Tanker Links

KC-10 Extender refuelling SR-71 Blackbird in 1981
KC-10 Extender refuelling SR-71 Blackbird in 1981

Here are some recent links about the KC-45A tanker:

Boeing to Protest $35B Tanker Contract

Following a debriefing by Air Force officials March 7, Boeing questioned the fairness of the competition, citing “inconsistency in requirements, cost factors and treatment of our commercial data.”

The Chicago-based aerospace company “found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal,” Boeing’s chairman and chief executive, Jim McNerney, said in a statement.

The company argued that the Air Force changed its method for evaluating the two tankers even after issuing a request for proposals. These changes allowed a larger tanker to be competitive even though the Air Force originally had called for a medium-size plane. Air Force officials have indicated that the larger size of the tanker offered by the EADS/Northrop team helped tip the balance in its favor.

Northrop Grumman Sets the Record Straight Concerning the U.S. Air Force KC-45A Misinformation

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) said today that since the Air Force’s selection of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A, numerous erroneous comments continue to be repeated in the media and in Congress. Northrop Grumman wants to set the record straight on the following points

Tanker deal, nail in McCain’s coffin?

Congressional Boeing supporters vow to scuttle John McCain’s presidency over the company’s $35 billion loss in an Air Force tanker deal.

A Good Deal of Credit to McCain for Stopping a Bad Deal

The Air Force was to lease 100 Boeing fuel tankers at a cost of $26 billion — $6 billion more than the cost of buying them outright, according to an estimate by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

If that sounds like a bad deal, it’s because it was. It never occurred, thanks to loud and persistent protests from Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.). And now that McCain is a candidate for president and Boeing’s rival has won the contract, Democrats are effectively complaining that he didn’t let Boeing rip off the taxpayers.

In Tanker Bid, It Was Boeing vs. Bold Ideas

Boeing, the heavy favorite to win the contract, having built earlier tankers, promised a new boom but did not build a prototype. One analyst who followed the contest said that Boeing, based in Chicago, seemed arrogant and offered a plan that Air Force officials thought would deliver only 19 tankers by 2013 compared with 49 by the Airbus team…

The Boeing spokesman, Mr. Barksdale, said his company could easily pull together the new boom it promised the Air Force. –It’s not a huge leap of technology,” he said. –It would not be a huge deal.”

But to Northrop Grumman and EADS, building the boom on spec presented a chance to demonstrate their competitive hunger.

Boeing on Tanker Deal: Waaaaahhhhh!!!!

David Axe at Danger Room with comments from POGO and World Politics Review.

Air Force Deal Could Cost European Jobs

Airbus’ contract with the Pentagon for in-flight refueling aircraft may lead to an accelerated exodus of jobs to Asia and the U.S.

Rep. Dicks grills AF secretary over air tanker decision

At Tuesday’s House Defense Appropriations Committee hearing, Dicks said Boeing was discouraged from offering a tanker based on the larger 777 jetliner and went with the mid-size 767.

The company was surprised Feb. 29 when a tanker based on the Airbus A330 was chosen, and one of the reasons was its ability to carry more cargo.

Dicks says Boeing was misled. Wynn replied that the request for proposal process was fair and open.

McCain Advisers Lobbied for Airbus

“The aesthetics are not good, especially since he is an advocate of reform and transparency,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group. “Boeing advocates are going to use this as ammunition.”

McCain, a longtime critic of influence peddling and special interest politics, has come under increased scrutiny as a presidential candidate, particularly because he has surrounded himself with advisers who are veteran Washington lobbyists.

Comments

  1. Here’s one more:

    In a debate in Cleveland before the March 4 primary in Ohio, where NAFTA is blamed for the loss of industrial jobs, both Democratic presidential contenders endorsed threatening to pull out of NAFTA. Clinton said her plan includes ‘telling Canada and Mexico that we will opt out unless we renegotiate the core labor and environmental standards.’ Obama agreed: ‘We should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced.’ Instead, McCain said, ‘We’ve got to do a lot better job of taking care of those workers who have been displaced.’ He said the host for the meeting, Savvis, is providing the kind of jobs crucial to the transition from a Rust Belt industrial economy to an intellectual economy. ‘We’re in an informational-technological revolution,’ McCain said. ‘And they need trained and educated workers. That is vital to giving Americans another chance.’ He said he intended to use junior colleges to lead the way in retraining displaced workers for new technology jobs. ‘As president, my highest priority will be to provide the educational and training programs so those who have lost their job can come and apply for a job here,’ McCain said. ‘We know that Americans are hurting; we know that these are difficult times,’ McCain said citing rising home foreclosures and the loss of manufacturing jobs, particularly in the Midwest. Protectionism and isolationism are not the answer, he said. – AP

    Hmm, maybe that’s why engineering salaries have been flat to declining for the last 15 years or so. Maybe it’s all those fry cooks that have been becoming engineers at night by attending junior colleges. Hell, I don’t mean to be critical of those who actually do that, but here’s a clue for McDumbass, we’re not losing low paying, low skilled jobs. We’re losing high skilled, high paying jobs. Sure, you idiot, send people to college so they can be educated and unemployed. Great idea. They weren’t enough of a drain on the economy before when they were just unemployed. And have you noticed how the Republicans are sounding more and more like Democrats? Oh, we are so sorry you were displaced in your job. Here is a government program to fix things. We’re going to cut taxes too, because you can never run up a high enough deficit. There are no real conservatives that will ever vote for McCain.

  2. It is ironic that the economies that practice protectionism and have tariffs, you know, places like communist red China, have economies that are growing in the double digits every year, while our country can barely manage 3%/year GNP growth. Oh no, we wouldn’t want 10% – 12% growth like countries who practice protectionism have! McCain truely is the Manchurian Candidate.

  3. Wow, this is unbelievable. I just read Murdoc’s last link. Check this out:

    Dicks said the removal of the subsidy language was a ‘game-changer’ that favored EADS over Boeing. ‘The only reason that they could even bid a low price is because they received a subsidy,’ Dicks said last week. ‘And Senator McCain jumped into this and said that (the Air Force) could not look at the subsidy issue -which I think is a big mistake, especially when the U.S. trade representative is bringing a case in the (World Trade Organization) on this very issue.’ EADS’ interest in the tanker deal is evident in the political contributions of its employees. From 2004 to 2006, donations by its employees jumped from $42,500 to $141,931, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So far this election cycle, company employees have donated $120,350. Of that, McCain’s presidential campaign has received $14,000, the most of any other member of Congress this election cycle.
    This is what gets me about McCain. It would be one thing for him to be a crook like every other politician, but for him to pretend to be this big defense reformer all the while giving the defense companies everything they’ve ever wanted, for the right price. The hypocrisy is staggering. Sure, it’s not quite as bad as Clinton taking bribes, uh, I mean campaign contributions from Chinese ‘citizen’ front men, but damn. It’s no wonder these guys like Elliot Spitzer consort with whores. I mean, who else could really understand where they’re coming from?

  4. dude, you are never going to get anywhere on the trade issue with the current crop of republicans. Like Buchanan said, they worship at the altar of free trade and do not tolerate any deviation. I just saw an interview with Bush in which he basically attributed the Great Depression and World War 2 on US protectionism and isolationism. He also said we can help increase the value of the dollar by showing the world we are not going to enact protectionist legislation. It is amazing how he seems to blame everything on protectionism, but doesn’t do jack towards China, which is the most protectionist major economy on Earth. I grew up believing in so-called free trade agreements. I took several economic courses in college, read Adam Smith and bought into the free trade mantra. However, I began doubting myself as I saw the US becoming more and more dependent upon the rest of the world. I never learned the true story of US trade policy until I started reading Buchanan’s columns. It is an eye opener to read about Hamilton and the American school economic policies. Unless people learn more about our history, it will be easy to confuse them on these issues by throwing around epithets and misstating facts. And we won’t be able to have any meaningful debate on trade.

  5. What a piece of human excrement this jerk is: ‘If we increase the number of H-1B visas that are available to US companies, employment of US nationals would likely grow as well. For instance, Microsoft has found that for every H-1B hire we make, we add on average four additional employees to support them in various capacities.’ Gates also said the United States needs to improve science and math education to train a new generation of tech leaders, reversing a move away from these fields. – Breitbart Bill Gates wants to give you the opportunity to be the secretary or janitor to a foreign born software engineer. He also thinks that if enough of you useless idiots would become software engineers, then it would depress the amount of money American engineers make enough to where you’d be competitive with an engineer from India who makes $8,000/year. Come on, people. Aren’t you excited about becoming an engineer, or better still the janitor for a foreigner posing as an engineer? Wow, I know that’s all I could ever aspire to. This is ‘free trade’ at its finest. Repeat after me, ‘we keep all the good, high tech, high paying jobs, and outsources the low skilled, low paying jobs.’ Ok, now take your drink of Koolaide, you traitor bastards.

  6. Here’s more evidence to support 11 Bravo’s contention that this Scarebus contract was nothing more than a bailout:

    Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, slumped to a record loss last year as weakness in the US dollar wiped more than 1 billion [euros] from the company’s earnings. Airbus has been among the companies hardest hit by the declining value of the dollar and it may be forced to move work out of the eurozone to limit future damage. Aircraft are priced in dollars but Airbus’s costs are nearly all in euros, which makes the company highly sensitive to exchange-rate movements. – Times Online

    Yeah, they’re doing us a real big favor by putting up a plant in Alabama. Oh my, what would we ever do without them? Thankfully we have some real visionaries in the Senate like Jeff Sessions and Dick Shelby to look out for the best interests of whatever company throws the most money their way. Screw the US taxpayer, there’s money to be made from selling votes overseas, at least there is for the likes of Shelby, Sessions, and McCain. Too bad we can’t all make money that way.

  7. Dfens, i like you, but you have too much bitterness towards economics. And this make you make silly comments, like not understanding why is much easier to China and India grow at a rate of 2 digits and why the USA cant do the same. See, Both China and India are still light years behind the USA when it comes to development, and they have huge populations, what gives them an equally huge potential that they are just starting to bloom. The USA already have live up to a lot of things, so the opportunities to grow become much more narrow. Will China be richer than the USA someday? Probably, remember that a chinese man needs less than 1/4 of an american man’s wealth to make China richer than the USA. You cant expect that 1.3 billion of people being not able to catch up 300 millions.

  8. In the ’70s here in the US a newspaper made quite a stir by claiming in a headline that everything that could be invented has been. It was crap then and is crap now. This country has limitless potential. I do not believe, nor do I seen any evidence for the idea those maggot communist Chinese with their forced labor camps, child labor, and lack of any safety or pollution standards will ever, and let me repeat, EVER be equal to or greater than the United States of America. They are currently pulling out all the stops to take advantage of a demonstrated weakness in our economic policies. One that was originally exploited by a nearby neighbor of theirs, Japan. That is all this is. The people of the US will eventually get wise to this manipulation, it is merely a matter of how bad we will let things get before we do. It took me a while to catch on. It will take some others a while longer. As president Abraham Lincoln said, ‘you can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.’ That is why our democracy works and will continue to work, and why the US will continue to be the greatest nation on Earth.

  9. Two thoughts: 1. Our highest protective tariffs were passed at the onset of the Great Depression. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff did nothing but deepen and lengthen the depression. Protectionism is idiotic. Free and fair trade is the best trade policy. 2. There is only one manufacturer of large-frame commercial aircraft left in this country – we let that happen. So, we either over-pay Boeing or we allow real competition. That means we pick Airbus if they have a better deal. I’m not worried about Boeing’s future in the least and I highly doubt they are dumb enough to seek revenge against the probable next president.

  10. I used to work for a company that was very aggressive about sending jobs to offshore sites. More often than not, it was a disaster. The foreign employees worked hard but were far less skilled. The turnover was far higher than in the U.S. because wages are rising much faster in places like India due to good old supply ‘n demand. The American economy will recover after some pain. The less government intervention on trade and the mortgage thing, the faster and better the recovery will be.

  11. The Smoot Hawley tariffs of 1930 caused the crash of the stock market in 1929? I’m sure the explaination of that one is interesting. Maybe someone should tell the Chinese about this. After all, they are the most highly protected market in the world and somehow, as if by magic, their economy grows at a double digit rate. It’s gotta make you wonder… Perhaps it has more to do with the innate superiority of socialism over capitalism? Here is some information on Smoot Hawley:

    Americans today are being indoctrinated in false history. And high among the falsehoods is that ‘free trade’ with foreign nations made America prosperous, and protectionism always made her poor. This is the catechism of the One Worlders, but it is politically correct history — not truth. All four presidents on Mt. Rushmore were protectionists. The greatest era of industrial expansion in America, where our workers saw the greatest rise in their standard of living was from 1860-1914, when America protected her industries and jobs behind a tariff wall. During that half century, U.S. exports rose 700 percent, while imports rose only 500 percent! By 1914, U.S. workers were earning 50 percent more that Brits, and more than twice what Germans and Frenchmen made. No nation has ever risen to pre-eminence through free trade. Britain before 1848, America and Germany from 1865 to 1914, Japan from 1950 on, all practiced protectionism. – Pat Buchanan

    Seriously, why drink the Koolaide? They lie about everything else, but tell the truth about tariffs? Doubtful.

  12. The argument is being coined as either your support free trade or you are protectionist and wish not to trade or have contact with the world, a la North Korea. First let’s review free trade. The US has always practiced free trade amongst the states. Free trade means free movement of goods, services, capital and LABOR across state lines. Second, while America has always practiced free trade amongst the states, we have not with the world. However, we ALWAYS traded with the world, even during our period of history when we had protective tariffs. The first act of the first congress in 1789 was the TARIFF Act. Yet when Jefferson was president, about a dozen years later, he sent the Navy/Marines to the Med to fight the Barbary pirates because they were messing with our trade routes. Yes, we had trade routes and tariffs at the same time. I fully accept and appreciate free trade among our states. It makes living in America special because we have limitless opportunities to move, make changes and reinvet ourselves. This works because we share a common language, culture and legal system. In addition, each state knows it won’t be boycotted by other states so each state can concentrate on what it does best knowing they can buy what they need from the others. I wish to trade on the world stage like we have always done. We need raw materials as well as markets for our surpluses. However, I am not a proponet of free trade on the world stage. Remember free trade would allow the free movement of not only goods, services and capital, but also PEOPLE across national boundaries. In addition, free trade MUST be accompanied by a supranational governmental body. Free trade in the US works because the 50 state governments are inferior to the US federal government. Free trade on the world stage can only work if the US and other countries assume a similar role to a world government. I do not wish to lose sovereignty to a world government. You think Washington DC is distant and not reponsive to our needs, well it will only get worse if you put in another layer of government. Free trade among nations has limitations too if you wish to remain indepenent. We know the world is divided among cultures and religions that may or may not give a shit about the welfare of the US. So why would you want to become dependent upon these nations? Look at the 1973 oil embargo. The Arabs, in protest to our support of Israel, cut off oil supplies and messed with our economy. Now most people I know do not support the free movement of people across national borders. However, if you say you support free trade, this is what you are espousing. People would be able to move from nation to nation as easily as we can move from state to state and no government can tell them otherwise. Do you really think all the globalist proponents of free trade just want the free movement of goods, services and capital? If you are a believer, labor must be included. This is probably why the leadership is so hesitant to patrol the Mexican border and enforce workplace regulations. So remember trade is good, but free trade amonng nations is not unless you fully accept all of what free trade brings. Also, tariffs don’t prevent trade. They serve as a source of revenue for the government. Prior to 1913, we paid no income taxes because the government ran off tariffs. How much of our income taxes could be removed if we had an across the board tariff on imports of 5%?

  13. I wrote ‘deepen and lengthen,’ not cause. That very bad piece of legislation and many others from the Hoover and FDR administrations kept us in a recurring series of recessions in the 30’s while most of the world was in recovery. I have no problem with low tariffs as a source of government income (offset by income tax cuts please). Tariffs designed to protect domestic businesses with shoddy engineering, overpaid and underworked union clowns, bad processes, and poor business decisions? No thanks – I’ll buy the Honda / Samsung / Sony / BMW. (All probably made in new southern factories) I’ve always believed that the best American companies can compete successfully on a level playing field. Those that can’t compete should be allowed to die.

  14. Not only would a tariff reduce our imports and increase the number of Americans employed in manufacturing jobs, it would also pay for the overhead costs of conducting international trade. Right now you the taxpayer subsidizes the import of goods from communist red China by paying for much of the construction and operation of ports. We also pay the salaries of Food and Drug Administration employees who go overseas to inspect Chinese factories that make products we consume. Why should you subsidize the production and quality assurance of Chinese goods? It is absolutely asinine. If these countries want access to our market, then let them pay their fair share. Let them provide the assurance that their goods meet our standards of quality and reliability. Why should that be on our backs as US taxpayers? It is a subsidy just like the one we give to employers who hire illegal immigrants so they can pay no taxes or insurance on their wages. How long are you as US taxpayers going to continue to wear the ‘kick me in the ass, it’s fun’ sign on your backs?

  15. There is absolutely no evidence that the Smoot Hawley act either caused or deepened the depression. If it did, why are the protectionist policies of China not producing the same end there? The answer is they are not. China produces shoddy crap for the most part, and specifically due to their unfair trading practices they get away with selling this shoddy crap on our markets because the stuff is so damn cheap. Are you ok with shoddy crap as long as it wasn’t made by a union employee, or are you going to hold the Chinese to at least as high a standard as you would hold a US company to? That’s what a level playing field is all about, and we don’t have one.

  16. In the 30’s, the Europeans matched our tariff rates – effectively killing our ability to import or export. No trade = depression. Unlike the Europeans of the 1930’s, we are too pussy to match the Chinese tariffs. I agree with you that we should. If they lower their trade barriers, then we should as well. I don’t agree with the idea of protecting ourselves against trade partners who are playing fair. McCain was right to jump all over the Democrats when they attack NAFTA. And he was right to block Boeing from ripping off the American taxpayers.

  17. This is the United States of America. This country can feed itself, produce its own steel, it’s own concrete, its own lumber, its own, well, you name it, if its important, we’ve got it. Now tell me exactly what it is that we so desperately needed from Europe in the 1930s that plunged us so desperately into a depression? Oh and by the way, in the 1930s foreign trade was only about 3% of our GDP yet we were fine before the depression, we were fine after it when foreign trade stayed down because of the destruction wroght by WW2. We didn’t need anything from them then. We don’t need anything from them now. We won’t need anything from them tomorrow. Even oil, which we don’t get from Europe, we could replace within a decade if we only had the will to do it. As for NAFTA, yeah it’s great. I wish we could all live in Mexico. Obviously everyone else does to, that’s why we have such a huge problem with people crossing over the border illegally from the US and Canada to Mexico. After all, what’s not to like? They’ve got a stable economy, no government corruption at all, great social infrastructure, booming cities, clean water and air. What a crock of crap! All NAFTA does is turn the US and Canada into Mexico. That’s all any ‘free trade’ agreement does. Hell, today we import most of our cars from Mexico. How did they get an automotive industry? We dismantled ours and shipped it to them piece by piece. And now they are making the same wages as your typical Detroit auto worker, right? Oh wait, wrong again. Or they wouldn’t still be streaming across the border to work in our farm fields picking crops, now would they? Instead of assuming that NAFTA is doing us some good, why not try to find some objective evidence that it is? Good luck to you. Several hundred thousand former industrial workers in America’s heartland are waiting to hear back from you.

  18. Times and business models change. My wife and I, and probably you Dfens, make far more than most factory workers. I’ve worked on the factory line – not my idea of a career and not what I want for my kids. All the Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans I’ve shopped for lately have been made in the USA. That leads me to believe that the problem with the old American car companies is poor designs, poor management, and parasitic unions. Add in a long history of screwing their customers and people like me will hardly consider buying an American car. Since I’ve worked in a GM factory, I’ve seen all these things first hand. I don’t believe these assholes deserve an ounce of protection Obviously GM and Ford are building in Mexico to escape the UAW. What reasonable manager would consider investing in an unionized plant? There will probably never be another Ford or GM plant built in this country. http://www.autoblog.com/2007/09/24/talks-with-gm-broken-off-uaw-officially-on-strike/

  19. Yeah those Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans are built here just like the A330 will be ‘built here’. They bring in some parts and major subassemblies and bolt them together here. They don’t hire a single US engineer to design any substantial parts of those cars. They hire a few to design a US version of the interior. One with cup holders. Japanese don’t eat and drink in their cars. The assembly jobs they ‘give’ the US are one step above a job at Burger King. Not exactly the ‘high paying, high tech’ jobs they promised as a result of their so called ‘free trade’. Amazing how anyone can call it that with a straight face given the extensive protectionist measures Japan uses against us. It never ceases to amaze me at how people get all self-righteous over the ‘superior value’ of Japanese cars when thier protectionism is the real cause of the additional $2,000 to $3,000 value thier vehicles have built into them. Yeah, no American could design and build in as much value with that kind of business advantage. And by the way, I personally love factories. I go down to the factory floor every chance I get. I love to see them churn out parts that I’ve designed. I’m perfectly willing to take the heat if I screwed something up, and I’m happy to pass along my praise when they build my parts as I envisioned them or sometimes even better. I grew up getting my hands dirty. That’s part of why I’m a kick ass engineer now.

  20. A lot of the content in foreign cars built in the US is built in the US. Don’t try to portray it simply as boatloads of foreign-built components and subassemblies shipped over here for basic assembly, because it’s not true.

  21. It is absolutely true. In fact, there is almost zero domestically made parts in a foreign car assembled here. Hell, there are almost no parts in a domestic brand car built here. You think the foreign manufacturers buy more US produced parts than the domestic ‘manufacturers’? What do you think those plants in Mexico do? That’s where they moved all their machining and fabricating facilities. Almost every GM engine is produced in Mexico. That way they can pay a Mexican machinist pennies on the dollar compared to what they would have to pay a US citizen. You people just don’t get it. Free trade is a lie. There is nothing free about it. There is government manipulation throughout. What they call ‘free’ only means our government doesn’t look out for our interests. It doesn’t mean the Chinese or Japanese governments are doing the same. Free trade is a lie because we don’t keep the high paying, high tech jobs they promised. We keep the low tech, low paying jobs because the high paying jobs are the ones that hit the bottom line the hardest.

  22. MO, who hosts your blog? This is one of the most difficult blogs to post to I have encountered.

  23. I love factories too. It really pissed me off to work in one so badly managed. That is why I eventually went to business school and studied Operations Management. The old American manufacturing companies and their unions seem hell-bent on suicide and they are succeeding.

  24. Even that article you cite, 11 Bravo, says that it’s hard to measure the true US content because of subassemblies made from foreign parts. I know that in the aircraft plant I work at, the foreign content of our airplanes has soared. We used to build much of the airplanes here, but about 5 years ago managment sold off all of our tools and outsourced everything. We still get some parts domestically, but much of it is coming from overseas. From talking to local machinists, I heard one person say that his company cannot buy the materials to build a customer’s parts as cheaply as a communist Chinese machine shop can sell the completed part for. Now that’s total bs. There is no way that situation can exist except by major trade manipulation. Of course, US companies would be stupid not to take advantage of these prices, because if they don’t their competitors will and will put them out of business. That’s F’ed up.

  25. Bram, do you think those damn Chinese plants are run any better? Those bastards substituted antifreeze for glycerine in toothpaste just to make an extra penny and didn’t give a damn that the stuff would kill people. It’s like we’ve always said, you think this country is screwed up, go somewhere else and you’ll be happy to come home to the good ol’ US of A. We’ve had issues with trade and tariffs throughout the history of this country. We’re just in a bad spot right now. The news media is doing a full court press for their so called ‘free trade’ but hell our news organizations are all owned by foreigners. What did you think they’d say? What I think is sad is the fact that we’re letting this trade issue cause us to turn on each other as Americans, and to doubt our own abilities. It is very similar to what’s screwed up in the aerospace industry in that regard. Get the business stuff right, and I’ll guarantee you that what’s made in America will kick the ass of anything out there. We’ve got the people and the resources, we just can’t get out of our own way.

  26. I worked for a small private owned plant in NC that was well run. I have heard that the U.S. based Honda and Toyota plants are very well run. American workers can be motivated and American engineers can design good stuff. American manufacturing companies seem to have lost their balls, however. Let’s face it, GM and Ford are retirement and medical care companies. They just sell cars on the side to raise money – like a church bake sale.

  27. Yes, I agree, these companies are not well run, but you’ve got to look at their business model to understand why. These companies have not invested in themselves for years. They have made money by outsourcing, which is essentially not much different from corporate raiding. They sell off tooling and capabilities, then outsource those capabilities to overseas suppliers. It is an easy, low risk way to make money. When you invest in capital equipment, you have to understand your business to know what to buy. When all you’re doing is selling off your business, you don’t need to know anything. Also, given the huge monitary advantage they get by outsourcing to countries that have fixed their currencies at artificially low rates compared to the dollar, it’s almost guaranteed that costs will go down. Again, it takes little actual skill or knowledge of car making (or fill in your business) to make money on this model. Years ago, there was no automatic formula for making money like that. You had to promote good people who had good business instincts to make money. We’ve gone almost 20 years with this current ‘raid and outsource’ model. It has all but destroyed our corporations. The company I work for is nothing but an empty shell compared to what it was a dozen years ago. We have no engineers who know how to design airplanes. We have no machinery with which to manufacture airplanes. We are on the verge of losing all of our experience base to retirement. It is a massive triple threat. I know this hasn’t just been happening in aerospace companies. It’s been happening all over and across our entire spectrum of industries. Do you seriously think I’d ever consider voting for a liberal Democrat if things weren’t going to hell in a handbasket? Ain’t no way. We are living in some very strange and scary times.