Not Just Stupid, But Aggressively Stupid

I’ve been reading the Wall Street Journal for 30 years, and this may well be the dumbest single opinion piece I’ve ever read there:

We should be aghast that Boeing is sending a big fat market signal that it wants a less-skilled, lower-quality work force. This country is in a debt crisis because we buy abroad much more than we sell. Alas, because of this trade deficit, foreign creditors have the country in their clutches. That’s not because of our labor costs—in that respect, we can undersell most of our high-wage, unionized rivals like Germany. It’s because we have too many poorly educated and low-skilled workers that are simply unable to compete.

As one of the commenters there at WSJ notes, publishing this piece of leftist drivel is far more effective than posting 100 pieces by conservatives. I mean, unless you’ve seen such stupidity with your own eyes, you wouldn’t believe it to be possible.

Boeing is being challenged by the National Labor Relations Board for wanting to open a second 787 production line in South Carolina. NLRB alleges this action is punishment for union activities in Boeing’s Washington plants. But really, it is just NLRB punishing Boeing for trying to run its own business. Boeing’s South Carolina plant will not displace a single worker (union or otherwise) in Washington. Instead, it is intended to increase capacity over their existing plants in Washington. Boeing has managed to sell a great number of 787s. What they haven’t managed to do yet is build a lot. So they need to crank out as many as they possibly can in a short period of time (say, a decade or so). Customers may be more than willing to wait five years for a Dreamliner. But without a second production line, that same customer may be looking at a 10 year wait. Which is another ballgame entirely. And those customers will likely decide that an Airbus today is worth more to them than a 787 sometime in the distant future.

Further, the author’s contention that quality necessarily suffers when production moves South is refuted by the large numbers of foreign car makers that have established plants in the South without any noticeable decline in either quality, or customer satisfaction. BMW springs to mind.

Mr. Geoghehan’s op-ed is simply union protectionism posing as concern for Boeing’s well being. But his laughably transparent attempt to bolster support for union production is counterproductive, as seen by the nearly unanimous sneering contempt in which he is held by the commenters.

Via the headlines at Ace’s.

6 thoughts on “Not Just Stupid, But Aggressively Stupid”

  1. Mr. Geoghegan, a lawyer in Chicago, is author of “Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be For Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back”

    All I needed to know 😉

  2. I read it this morning. Thought it was a joke at first. Had to double check I wasn’t reading something from The Onion.

  3. The 787 is in enough trouble without SPEA and the machinists union shutting down the line every three years. That could kill even more orders than they have already lost to Scarebus because of certification and production delays.
    Boeing is in business to make money, not support union extortion programs.

  4. Notice also that he says “That’s not because of our labor costs—in that respect, we can undersell most of our high-wage, unionized rivals like Germany.” Just a little subtle line so that we will all know that US unions do not drive up costs, it is the foreign unions that are bad.

    Could he possibly be any more of a union shill? What a shame that WSJ publishers don’t make them pay for this advertising, and label it as an advertisement.

  5. In Germany, manufacturing unions actively work to keep their members desirable to employers by offering training programs and the like. Here in America, unions of all types exist solely to further their own existence and line the pockets of their higher-ups.

  6. I wonder if we should throw the race card at him. I mean, look at the African-American population of Washington State vs South Carolina. He CLEARLY doesn’t want Blacks to have good jobs. OH! And he called them “unskilled”.

    Hey, it’s no stupider than what he said.

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