Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tanker Contract

A recent Spokesman-Review editorial agreed with the defense department over the choice of Airbus of France, primarily, as the prime contractor for the new refueling tankers. Right on the heels of this, came an overwhelming cheer from our defense department. I respectfully disagree with both, but for different reasons.

First, the point made, was that we are in a global economy. That is, and should be, a limited goal. We haven't yet become a one world government, where our self interests must be sublimininated for the others out there. It is not in our best interests, for instance, to try to equal the workers in a country that pays an employee $5.00 per 12 hour day. We rose above that sort of thing in the 30's. The obvious result of equality here, is that we should then split the difference. Give them half our wealth, to make up for their people's inability to become part of the 20th century, let along the 21st.

At no time, since buying aircraft for the first world war, have we ever failed to support our military with domestic production of same. Tommorow may not include the same allies that today brings. It is critical that we not ever give away our technology or ability to produce our own protection. There isn't a war plane anywhere in the world that can stand toe to toe with ours. Let's keep it that way.

That kind of equality is retreating from everything we have gained through a better system, harder work, and the freedom to be as good as we have the ability to be. Secondly, and more to the point, we are in a recession. Actually, I have been preaching this for over a year. Memories are short, and the lessons of thirty years ago forgotten, ergo the mortgage debacle. Part, though of the cause of this recession is because we have given up our sovereignty to the world markets, no longer protecting our economy, our manufacturing jobs, claiming that a free market is the panacea for universal wealth. It is not. Free trade isn't free at all. It requires firms that used to manufacture goods in this country to ship those jobs overseas to take advantage of peasants in another economy.

Back to the tanker contract. Dissing Boeing, or any other resident company for the Europeans is shipping jobs in an area that we already have given up to many jobs. The most pressing argument regarding the tanker contract is that our defense is not a world wide project, but one that is addressing our interest, and ours only. To suggest that Boeing isn't competitive is a joke. This is about globalization of trade and politics. When politics intercede, they should, on behalf of our self interest only.

Shifting our economy into the service industries, without actually producing anything, is a carousel of a revolving nothing. Nothing produced, nothing earned, nothing acquired. Eventually, we will run out of borrowed money with which to maintain our freedom. I'm so glad I'm too old to see the final outcome.


Anonymous said...

It is a global economy, the world is flat. The 787 is 26% euro made by Alenia (an Airbus company) and 8% Chinese. the 717 (MD-90) was 85% Chinese. Only final assembly completed in California. Not to mention that the Airbus product is American engined, and a far suprior aircraft, not a rehashed 70's design.

JBelle said...

oh dear. Where to start? Maybe here: a global economy doesn't equate with a one world government. In fact, far from it. Consider this: if you reject a global economy, you haven't been in Las Vegas recently, where 60% of the tourists are NOT American. That's right. When wealthy Europeans, Africans and Asians can vacation and gamble anywhere in the world, do they go to the south of France? nope. They go to Las Vegas. That's because we have sold them, convincingly, on our product. And that's how Las Vegas reinvented itself. again. Via a global market. Boeing needs to step up and compete and not rest on it's motherhood and applie pie. They need to bring the best product to the market, giving the best value to the buyer.

You raise some traditional arguments regarding national security and honesly, I have no response. But if the vendors want the deal badly enough, they'll make it work for us. Besides, with most of the eastern seaboard owned internationally these days, how much worse can it get? :)