What is Good for Boeing is Good for America

What is Good for Boeing is Good for America

By Rachel Borovaya and Arkady Fridman

The Democrats say that the United States has had its days in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems, that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities. My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. — Ronald Reagan

The National Labor Relations Board and Boeing Co. are waging a war over the airline company’s plans to open a major manufacturing facility in South Carolina, and it seems as if every politician has an opinion on this delicate subject. The NLRB has brought up allegations that Boeing, the nation’s largest aircraft manufacturer, broke federal laws by moving one of their Dreamliner factories to the South Carolina Low Country instead of continuing at their current plant in Washington.

Their complaint stated that Boeing attempted to threaten unionized workers by using the recent strikes in Washington as a major part of the decision to move their work over to South Carolina, an equal opportunity state that does not allow closed union businesses. Yet Boeing has said that there were a multitude of factors that impacted their decision, including the state’s international port and lower cost of doing business. Boeing has also achieved job growth in the Washington area, where its factories are currently located, citing that they have added 2,000 jobs since 2009. This makes NLRBs argument that they aim to punish the Puget Sound workers “legally frivolous.”

This begs the question: Why is America attacking their third-largest defense contractor? This is clearly hurting the ability of our country to efficiently defend itself.

It seems as though there is a war being waged against the private sector. Not to mention that South Carolina is a “red” state. As Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said, “Are we going to use the full power and bully nature of government to say business cannot be located in a state that might happen to vote Republican? I find this appalling, and I respectfully ask the president to immediately rescind this assault on business.”

Calling this unfair labor practice is completely unnecessary. The state of South Carolina has a right-to-work law, which means that employees have the CHOICE to join a union or not. That’s crazy right? Who’s ever heard of a law that grants workers the right to choose! Gov. Nikki Hayley adds, “We absolutely will not allow them to bully our businesses or mess with our employees. As governor, I absolutely will not stand for it.”

What is the NLRB saying? It seems as though they want to protect workers’ rights when a company wants to move to another state, but where are the rights when a company wants to relocate to Mexico, or to India, or to China or Brazil? NLRB should stop taking stands in political matters and try to live up to their job as a neutral party that aims to help work out differences between the employees and bureaucracy.

Companies have rights as well. South Carolina offered Boeing an astounding $900 million in tax-incentives, and is significantly closer to the companies many suppliers. Building in this state critically reduces the risk of strikes that the International Association of Machinists (IAM) holds regularly in Washington, causing the company to lose billions of dollars in profit. This leads to a serious loss in tax revenue for the government.

Now we find ourselves in the middle of an economic crisis, the government has an astronomical budget deficit and an exceptionally high unemployment rate. And instead of creating a favorable environment for business to grow and create jobs, the businesses find themselves in a hostile environment created by federal agencies that suspiciously care more about unions then about the economy.

U.S. labor groups have applauded NLRB’s complaint as a sort of victory for the working class. Republican lawmakers assembled at the Chamber of Commerce and declared this a “dangerous precedent that would move jobs overseas.”

An indication of a tyranny is the limitation of movement, telling both the county’s citizens and businesses that they cannot choose where they will reside or do business, that they must process any change through the bureaucratic apparatus. Is our country heading in this direction? Will the citizens decide where and how we will do our business, or will we let National Labor Relations Board and the International Association of Machinists decide it for us?

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