Outsourcing vs. Outsourcing

Boeing is complaining today (yes, I'm flipping my bracelet) that the military tanker deal should have gone to them because Airbus/Northrup Grumman will outsource it. The Boeing guy's argument is that the people making the planes (somewhere in Europe) haven't always agreed with our nation and may, in the future, withhold parts and planes. I don't know exactly which European country is involved, but I wonder how far back in history he had to go to make that statement.

Boeing Guy clearly doesn't know that Boeing itself builds planes made of foreign parts. That would be parts which were outsourced because they could be made more cheaply in other countries, by non-American employees. Countries which may decide at any time to withhold parts if they don't agree with US politics. Sure, it's assembled here, but India could just as easily quit shipping the parts. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the all US producers of airplanes and automobilies use at least some outsourced parts. This same argument has long been used by Harley owners as a measure of how superior their bikes are to Japanese ones. The trick is that a higher percentage of parts on Harleys are made in Japan than the percentage of Japanese parts on my Japanese bike. My "German" car isn't actually made in Germany either and neither are all of its parts.

If you want to follow the argument that doing business with countries or even companies which were once against the US, we should definitely not be doing business with Mitsubishi. You see Mitsubishi has also been in the aeronautical industry. Their best known model was the Zero, a nifty little fighter plane which was used extensively in attacks on Pearl Harbor and Midway. Mitsubishi also built several very effective bombers. Following WWII, they re-tooled and refocused their energies, building up their fledgling automobile production and expanding into other industries. There's a Mitsubishi automotive plant 45 minutes from where I used to live in Illinois that employs a couple thousand US citizens. I imagine Boeing Guy would find that a bad thing too.

I also don't buy the argument that the US military should only use US producers. Frankly, if you can get a better product at a better price from somewhere else, the US producers need to look at how they're doing things rather than whine about not being picked. Funny how Boeing never complained about the contract selection process before, isn't it? I seriously hope that Congress leaves this one alone. The U.S. may once have led the aeronautical engineering world in skill and quality, but, as has been noted in other technical industries, we're not producing college graduates with the necessary skills any more. Perhaps the gutting of educational funding from elementary school on is FINALLY having an impact. Perhaps the de-emphasis of science and critical thinking because it's not on the school performance tests is finally having the predicted impact on the abilities of the student that is produced. Perhaps the mental laziness of the TV generations is having an impact too. (Thinking takes effort, you know, and we just don't like that. We want *easy* and we'd really like to have it done for us.)

Aggravating Comment of the Week:
"Why can't these people just get over it? Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed 4o years ago and people are still upset." --from the mouth of a *MEMPHIS* DJ. I wonder if anybody will point out to him his silly wailings about Elvis being dead or that people sure don't seem to have gotten over the dead folks on D-Day or getting over JFK or RFK being killed either. Seems to me like a 40 year anniversary (that give you at least one generation past the event), is a fine time to compare the current state of race relations/civil rights today to how things were in 1968 during the sanitation workers strike.

And you know what? MLK, Jr. didn't complain. He didn't talk about how screwed up things were now and rant/rave about the establishment. He talked about how things might be in the future. How they could be in the future. "I have a dream....." Bet he didn't have to flip his bracelet much.


Popular Posts