Thursday, April 23, 2009

Would Boeing REALLY leave?

I just read a piece by Jon Talton in the Seattle Times where he seems to want to call Boeing's bluff about pulling up stakes on its manufacturing operation and heading for the warmer — both weatherwise as well as business friendly — climate of the right-to-work southern states. Places like South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are all gearing up to compete to lure our state's largest manufacturer.

Meanwhile our Governor and Legislature continue to pass more anti-business legislation as a matter of course.

Is it just me, or are they completely clueless?

Boeing has been asking for a more competitive business climate since I've lived here — which is almost 35 years now. Location IS A CHOICE for major manufacturing corporations. We offer very little in the way reasons for major manufacturing companies like Boeing to remain here — and less every day the legislature is in session.

Each Boeing job supports more than three other jobs. Boeing leaving — whch could happen as soon as 2020 according to more than one report — would cost the state approximately 285,000 total jobs.

You can demonize Boeing, and the southern right-to-work states that will do what's necessary to entice those 285,000 jobs, all you want. But the bottom line is, if you think this state has financial problems now, just take those jobs away and all the sales tax revenue they generate, combined with 285,000 more people drawing the highest unemployment compensation in the nation, and see how much worse it gets.

Its time the Legislature and the Governor to wake up and smell the Starbucks. Someone in Olympia needs to take the time to actually do the math on the possibility of 285,000 more unemployed, and start listening more to the pro-business groups who want to save those jobs, and less to the strident labor unions who simply want "more," as well as the vocal environmental extremists who care more about trees than they do about workers and their families.

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