Sunday, April 24, 2011

Boeing Corp: A Blood Sucking Leech

America has been undergoing a combination of two things over the last several decades: nationalization and privatization by large American-based global corporations. The two opposite strategies have been used together in bilking the American people. We finance these monolithic corporate entities, and in turn, they take our property for personal use. I liken it to paying someone to rob you. (A re-nationalization occurs when state-owned assets are privatized and later nationalized again.)

There are a very few exceptions, such as when Alaskans receive their paltry dividend checks from the state's oil royalty investment program. But why aren't all publicly funded corporations treated this way, in every state?

By de facto a vast number American corporations, and in some cases, entire industries, have already been nationalized by us, the government...the American people. Because of U.S. taxpayers, through subsidies and government contracts, many of these corporations only have us to thank for their very existence. The only difference is, the small group of people who sit on their  Board of Directors and major shareholders reap all the profits, rather than having this revenue going back into the coffers of the U.S. taxpayers in the form of tax revenues.

But it is WE who were the stupidest investors of all. Because when WE buy into a large corporation, not only do we not see any profits trickle down back into the U.S. Treasury, or into our own pockets, if their are huge losses, we are the ones who end up picking up the tab for any risky and failed investments. The CEO's, whether the company fails or not, still gets paid...and they usually keep their jobs too, sometimes even getting huge bonuses. Looking back to 2008, we all saw that.

But what really pisses me off is, not only is this system of capitalism being turned upside down, our politicians are allowing the co-opting of our public lands and resources...The People's property for personal use and profit. Oil is but just one example in the energy sector alone...but there are many other industries that, not only did the taxpayers finance with their hard-earned dollars, but have been manipulated to price gouging (gasoline as one example).

The capitalists in western democracies have propagandized nationalization and conveniently associates it exclusively with Socialism, which usually make us ordinary Americans think of bad guys like Joseph  Stalin and Chairman Mao. But corporations, with the help of their bribed political enablers, have been doing this all along, even using Eminent Domain and other means to take public and personal property for personal use and profit. Paying someone to rob you.

And to top it off, these very corporations and industries (rather, just those people at the top who run them) don't even want to pay fair wages or benefits to their own workers...the very people who, collectively speaking with all other taxpayers, pay their damn salaries! Yet these same corporations don't want their workers to collectively bargain for their wages (union busting). The corporation would rather dictate the wages and then say, "Take it or leave it. If you don't like what we pay you, we'll leave the state."

So, it's a "right-to-work State" if you submit to all the corporate concessions. Or the company might just pick up all their marbles and relocate their factory to another country...hence, "outsourcing". Corporations make very few, if any, concessions to average working people without fighting it bitterly. It's a lie when they always claim to be a good corporate citizen of the community. They will poison the well and move on in search of ever more profits. Corporations have no souls, but oddly our Supreme Court says they have Constitutional Rights.

Boeing, who pays no taxes to the U.S. government, yet gets HUGE no-bid multi-billion dollar government contracts paid for by U.S. taxpayers (working people), but still whines when the government asks them stop union busting. And by appointment of U.S. President Barack Obama, Boeing's CEO James McNerney chairs the President's Export Council, which operates as an advisory committee on international trade. Yet Boeing wants it all! I want to tell Boeing, "STFU!"

Here's another good example of how Republicans always favor businesses over the workers: How the National Labor Relations Board pursues cases and rules on them. Democratic-dominated boards often tilt toward unions and reverse the decisions of Republican-leaning boards, which usually tilt toward management, and vice versa. This time in the case of Boeing.

Boeing executives had publicly said they were making the move from a unionized plant in Washington State (where they were headquartered for years) to a non-union plant in South Carolina to avoid strikes for fairer wages. Lafe Solomon, the labor board’s acting general counsel, said the company’s motive constituted illegal retaliation against workers for exercising their legal right to strike.

Corporations like Boeing often negotiate tax breaks from state and local governments as well, promising jobs to save on their fair share of taxes to any given community - and spends millions in lobbying and legal fees to find loop holes to avoid paying federal taxes too (great community citizens that they are). These companies pit one locale against another in "bidding wars" for lower taxes and lobby politicians with campaign contributions as well.

The factory workers in Washington never had a chance. The collective bargaining power of a labor union is their only tool for obtaining fair wages, basic healthcare, and safe working conditions. Big business thinks that THAT is too much to ask for, even while earning record profits and executive compensation packages and bonuses, and while paying ZERO in corporate taxes to the U.S. Treasury. Un-frigging-believable!

Enough is never enough. Greed is an addiction, even collectively as a group (rather than just single individuals) in a Corporate World Order.

Politically BIG BUSINESS has many other advantages over the single worker. An individual "person" has the right to voice their opinion about the candidate of their choice and against the "opposition", spend their money on the candidate of their choice, lobby that person, and vote for that person. But many times corporations even try to influence their workers in this arena - as in, "Vote for who I say or lose your job."

Corporations are made up of individual "persons", who each already have all of those "individual" rights as individual "persons", but now because of  Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, all those individuals that joined together to form the corporation have been clumped together as ANOTHER separate individual, who also has the right to lobby, spend as much money as they want on the candidate of their choice, and voice their opinion. The only thing the corporation CAN'T do as an individual, is vote for the candidate of their choice.

So basically, each of these original individual "persons" who united together to form the corporation now have the rights of, not one, but two individuals in one person (one as a natural person and one as a corporate person). They can use their own personal income as well as the corporation's income to influence the government and votes (like two separate people, but really are one and the same). While the natural, individual "persons" (like you and I), can only use our own individual income because we don't have corporate income to use. They get 2 votes, we get 1.

But back to Boeing: The remedy proposed by Mr. Solomon of the NLRB is that Boeing move the work back to its unionized Puget Sound facilities, after it had already made a $2 billion investment to diss the union and hired 1,000 non-union workers in South Carolina. He said Boeing had punished workers for past strikes by moving to South Carolina.

The National Association of Manufacturers was "outraged". According to their website, "The NAM Board comprises more than 200 of the nation’s top manufacturing executives...and provides national and global perspectives on the impact of federal government action upon their companies’ ability to grow and prosper."

But the majority of manufacturing jobs have already left America, so I will assume that this political action committee (PAC) will be around until the very last job has been outsourced...until the last man standing. The two top chair-positions are held by the CEO of the Vermeer Corporation and the CEO of Caterpillar Inc. - - - and Timothy J. Keating of the Boeing Company is their Senior Vice President of Government Operations  So of course the "National Association of Manufacturers" would be outraged, they are pro-business and anti-worker.

Financing Tea Party candidates and rallying the Tea Party faithful, Jim DeMint (the Republican Senator in South Carolina) complained, “This is nothing more than a political favor for the unions who are supporting President Obama’s re-election campaign.”  (But he failed to make mention of any of his corporate political campaign donors.)

No Mister DeMint , it's about fairness to the average working person sir. DeMint blasted the NLRB's complaint against Boeing and "right-to-work States" - - - but if you ask me, he's really defending the corporation's "right-to-leave States" (that is, if the company can get a better tax deal from the locals and they can pay poverty-level wages to their workers).

Jim DeMint also spewed the nonsense: "Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of hundreds of jobs in South Carolina and thousands of jobs nationwide." But like a cheating husband, Boeing had abandoned Washington State and it's citizens for a much younger and prettier girl in South Carolina. And Boeing will do it again if they get a much better deal somewhere else. China perhaps?

Boeing's website boasts: "The opportunities for career development stretch from sea to shining sea", although they have 158,000 employees on 5 continents in 70 countries. But we all know that corporations have no loyalty, no patriotism, and no conscience...and they definitely don't have a soul, but they do have Constitutional Rights, and can buy elections.

Senator DeMint went on to rant, "Using the federal government as a political weapon to protect union bosses at the expense of American jobs cannot be tolerated. I intend to use every tool at my disposal as a United States Senator to stop the President from carrying out this malicious act.”  In an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News he whined that the "administration is acting like bunch of thugs.” (The pot calling the kettle black?)

No Mister DeMint, it has nothing at all to do with union bosses or American jobs. Weren't Boeing's workers in Washington State real American workers? The complaint was filed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which is an AFL-CIO/CLC trade union representing approximately 650,000 workers. The National Labor Relations Board brought the action against Boeing on behalf of the union WORKERS, not the union BOSSES.

But it's common knowledge that the labor unions support Democrats who represent average workers...and the corporations support Republicans who represent the corporate profiteers on their Boards of Directors. During the 2010 election cycle the Club for Growth (a conservative political action group) spent more than $8.2 million, primarily advocating for Republican candidates or against Democratic candidates through television and radio. They donated $154,667 to Senator Jim DeMint.

Koch Industries also donated $57,000 and Air Transport donated another $80,500 to Senator Jim DeMint as well.

In a letter the Air Transport Authority wrote: "On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we submit this letter to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in response to a request for comments on PBGC regulations pursuant to Obama's Executive Order 13563, arguing that the PBGC overstepped the intent of the statute which is to ensure that financially troubled entities set aside money to pay promised benefits and do not increase the financial burdens on the PBGC." (Wasn't that for protecting worker's pensions from the financial shenanigans we saw on Wall Street in the recent past?)

But back to Boeing: Mr. Solomon of the National Labor Relations Board said,“My goal is to enforce the National Labor Relations Act. That law, enacted in 1935, governs private sector workers’ right to unionize as well as relations between tens of thousands of companies and employees." It's become common knowledge that Republicans always favor businesses over the workers.

By contrast, under Ronald Reagan, the National Labor Relations Board reversed about two dozen pro-union decisions in one year alone. The Obama board is expected to reverse a Bush-era decision that lets workers petition to decertify a union within days of a company’s recognizing a union through card check.

The United States Chamber of Commerce (who always favor businesses over the workers) opposes a proposal that would require all private sector employers to post notices explaining workers’ rights to unionize. It also faulted the NLRB for being more aggressive about reinstating pro-union workers who are illegally fired during unionization drives. Read that again: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is AGAINST hiring back people who were ILLEGALLY fired from their jobs.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes is an "Industry Partner" of ATA who gets HUGE no-bid multi-billion dollar government contracts from U.S taxpayers, but Boeing itself pays no taxes. So if the government is asking them to stop union busting, what the hell is Boeing complaining about?

What is also fascinating (beside previous taxpayer bailouts), is that Air Transport (Air Transport Association of America) gives a lot of cash to BOTH parties: Democrats $2,545,486 , Republicans $3,254,321. And didn't American taxpayers also bailout this industry too? And I never even got one damn frequent flyer mile in my whole life!

(Pictured below) Jim DeMint (A.K.A. corporate shill, corporate whore) speaking at the radical far right-wing Values Voters Summit and here is a list of their Evangelistic Christian sponsors. But they are all just greedy money-mongers hiding behind "family values" and Christendom - just scummy hypocritical liars, all. As a good good God-fearing Christian myself, I believe that Senator DeMint and the corporate officers of Boeing will have a lot of "splaining" to do when they get to the Pearly Gates. It's people have a much harder time getting into to Heaven than poor people do, because they (just like corporations) have no souls, and are responsible for millions of deaths.

America has suffered many causalities in wars, offering up our young men and women as human sacrifices for corporate profits. The cotton farmers alone are responsible for the lives of 623,026 people during our Civil War. Nowadays our corporate and political leaders allow for "deferments" for their own sons and daughters to escape death, so that they can continue on as the corporate heirs (our corporate masters) to their corporate dynasties...keeping the stranglehold over the American people.

The current CEO of Boeing, James McNerney, spent his years during the Vietnam War dodging the danger by attending Yale University (then later Harvard University). Ironically he knows the secrets behind some of the world's most fearsome military technology. That's power! In 2009, his compensation was $13.7 million, which included a base salary of $1.9 million, a cash bonus of $4.5 million, options granted of $3.1 million, stock granted of $3.1 million, and other compensation totaling $1 million. That's just in ONE year. And his personal income tax rate (capital gains) was lower than mine when I was still working (payroll tax) and when I collected unemployment benefits. Mister McNerney's whore, Senator Jim DeMint, earns $174,000 a year, plus government healthcare and corporate bribes (and besides all his vacations, I'm sure we pay him to take 3 martini lunches as well).

Senator Jim DeMint is bitching about the possibly of having one thousand jobs leaving his State and being returned to the other side of our country where they rightfully belong, but where the hell was he while millions of other American jobs were leaving our shores?

So what better way to end this post than simply stating the obvious: Senator Jim DeMint is just another corrupt corporate shill and Boeing Corp is just another corporate welfare case - a blood sucking leech.

* William Edward Boeing (1881-1956)
* Boeing and Early Aviation in Seattle


  1. Deal could settle Boeing plant fight

  2. UPDATE:

    NEW YORK TIMES: "When the Boeing Company announced its far-reaching, precedent-setting agreement with the machinists’ union last week, all the talk was about the ushering in of a new era of labor peace between a company and union that were long known for their horrendous labor relations record."