The commenter below actually said some decent things, so I’m not going to rake him over the coals. He is the product of his modern environment shaped by public education, popular entertainment and political necessity. In fact I agree with him on several issues—his comment is a welcome form of debate—and I like to see people thinking. However, the context of capitalistic function is off and I will explain why after you’ve had a chance dear reader—to ponder over his words as he left them followed by the link to the 2013 article I wrote which initiated the small banter. When I wrote that particular article Seattle, Washington had just elected an open socialist onto their city council and it was a sign of things to come. Of course I was right in all aspects—within three years, we have an open socialist running for president and now they are coming out of the wood work everywhere. They believe the stigma of socialism has been removed from our social context. They are talking more openly about the topic which is good—because it allows us to finally deal with the excessive problem that collective based cultures face and how it impacts their national GDP. Here is the comment as printed.
Doesn’t Boeing earn a healthy profit every year? If so, why cannot they pay their workers decent wages and provide decent pension options. If a company was not profitable or earning low profits, then your article would be justifiable but when it come to very large corporation who make millions in profit every year, I think the workers should expect decent wages, working hours, good working conditions, etc. Further, please do not confuse Socialism with Communism, they are not interchangeable. For example, Social Democratic countries in Europe are mostly democratic capitalistic countries with social values that protect the workers from exploitation. That is the future and once we keep evolving, we will realize profits are not the main aim for humanity but evolution. Evolve to be able to travel to other planets, advances in medicine so that we can live for 400 – 800 years, where the whole planet is connected and basics needs are free for everyone (i.e. food, housing, clothing, etc.) and profits are made by advances in technology which compete with open source technologies. There is enough on this planet for double or even triple today’s population but greed has led to social/economic inequalities. We have to evolve as we are not much better than animals with basic technology. Reason for life would be to evolve as humanity, not hoard for the next generation.
Here is the problem with what he said, Boeing has one primary objective, it makes airplanes—the best airplanes that it can and their profits are a product of the successful implementation of that objective. The employees are there to serve the needs of the business so that Boeing can achieve its stated goals. If Boeing needs to secure its workforce to retain their skills and reduce unneeded employee turnover, then the company needs to pay what they need to in market value to retain those employees—through benefits, work hours, etc. Boeing does not exist to be a job provider—their primary purpose is not to provide sustainable jobs to the people who work for the company, and the employees are not equal partners in the productive enterprise. They show up to work, punch the clock, do their task, and they return home to do whatever they desire with their earnings exchanged for their labor. The mistake that socialists and communists make is that they assume that a job is collectively owned and that they are equal partners in providing labor to a marketplace. They completely ignore the tendency of free-enterprise for which the founders and ownership of Boeing participate in to assume all the risk of a profitable venture and that any disproportionate rate of pay which might be enjoyed at the top—by CEOs and the board of directors, is that the risk of success or failure is completely on their shoulders so the greatest rewards are garnered by them alone. In a capitalist society—which is what America is supposed to be—income is directly linked to the amount of risk assumed by an individual. And by risk it is attributed to the level of responsibility for task completion that a worker possesses.
Under collective bargaining agreements unions have destroyed the value of a good wage because everyone gets it no matter what they bring to the table of productive enterprise or the level of risk assumed by individuals. The lackluster sloth that only has a passion for video games once they are off work can make as much money as the person who desires to work through all their breaks to achieve more productivity at work and continues to work long after everyone sleeps for the night. What happens as a result is that you get fewer of the latter and much, much more of the former regarding employee behavior. If you have ever done business with a French company you get a taste of what I’m talking about. In France, which is a heavily socialist country, the emphasis isn’t on productive output in most cases; it’s on personal time and vacation periods incurred. There is very little passion among the French workforce to complete tasks because they take the products for which they manufacture for granted. They believe they are all equal contributors to output. As a result, most of their workforces are planning their two months of vacation each year instead of thinking about accomplishing the task of productive enterprise, and their nation suffers as a result. Human beings are driven by the opportunity to profit and when employees see that they can get ahead in life and that profit is there for them if they do well; they tend to find ways to be productive. But if they get paid regardless of whether strategic product objectives are fulfilled or not—they tend to perpetually plan for their lunch breaks and vast amounts of vacation time that they incur as a result of their socialist underpinnings.
All this European socialism which emerged from the communist plunge taken early in the last century is derived from Immanuel Kant’s philosophy which has spread like a disease across the world. While many don’t consider the collectivist theory to be reminiscent of communism, it is a direct byproduct of small “c” communism without the ruthless dictators. America’s plunge toward socialism is directly the fault of labor unions which have been functioning under communist oriented sentiment for decades and 7 years of a presidency that openly beholds the softer European versions of collective bargaining at the first sign of a sizeable profit margin.
The failure in understanding is that money is a unit of measure and not of actual value. To fall in love with money or profit and base a philosophy on it is like basing the value of a measurement off a yard stick and not the thing being measured. By itself a yard stick, a ruler, or anything resembling a measuring instrument has little value until it is used to measure the height and width of something. In relation to those results, we might say something is bad or good based on the dimensional characteristics. Profit is a measurement of a company’s’ financial success, it is not a pool of money meant to be equally distributed among a mass workforce.
Collective bargaining has muddied the water of free enterprise and made it so that companies hoard their profit to protect themselves from mass employee insurrections such as layoffs and disproportional yearly increases not rooted in value toward a company’s actual worth. A line worker does not have equal value to the risk takers at the top. They may physically work harder as the line worker, but they get to leave at the end of a work day relatively free of responsibility—so the input toward a company’s wealth is not equal. The executive at the top of a company worries about the health of the company usually 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Sure they play golf with clients, go out to eat and get to travel around the world, but it’s not all fun and games—the stress they endure is not proportionally distributed among those enjoying collective bargaining benefits. That is why the executive likely earns six figures for a 50 to 60 hour work week while the hourly worker has to work 70 to 80 hours of overtime to receive the same. However at Boeing, members of their machinist union are easily compensated at the six figure range as seen at the link below—and most of them are not exceptional employees by any measure—they are average and can only achieve such high rates of pay because the health of the company has been able to sustain it without leaving for another country where they can protect their profit margins. The union and the collective bargaining that the company has to endure due to socialist policies never stops asking for more money and Boeing is at a point where they are seriously balancing out whether or not to out-source all their work because the collective bargaining agreements are too unreasonable—and they are at a tipping point.
The concept of collective bargaining is a faulty one; it is a socialist concept that should not be in any American business. It’s not wrong for a line worker to make six figures if they outwork all their peers—but when all boats are forced to rise together the incentive to be better than the next worker, or to learn and endure more for the productive enterprise of a successful business is taken away, what we get is lackluster performance that ultimately makes that company less competitive. The only reason that the United States has endured with these socialist policies as long as they have is because most of the world isn’t any better off. America is still the best option for a company like Boeing because it is close to the end-user of their products and the labor pool is relatively stable for the high-tech jobs they require. But that doesn’t make it right and at some point in the near future we either have to reject outright the socialist collective bargaining concept for the good of our national GDP, or we will gradually lose more and more manufacturing until only service oriented businesses remain. And that is where America stands in 2016—dangerously close to the edge of oblivion.
So while the commenter above was right about the tail end of his observations—about the direction of the human race—he isn’t quite there regarding the motivations for getting there. If we expect entrepreneurs to continue evolving and driving the marketplace forward, we need to take the shackles off them and not expect them to carry all of society forward with little to no profit incentive. Boeing does not owe its profits to the workers—the workers are compensated based on their value—at least they should be. The collective bargaining agreements under their labor contracts are excessively burdensome and will eventually destroy the company just as insects acting as parasitic entities on a nice healthy tree will eventually kill it for their own sustenance. Socialism is a concept that must be rejected at every level—especially at Boeing and the Seattle region in general. Socialism only benefits the lazy and unproductive and holds back the efforts of the exceptional. But it is the exceptional that drives mankind forward, and that is a concept that every socialist and student of if ignores—which is why under any name that they call it—collectivism destroys culture—it doesn’t enhance it.
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