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Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Horton needs a few facts

Posted: January 14, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 14, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

The column in the Jan. 8 issue of the paper (Gary Horton, “There goes retirement security”) must have been written by “Horton Hears a Who.”

Gary’s hatchet job would benefit from a few facts. For example, where does he get “facts” supporting his contention that Americans cannot retire on Social Security supplemented by proceeds from a 401k?

His projection that after the 10 year contract ends, machinists will be forced to work for Walmart is complete nonsense!

Gary may find it hard to believe, but Boeing values its work force and prudent management will keep them. What Boeing cannot survive is the kind of strike threats that the UAW used on Detroit auto companies and ultimately forced two into bankruptcy.

Locking in a 10-year bargaining agreement is sound policy.

Now let’s provide a few facts for Gary. The global commercial aircraft industry is a duopoly with only Boeing and Airbus as players.

Airbus is owned by the Europeans, and the profit motive is secondary to its interests. Boeing must compete in this environment.

In spite of Horton’s comment that Boeing has “record profits,” it is estimated that each 787 delivered today (for $115M) actually cost about $160M.

Boeing’s accounting principles amortize the enormous development costs over a decade or more of production deliveries.

Finally, if Gary were to examine the Seattle-area mayors, the state governor, county officials and the local press, he’d find them supporting the new contract.

Somehow, it always seems easier for a progressive outsider to pontificate by cherry-picking some information.

Boeing’s contract is a win for them, the union, and taxpayers at every level.

 

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