongers to achieve the same societal goals the EU creates of a high paid, educated workforce with cash payments to keep AIRBUS afloat.

When we whine about the Everett plant becoming a Wal Mart in 2026, remember the stand we made.

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 9:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Cleveland Stockmeyer can't do math, Knute.
http://www.sonicsarena.com/news/illegal-kickbacks-and-subsidies

Also, this statement is factually incorrect: There is room for legal debate over the deal's language and what constitutes a "subsidy," …
Here is why, the law defines what constitutes a subsidy:
Sec. 2. Fair value is defined herein as no less than the rate of return on a U.S. Treasury Bond of thirty years duration at the time of inception of any such provision of goods or services, real property or lease; and further, such return shall be computed as the net cash on cash return, after interest and any financing costs, on the depreciated value of the cash investment of the City of Seattle in such goods, services, real property or facility, and shall exclude all intangible, indirect, non-cash items such as goodwill, cultural or general economic benefit to the City, and shall also exclude unsecured future cash revenues.
Ordinance Number: 122357
http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=122357&Sect4;=AND&l;=MAX&Sect1;=IMAGE&Sect2;=THESON&Sect3;=PLURON&Sect5;=LEGI2&Sect6;=HITOFF&d;=LEGA&p;=1&u;=http%3A%2F%2Fclerk.seattle.gov%2F%7Epublic%2Flegisearch.htm&r;=1&f;=G

Here is the presentation to the city council explaining to them that it is not possible to calculate a "net cash on cash return" since there isn't cash going out from the city. City staff suggested making up criteria not in the law (because they law is not open to interpretation) and still the arena proposal satisfied even the number the council pulled out of the air, beyond the law.
http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meetingrecords/2012/gpnf20120629_1a.pdf

Knute, I respect your opinion, and it's just sad that you just appear to be fact-less when it comes to the arena. You just regurgitate any negative statement that comes your way. I feel embarrassed for you.

Mr Baker

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 9:54 p.m. Inappropriate

I do hope the Machinists strike up a conversation with that socialist creation, Airbus.

Steve E.

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 10:40 p.m. Inappropriate

We deserve the politicians we elect and if they elect to give the farm to Boeing, they do it with the blessings of a majority of the voters.

Djinn

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 7:45 a.m. Inappropriate

"People deserve what government heads do to them." That's one of those big lies party propagandists use all too frequently in on-line forums.

crossrip

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 10:17 a.m. Inappropriate

Big lie? Prove it Einstein.

The actions of our elected officials happens with our approval. Don't believe it? Look at the number of incumbents that get re-elected. They can only get re-elected if the voters are comfortable with their actions and the other side doesn't offer a viable alternative. And yes we do deserve exactly what the government does to us because we don't vote for change, instead we vote for chains.

Djinn

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 7:53 a.m. Inappropriate

The actions of our elected officials happens with our approval.

You're joking, right?

Let's talk about Jay Inslee and his surprise special session to give Boeing huge tax breaks right after the general election last month.

Did we approve that, in any sense of the word? No way. Why did Inslee choose mid-November to bring that issue to a vote, and not during the normal legislative session earlier this year? It was to ensure "a majority of the voters" would not know prior to this year's general election that the democrats were so eager to shift tax burdens from a highly profitable company onto the backs of individuals and families.

Did Inslee campaign on promises to reduce Boeing taxes and hike regressive taxes? Of course not, but that's what he does after the election. Would Rob McKenna have worked to give Boeing tax breaks and hike sales taxes and car tab taxes for transit? Of course . . . that's what he did as a Sound Transit board member and King County Council member. The fact of the matter is voters don't know during a campaign what the candidates -- incumbents or challengers -- will do after the elections.

Here's a thought experiment -- could McGinn have used Ed Murray's vote in favor of the Boeing tax breaks against him if that vote had happened during the regular session last winter? I submit the answer there is "yes", and that may have been a reason for Inslee calling the special session when he did. Murray is 100% a party regular, whereas McGinn left the reservation once in a while.

Contrary to what this poster suggests, people do NOT deserve a good number of the things government heads do to them and their communities. Moreover, they can't head off abusive acts by party regulars because they don't know the long-term party strategies.

crossrip

Posted Wed, Dec 4, 1 p.m. Inappropriate

If you don't like what your elected official does, there are options. One merely has to look at Colorado to understand that citizens do have recourse. They recalled several Democrats for their vote on gun control and replaced them with Republicans. Another one resigned so the Democrats could keep control of the legislature. It didn't reverse the action instantly but it did serve notice that change will happen when control of the legislature changes hands. The people cared enough to act.

There is an initiative process that has been used by a multitude of people with different viewpoints, and I suspect will continue to be utilized to counter the actions or inactions of elected officials. If the people don't act to counter legislative actions, then they must approve of them or they don't give a damnnn. If they don't care, they deserve what happens to them. It's that responsibility thingy.

Djinn

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 11:23 p.m. Inappropriate

I don't want to ride in an airplane built by a group that was just hobbled together with no experience. I want to ride in an airplane that that is built by a team with longstanding know-how and experience. An engineering team that has been in place for years knows who can do reliable calculations, who can debug problems, who can answer questions that some up, who can build a new piece of hardware in the machine shop. That is all lost when you build an engineering organization from scratch. The terrorism applies to flight passengers too.

Clarify

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 11:32 p.m. Inappropriate

Suppose I want to buy a house. I go to the seller and tell them how much I money I am offering to pay for it. In this care corporations go to the state government and say they want something. But instead of saying how much they can pay for it, they ask the government to pay them.

Clarify

Posted Mon, Dec 2, 11:33 p.m. Inappropriate

In New Mexico Bill Richardson gave corporations tax breaks in return for hiring the local workforce. Carte blanche tax breaks are not a good idea and this includes the lowering of the UI tax in 2011.

Clarify

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 8:24 a.m. Inappropriate

Knut should be congratulated for at least playing with the word, terrorist, in these times when we mobilize our whole economy to "fight" that conveniently abstract term.
But he could have explored the term more fully. Some remember the early 1960s when Boeing distributed the John Birch-type films about an imminent Soviet takeover if more money wasn't funneled into the Ike-called military-industrial complex.
And are Boeing-supported drone assassinations, made-up wars in Iraq, Somalia, and playing-with-fire actions in Syria, Iran, not the kind of "terrorism" we accused the Soviet Union of during the Cold War? Remember its "evil" was that it INTERFERED IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF OTHER NATIONS, that it SOUGHT REGIME CHANGES, that it spied on others nefariously. Maybe the evil-empire thing is contagious!

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 10:59 a.m. Inappropriate

Gee, I thought the 'evil' associated with the Soviet Union was its totalitarianism as practiced on its citizens at home and in the vassal states it controlled. The threat it posed to us came from its attempts to expand this totalitarian system and extend the Iron Curtain beyond the borders of its own empire, with the ultimate goal of achieving World Communism. "Interfering in the internal affairs of other nations" and "seeking regime change" were not the 'evils' we ascribed to it, especially since all US administrations going back at least as far as McKinley were guilty of doing some of that too.

Posted Tue, Dec 3, 12:49 p.m. Inappropriate

I will never understand the "conservative" who will praise a free market system, complain about "the government picking winners and losers," (usually when the government favors non-entrenched interests)

AND THEN turn around and complain that the state should lard up more cuts for ONE SPECIFIC COMPANY over any other (usually an entrenched company, and usually justified by "well, that's just the way it works").

News flash - the free market includes a free market for labor. Imagine if we said, "sorry corporations, you can't merge. You can't make trade associations. You can't lobby as a group for ever-more favorable conditions for yourself. You all have to stay totally separate from each other and compete individually." The "free market" conservatives would howl.

But if there are mergers of labor, trade associations of labor, or group lobbying by labor - they cry foul and complain and whine. Monopoly by one company in aerospace? Totally fine, lard more subsidies on it. One single telecommunications provider in tons of markets? Fine - that's just the free market at work.

The modern conservative - Socialism for them. Capitalism for everyone else.

nullbull

Posted Wed, Dec 4, 12:01 a.m. Inappropriate

Crossri's right, we don't necessarily deserve the electeds we vote for. And we don't really have any influence over them while they're in office, nor do we know what they're going to say or do during their terms. They're in, for 2 years or 4 years, and unless they slay someone in their office during work hours in front of witnesses, we can't get them out. Rodney Tom, a "Democrat", is an unusually egregious examle, but certainly not the only one

(As is evident, I can't tye the letter between o and q.)

sarah90

Posted Wed, Dec 4, 11:07 a.m. Inappropriate

So, if Boeing leaves the state which is something I have expected to happen for YEARS, you will all be happy. Right? Unfortunately all the other businesses who are also dependent on Boeing being here had no vote. Those right-to-work states will be smiling I am sure.

Judy50

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 12:43 p.m. Inappropriate

When you look at Boeing Commercial and what it's up against, Seattle may be trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Yes, billions in revenue are spent building planes, but profit margins are low (which is why Boeing execs are paid a lot less, and nowhere near what any tech worker in a startup gets if his stock options pay off!)

And it will only get worse, as China is due to enter commercial aviation. Remember Boeing doesn't have factories here, it has assembly plants. The individual components, most of which are delivered from points abroad, like engines, and computers, and even software, have the added value, not fastening seats and luggage racks.

All things being equal, and I hate to sound unpatriotic here, but Boeing should just plan on moving its next generation of plants to China, if they are not yet already doing this.

Meanwhile, our problem here in Puget Sound is going to be how to find 21st century industries that bring in the profits needed to support our exalted view of ourselves, and our egregiously high cost of living and real estate. Yes, dogs might start eating dogs when the boat starts to leak.

jabailo

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 1:43 p.m. Inappropriate

Bravo Knute!!

Regarding analogy to abusive relationships, you broadened the issue very well. It put terrorism in its place as a tactic, as in 'an abuser regularly utilizes terrorist tactics'.

Abusers also use torture as a tactic, and it IS torturous dealing with the schemes de jour cooked up by those in power.

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 2:39 p.m. Inappropriate

This is an absurd story and using the word terrorism in this situation is an insult to anyone who has been a victim of actual terrorism!

In typical liberal Seattle fashion, we would rather have 100% of 0 then 80% of what we want. In this case, the taxes created by a company that is and has been the cornerstone of our economy for decades.

Even with the new tax incentive package (which mostly just extended existing tax incentive already on the books), the state still benefits 3:1 in tax revenues. The notion that Boeing is getting a free ride is simply BS.

But this is not just about Boeing, its about the entire aerospace industry in our state. It's about 132,000+ jobs. It's about $11.5 BILLION in annual wages in our state. It's about 1,350 aerospace companies in our state in 35 of 39 counties.

If we lose Boeing, most of these aerospace companies will also leave because they want to be near Boeing. The billions in wages lost will lead to the decay of our overall economy hurting small business most and the vibrant communities we have been trying to foster throughout the state for decades. This all makes attracting the talent for Microsoft and others more difficult, so they will choose to relocate elsewhere (like Vancouver, B.C. where they have a functioning immigration system) and the spiral continues...

Keep up the "terrorist" rhetoric, Knute, and watch Seattle become Detroit. My grandchildren thank you for your thoughtful insights.

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 3:09 p.m. Inappropriate

The hyperbole is strong with this one . . ..

-- If Boeing assembles the "77X" wings elsewhere 132,000 jobs will not disappear.

-- Even with the new tax incentive package (which mostly just extended existing tax incentive already on the books), the state still benefits 3:1 in tax revenues. Boeing still would keep employment levels at about where they are now for the next couple of decades if the "77x" wings are assembled elsewhere. Just because the state taxes the transactions employees of a company make doesn't mean the company should get tax breaks that the rest of the population not affiliated with that company would need to make up by being taxed at higher rates. You and the democrats seem to think everybody here owes Boeing additional taxes going forward -- we don't.

-- The reference to Microsoft is hilarious. It doesn't pay its fair share of taxes either. I don't give a rat's behind if recruiting becomes difficult for it because we don't have a "vibrant community." Microsoft has hired something like 21,000 HB-1 visa holders recently. It will continue to employ vast numbers of three-year cube monkeys from the Indian subcontinent whether or not that wing assembly plant starts up.

-- Your visions of doom and gloom are ridiculous. Oh, and what is with the royal "we" throughout your posting? "We" won't lose Boeing, and it won't lead to the decay of "our" economy.

-- "Seattle will become Detroit." Great theme. Here's how we should emulate Detroit: Sound Transit should stop taxing and declare bankruptcy to wipe out its debt, and sell its depreciated assets to Metro and Pierce Transit. That would be great for people here. It would give people significantly more money to spend in those small businesses you care about and truly make our community more "vibrant".

crossrip

Posted Fri, Dec 6, 8:52 a.m. Inappropriate

Good article, Knute. Sawant's statement is hyperbole, of course, but I think you got the main point, that Boeing has more leverage than it deserves and that isn't sustainable. Some writer at the Seattle Times commented that the logical path for us is to encourage Airbus, Bombardier, etc. to set up some operations here. We will have some very good engineers looking for jobs, and I am sure Airbus will be happy to have them. We'll never be Boeing-free (we still have an exclusive on the 737, after all), but Boeing has over-reached and deserves to lose some of that leverage. The Puget Sound economy will be just fine.

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