Both of my non-Episcopalian readers are now gone, bored by two solid weeks of all Bishop’s race all the time. So now for something completely different: Boeing comes to South Carolina. Like everybody else with a Twitter account my inbox quickly filled up Wednesday with dozens of messages from politicos taking credit for bringing “3800 jobs to South Carolina.”
I am wondering if any of them know what it is exactly they are buying for 25 times the sum they spend on early education through First Steps. I wonder if any of them know the history of the plane airline industry insiders call the “7-late-7?” I wonder if they know that the plane has never flown and that production has been plagued by a nearly endless series of problems, from design flaws to sub-contractors that never seem to deliver.I wonder if they know that Boeing has lost billions on the non-existent plane from contract penalties for non-delivery? No, probably not. And even if they did, these are people who keep taking about lower taxes and smaller government as the solution to everything, except when it isn’t.
All they saw was a big company in search of cheap labor and no union presence. So they put on their lipstick, fishnet stockings and blue eye-liner for the boys from Boeing, hiked up their skirt and planted a big wet kiss on their mouth. But you have to wonder, what kind of company would dump the community it had literally grown up with since 1916? Why would they be loyal to South Carolina, when they know that we are so desperate that we will spend money we don’t even have to seduce them? The good news is that I can now laugh out loud when one of our elected officials tells me that he or she is committed to “putting taxpayers first.”
I hope that the $450 million welfare check (Does that come with food stamps, too?) for Boeing’s stockholders actually does create the promised 3,800 jobs. I hope that the 787 Dreamliner is more than a waste of tax dollars that we can ill afford to spend on dreams. But I have an uneasy feeling that this is like Ford announcing that its new model, the Edsel, will not be made in Dearborn, but in the sleepy Southern port of Charleston.