686 Comments
Mar 21Liked by Robert Reich

Boeing is perfect paradigm of capitalism gone amok. When deregulation outstrips innovation and quality control, bad things happen.

We saw this when W Bush gutted the SEC and allowed “mark to model” accounting practices; eventually leading to the downfall of Enron, and ultimately Wall Street in 2007-08.

We saw how deregulation of the transportation industry led to the railroad calamity in Palestine, Ohio and other avoidable collisions.

Or the poisoning of the water in Asheville, NC when Duke Energy accidentally released toxic coal ash into the Dan River.

We need an equilibrium between good regulations and no regulations, and unfortunately, we can’t allow corporations to police themselves any longer .

Regulators and politicians have become too cozy with the industries they are supposed to be policing, while the SC allows unlimited money in politics.

Something has to give, and soon! Companies like Boeing are playing with fire, and the cost is human life’s.

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Robert, that is what makes me ill!! The fact that a human life means nothing to these corporations, Wall Street, and the ultra rich!! I value life because you only get one and these people have been accessories to murder in the lives taken because of their lack of concern for safety and quality control. The lives lost because of this can never be replaced!! Imagine, taking a flight to visit family, start a job, see new sights and in a moment - gone!! It just makes me sick!

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Unfortunately, we almost practice “unfettered free market capitalism.” It’s like the Wild West.

We always wonder why our regulatory bodies fail us when we need them most. It’s because of SC rulings that allow unlimited money in politics, which essentially makes bribery legal.

We saw during the opioid crisis that Congress refused to allow the DEA to monitor the shipments of opioids by pharmaceutical companies. This led to the opioid epidemic that we currently face. It’s the same for every industry which allows companies to do their own studies on the effects of pollution, water contamination, toxins in the air after hazardous chemicals are released into the air (ie. methane and fracking).

It’s a never ending battle between citizens rights, and a companies right to destroy our environment and create an environment that allows companies to literally get away with murder…:)

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Robert, the solution would be to put in place strong guardrails against these companies and placed on Wall Street as well. We, the people, need to take back what these corporations have taken over. I feel the best way to do that is to vote blue in November up and down the ballot!

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Agreed, the problem is the lobbyists, SC and republicans. Even if you can get a solid bill passed by Congress, it’s only a matter of time before the lobbyists gut the bill in future legislation, or republicans take the reins of power, and overturn many regulatory guardrails through executive orders.

Or we have the fascist court sides with Big Business, and overturns any government intervention through lawsuits initiated in red states using friendly judges…:)

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See, Robert, that's what frustrates me!! For every step we take to stop the lobbyists, Supreme Court, and republicans from doing away with effective legislation that puts strong guardrails in place, they swoop in and overturn or change the regulatory guardrails!! One step forward for us and then three steps back from them!! It is ridiculous!! How will we ever make progress when this keeps occurring?

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Peggy, while TFG raves about cutting regulations, and the R’s love it.

I’m against lousy regulations. Raise your hand, anybody, if you love lousy regulations…

NOW, raise your hand if you LOVE great regulations that help us to create and preserve a responsive government and safer society!!!

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Well, now we have no option but to win by landslides every election for the foreseeable future. The truth, justice & Constitution are all firmly on our side. So we must effectively spread the truth everywhere, seek full justice, & apply the Constitution, & impeach, expel or otherwise remove judges & legislators who refuse.

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Planes are high profile used only by the top half of wealthier Americans. 251,000 Americans die annually of medical error.

The scientist inventor of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy wrote a 5 million bestselling science workbook:"... one of the world's most demanding jobs... is that of air traffic controller... I wonder, however, if that job is more taxing than mine. After all, the pilots are cooperative and intend... to land safely. But the ships I guide are sometimes on an intentional crash course."

In 2018 there were plans to kill 6 million Americans by suicide. I call this the"Annual American Holocaust." The law requires the authorities to test and retest suicidal people but 89% of America's psychologists refuse to test... even when the test has been shortened to 20 seconds. They all failed a licensing test and were licensed anyway.

Subscribe for details 😁 but only if you're ready to serve on our Focus Group 😁

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You’re not alone…:)

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Boeing is in Washington State? Two Democrat US Senators. What outrage are they expressing? Particularly in a Democrat-controlled Senate.

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Just one more reason we have to win. To protect American democracy, reach out to millions of unregistered likely Democrats using a dedicated database using every outreach method possible (phone and text, postcard, email and targeted ad, and in-person too), where new Democratic voters will make the most impact – in the most flippable states and districts.

https://www.fieldteam6.org/actions

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The Democrats don't seem to be interested in doing anything to stop the rich from destroying our lives. They seem to be enjoying the lobbying jobs they get after leaving office too.

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Boeing is in Washington State? Two Democrat US Senators. What outrage are they expressing? Particularly in a Democrat-controlled Senate.

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The triumph of the Conservative Revolution is almost complete.

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Merely being a Democrat doesn't mean you have a white hat and horse. There's a ton of Democrats owned by corporate powers, too.

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Totally agree. We’ve seen it all the time. The difference though is one party’s agenda is nominating judges that are business friendly, destroying healthcare, destroying unions, minimum wage, extending child labor hours, etc…

The democrats try to protect these things as a party. So do the lobbyists get to them easily; you betcha! Look no further than Sinema and Manchin.

Although the lobbyists do pick off enough democrats at times to kill the intent of the legislation, but that usually occurs when a company in a particular industry employs a lot of people in those districts…:)

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I live in Seattle, once the 2nd home of Boeing before relocating again to - I don't remember where - . And our Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are doing a pretty good job (as far as I can tell) avoiding lobbyist influences. However I once worked (I'm a retired landscaper) for a client who was a lobbyist - of what I never found out - but he & wife lived pretty 'high off the hog'.

So, Robert Jaffee, I do get your point about (some) Dems being just as susceptible as - the opposition - to lobbyist influences.

But, IMO, waiting, waiting, until the next election to - vote in 'blue' candidates - may effectively too late to accomplish the desired results. Too much can happen in the meantime - and too much of it outside most peoples control ~

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Truth.

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Thanks, Robert, you said it so much better than I ever could!!

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Too many of them are, & they still dominate the Democratic Party. Even so, never have the 2 parties been so different from each other, as the Republican Party goes full fascist. We're at a critical juncture in our history that Germany faced in the early 1930s, & they chose the wrong path, well, at least a deciding powerful minority did. Let's not make the same mistake. In fact, let's not even be wavering or indecisive. Let's be totally united for the full prosecution of government traitors & a crushing blow to MAGA & all Republicans.

Every Republican is to the right of every Democrat in Congress. Romney, solid conservative, smack in the middle of his party when he ran in 2012, without changing his views at all, is now the farthest left Republican member of Congress.

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Corporations play one state against another. Higher pay in one state leads to a company moving to another state. This why corporate interests support Republicans, who in turn oppose federal regulation of corporations.

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The ol' divide and conquer game.

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THIS 🡡

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And a Supreme Court that has allowed the buying of Congressional and other seats in government, even the Supreme Court itself! and here we are, anxious about losing our Democratic Republic to a madman, criminal who can't even manage his own assets!

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Another reason we have to win!

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Maybe we need to blame ourselves for voting in monsters like Ronald Reagan who broke up the unions to achieve higher profits and stopped regulatory agencies like the FTC from regulating . . . And our current Supreme Court has thrown another bone to corporations by further reducing federal regulatory power.

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People are susceptible to bull shit, tell them what they want to hear and they will put the ring in their nose

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Greed is destroying humanity and the planet. I often think about King Midas......

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When personal gain becomes the highest value of a society, responsibility goes out the window, and the whole society is endangered. Rapid economic growth produces feeding frenzies; everybody tries to get as much as possible before the loot is gone; discipline and responsibility become obstacles, and long-term consequences are ignored. In the 1990s the US experienced very rapid economic growth, much of it attained at the expense of American workers. So, here we are.

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This is a fantastic article and comment. I could not have done better myself

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Thank you…:)

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Amen to that, Robert Jaffee.

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About twenty years ago there was a big scandal over tires blowing up and people dying. Most of the tires went on Ford SUVs. All the tires were American-made, and the workers at the plants where they were produced knew the tires were defective, but they didn't care.

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If management does not care, then no matter how much the (so called lowly) workers care, it does not matter.

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It isn't "unfettered capitalism", it's crony capitism favoring the wishes of the rich. "Unfettered capitalism" only applies here to the middle class/poor. Look at our bankrupcy laws, for example. All is heavily skewed now to help the wealthy "no matter what", while "the h*ll with the rest of you".

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This is how all those corporate types utilize us. Note the single shed tear in the end. Thats all we get.

https://youtu.be/nXIdmW4Hau0?si=YemmWSOxWzheD6dV

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I agree 💯 it’s disgusting when we keep discovering that to become a billionaire someone’s going to die from the billionaire mindset.😡😡😡😡

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I like that phrase 'billionaire mindset'. For them, it is all about the money and to hell with lives lost to acquire it!!

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Exactly 😤

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Well said Robert. Boeing is also the perfect example of what happens when regulations on capitalism are relaxed. Corporations want less federal interference, but this is what the public gets when the federal government backs off and when profit becomes the goal. Also when unions are weakened.

The average American simply wants to work everyday in a job that pays well enough to live a comfortable lifestyle and allows them to do a job they can be proud of. Only unions, in our current corporate economy can force that hand...and can assure safety in a dangerous game of profits before quality.

I agree we need to reach back into our past, not of the days of redlining and women and people of color having no rights...but back to the days when unions and federal regulations were the driving force behind corporate accountability and public safety.

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In Boeing’s case, this downfall had nothing to do with regulations. It started when the fine engineering company, that Boeing was, bought McDonald Douglas and let their management style take over. Going to a more bottom line thought process. And here we are!

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This what happens when financial gain becomes the top priority. You may also recall that the auto industry went belly up in 2008.

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No company will survive long without profitability.

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No. But, if you keep putting people’s lives at risk because of your bottom line, you’ll cease to exist at some point. Having been a research scientist in the implantable medical device industry for 35 years, creating new technologies, I know full well what the cost of quality can be. I have seen other device companies go under because too many people died because of either their technical incompetence or their dwell in the bottom line. The first question you ask yourself is, would I put this in a loved one’s body. A lot of passengers are screening their flights to see if it’s on a Boeing Max. And Boeings problems don’t end with that plane. It’s up and down the plane list. THAT’S a management issue. Exactly what Ed Pierson told me via LinkedIn. Ed is an ex Boeing manager and a whistleblower.

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Thx, John. I figure that with any complicated piece of aviation the problem is the combination of technical incompetence as well as the bottom line. BTW, I was reading a news article this morning about Airbus, in which their CEO said that they're aware that they could be circling the safety perception drain just like Boeing. Just waiting for an incident to hit the news. I seem to recall one of AirBus' newish planes in the late 90s losing an entire vertical fin on takeoff because of a defect in the carbon fiber layup.

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I was not aware of the Airbus comments. Thank you Winslow. When the Max issue first occurred, the first place I searched for info was from Seattle based reporters who knew their stuff. What I learned was that at the time, even the Boeing engineering team saw fit to allow a single angle of attack sensor via their Failure Mode and Effects Analysis review (FMEA). The MCAS flight pitch system, that was brand new and not known to those flying said planes for commercial companies, was then reliant on a single angle of attack sensor, that if failed or giving wrong readings to maintain flight pitch. Well, the only problem was, such sensors can fail or give inaccurate readings. That a supposedly skilled team of engineers would not ask themselves, what could go wrong if that single sensor didn’t function properly? A simple low cost backup that wasn’t employed. I confirmed this with Ed Pierson, a former Boeing manager and Max whistleblower.

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Reach farther back into the past. People would have loved to take for granted that milk would not contain chalk or give you tuberculosis. Libertarians, be aware today we have the freedom, the liberty to buy food without fear, thanks to regulations.

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In my career in public health...I managed a maternal child health clinic. Everytime someone commented negatively about federal agency requirements....I would tell them....oh you should be grateful for agencies like OSHA. Then I would explain that it was OSHA that required me to track and certify the clinic's medical waste disposal. It required me to track clinic health and safety protocols and every two or three years I had to allow a external evaluator to assess our operations in order to remain credentialed....but also that assured my clinic was a good community member and wasn't exposing the city and county residents to medical contamination.

It was time consuming and it wasn't cheap. But we accepted the restrictions, rolled them into our operations and did a good job of it.

Don't tell me that industries like oil and gas and Boeing can self regulate. Because they won't. We may not have done all we could either....even knowing how dangerous medical waste could be.

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Susan, thank you for your personal story. And for your service! And OSHA. Regulations can be argued about, weakened, removed, or strengthened because they are on the record. Self-regulation is like the Wild West. I can’t see why the profit motive should be allowed to govern matters of life and death.

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Well said…:)

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Robert, this is not capitalism. Wealth of Nations says it better than I could.

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True, but like I said, it’s capitalism run amok, and it all comes back to Adam Smith, and his conundrum of the struggle between “inner man”; the ability for man to distinguish his or others actions, with an individual’s struggle for self-preservation, and its larger effects in terms of the long-run evolution of society…:)

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founding

For many who work or have worked as skilled tradespersons for any manufacturer in the last fifty years, it’s all been a slippery downhill slope except for profit takers. As reported numerous times in the daily letters on this Substack, the common good is getting more uncommon. As horrible as it sounds, there is the possibility that airplane safety will continue to worsen so long as making a buck remains front and centre in manufacturers like Boeing. Anyone who has seen episodes of television shows that document air crashes usually it comes down to a combination of events that culminate in a disaster. Many of us who have flown a lot have seen the industry go down in quality in every way. Flying using American carriers has been a mixed bag of nuts for a long time, including no more mixed nuts. If you’re flying around the continental US and sometimes you feel like cattle being driven by ex-short and long-haul truckers, you’re not alone. One advantage for some over perceived pitfalls in the aviation industry is flying less because it’s not a pleasant experience in any class. Even if Congress stopped rewarding corporate greed and mismanagement and imposed more fines on infractions, the airlines would pass that on the flyer. Fly as little as possible, have your affairs in order, and buckle up because it will be a bumpy flight for a long time.

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Much of the blame is pointed at Boeing, and they deserve it, but,l the airlines have contracted the maintenance out to badly qualified non union unskilled workers who on one plane while changing belly skin installed it with the wrong rivets and oversized the holes so bad when they realized they're mistakes decided to leave it and fly it that way.

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It is worse than that Shawn. scheduled periodic maintenance, where the plane is essentially overhauled is contracted out to El Salvador, where the people who work on it can't read or speak England, and don't need to because the tech manual is in the office, and they are trained to do one or two jobs. Lesson learned from the assembly line, where skill and literacy are not required.

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It also went to China

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"The concept of laissez-faire in economics is a staple of free-market capitalism. The theory suggests that an economy is strongest when the government stays out of the economy entirely, letting market forces behave naturally."

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Yes, we do have a free market. It’s called The Jungle. Who wants to live in the jungle?

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Sloths, apes and orangutans. So pretty much all of MAGA!

No offense to all the lovely jungle animals out there…:)

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Many of us do not. That is merely a quote

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If one watches YouTube, there are any number of Y.T. posters who DO

want and DO LIVE in the jungle - primitively (wrecking even more havoc

on the environment building their 'off-grid' "kingdoms"....

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Michael, it IS capitalism whenever Wall Street extracts every last penny of profit from a business deal so that the investors maximize their wealth at the expense of every other stakeholder and society at large.

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The system envisaged by Smith included progressive taxation, a) to prevent anyone becoming so rich that they could buy the government and conspire against the public interest, and b) use the money to spend on infrastructure, e.g. roads, schools, bridges, etc., that the capitalist has no interest in.

We used to have this in the years before Reagan, now we have a government that is owned by the wealthiest, which is designed to minimize regulation and maximize profits.

It all goes back to those massive GOP tax cuts of Reagan, W, and Trump. It may be irreversible....

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Hey Michael in Chicago...remember when McBoing Boing moved their HQ to Chicago? Fizzle.

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Everyone thought that was nuts - Boeing was Seattle and Illinois was hardly a low tax State. Another brilliant move was GE from Ct. to Boston. Ma. Is hardly a tax haven and has anyone heard of GE since ? The quality control issue is a different matter. Air traffic controller burnout is a different matter. Lapsing and weakening FAA regulations are another problem. I live in Southwest Florida and everyday these intricate and magnificent machines discharge and take on hundreds of people and I see them and now know that a vital part ( and all parts on a plane are vital)was outsourced to Malaysia to save a buck. How comforting. This must be what capitalism has degraded to in part. Somehow the human factor achieved after the labor unions successful fight to preserve the safety and importance of the workers in this capitalistic production waned. I remember when labor union heads became members of corporate boards and it was a sham that these 2 naturally antagonistic forces could coexist at the same table. I also remember when we were all sold a bill of goods called “ outsourcing”. Has anyone had to sit for an hour and explain your utility bill to “Sam” in India ? Or worse, a computer ? Can anyone really believe that the captain actually walks around the plane and visually inspects it and talks to maintenance ?

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recent experience = calling my Ins co only to get a 'pay here AI recording' that I continued to have problems with, asking to talk to an 'operator' only to get shunted to a call center in Manila, P.I. or another time to an 'agent' in TX who then shunted me to another 'agent' in FL. No end of corporate

cheapening down while proclaiming to be 'saving $'. Those savings are NOT being passed along to me ~ that I've seen = excuse = 'inflation' .

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Did you all read the book, "den of thieves"?

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Michael--Very true.

But, one needs to read Adam Smith in context. He was writing at a time of many struggling local businesses that were being exploited in many ways by the big Crown companies.

If this seems familiar, it should. The American and Western Europen economies have evolved to a similar state. There is economic feudalism and sharecropping (franchisng) for small players and "platform" companies at the top. Boeing is a moden-day equivalent of a Crown trading company. It has huge defense contracts and has been protected at every turn at the WTO by the U.S. government.

We now see the results.

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This is exactly capitalism 🤡

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It's the Amerikkkan version of unfettered capitalism, the one in which the morbidly wealthy plutocrat & kleptocrat oligarchs who own the Unjust States of Amerikkka (USA) act out their insatiable greed creed of "Everything for me & nothing for anybody else".

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"The concept of laissez-faire in economics is a staple of free-market capitalism. The theory suggests that an economy is strongest when the government stays out of the economy entirely, letting market forces behave naturally."

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True, and it works until it doesn’t. Case in point; the Great Recession, when government intervention was necessary to keep our economy afloat.

Capitalism works. Unfettered free market capitalism is basically survival of the fittest, in which the markets will “supposedly rid itself of bad actors. This has proven to be an albatross against fair competition and capitalism. We practice a combination of crony capitalism and unfettered capitalism.

And Unfortunately, in many cases, the government becomes the vessel that allows bad actors to participate and thrive….:)

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For sure

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The Tories are doing the same in the UK.

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Back at the turn of the 20th century Marxists and others referred to it as "finance capitalism" and believed that it would brig about the collapse of capitalism, but nothing of the sort happened. Instead fiance capitalism thrived and facilitated economic growth, which can in turn lead to speculation and crises. The 1929 and 2088 crises could have been averted with better controls. Today, finance capitalism is fueling global worming, and this may be its final crisis.

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I never refer to Bush ii without " the moron W"

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Professor Reich provides a fascinating platform for all us to discuss and share key insights.

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Robert — and you flagged the precise problem with righting these wrong — allowing SO MUCH unregulated money in politics.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21

Robert Jaffee : Cost of lives, and maybe business, ultimately!

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Excellent words Mr. Jaffee

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Robert,

Exactly. Boeing used to be proud to be! It was a center of perfection in Seattle.

We who flew Pan Am in days of regulating safety felt secure. Slowly but surely over the years of many administrations out sourcing started to break up the solid “family value” that company families depended on. We saw it in every aspect. Cleaners on airlines were part of our Pan Am elites. Then over time out sourced workers came on board and took anything they thought wouldn’t be noticed…. Capitalism all by itself is exactly what we have today. It is spelled GREED for the few. Quality went out the door. Regulation plus capitalism makes for a solid working plan. It has been proven .

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Agreed, and the safety regulations have been relaxed to such an extent that it affects every industry. If lobbyists can’t change a law, then they try to gut funding for that particular industries enforcement agency.

Remember when we could drink water from a tap? No one does it anymore because we can’t trust the water is t contaminated.

Today we pay more for a liter of bottled water, than we pay for a gallon of gas. And no one speaks up because we’ve become so used to paying for things that we used to get for free, that we just act like sheeple, and accept it.be don’t question why our air is polluted, our water supply is poisoned. It’s as though, we just take it for granted that government is useless or corrupt….:)

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founding

It’s cheaper to pay death claims than it is to order a recall. That is the cold corporate mentality. Why is Boeing such a shitty company? Absent effective regulation and external controls, corporate leadership does not give a shit.

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Exactly, a lesson America learned well from the Ford Pinto…:)

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The irony is that Wall Street's pressure to maximize shareholder value and managements focus on cutting costs at the expense of quality, customer service, and labor relations fails investors in the long run. Sustainable long term profits come from repeat customers who bring their friends. Customers will pay more for "much better" and ditch you for shoddy, dangerous, or worse. The best CEOs focus on delighting customers and taking care of their employees. Succeeding at those will give investors a nice ride.

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founding

GM had a major fiasco with ignition switches not all that long ago.

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Agreed, but the switches didn’t cost lives. The Ford Pinto would explode on impact with another car collision. And instead of recalling the cars that were affected, the Ford beancounters decided it was cheaper to pay out the death claims.

That is the definition of capitalism run amok. And no one was held accountable.

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Let’s not forget something more recent: Tesla Autopilot. How many have died from that?

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Excellent point…:)

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Do you mean "Lives"?

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Yes, thank you for the correction…:)

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Dan, one thing. The Dan River isn’t near Asheville thank goodness. The French Broad does. Counties downstate were affected by that godawful Dan River spill. Otherwise you make great points. This is the future republican playbook via the Supreme Court; to gut the federal regulation agencies that will open the huge can of unregulated entities onto the American public.

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Thanks for the clarification. I thought I read it that way…:)

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And in my view your point is exact why we cannot allow the government to control (openly or sneakily) social media

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Robert ,

Yes , regulators have become too

cozy with the industries they are supposed to regulate - partly because of the revolving door that

allows the regulator to ultimately serve as a VP or better in the company they formerly regulated.

Also as RR points out , when the

bean counters take over the board room , bad things start to happen.

Hitting Wall Street’s earnings per share targets become more important than safety issues - and we see what happens.

I remember when Boeing was a

“ Built to Last “ company in that

great book by Poras & Collins -

with the BHAG ( big hairy audacious goal ) of betting the farm ( so to speak) on the 747 . My - how they

have fallen short in the era of mindless profits at the center of the universe .

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All capitalism ends up here.

Shareholder greed cares not for human life

#GOPtraitors

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It doesn't have to. What we see here is the MittRomneyfication of American industry by corporations like Bain Capital and McKinsey https://www.youtube.com/watchv=AiOUojVd6xQ, which began around the time Ronald Reagan turned his back on Adam Smith, tried to drown government in the bathtub, and allowed Wall Street to run things. Same with GE and Jack Welch.

The Germans have an economic system Smith would have approved of. Come to think of it, so do most Europeans.

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And Jack Welch was a freaking master of gaslighting. Noooo, he said, Corporations would never ever do anything immoral or injurious to health. My, what big teeth Grandma had! The better to eat us with.

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Succinct and to the point. The only thing missing is the complicity of the Democrats. After all they too are happy to take Wall Street's money.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21

Republicans invented taking bribes from business ; They stacked the courts and made it legal with Citizens United.

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Troll?

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Is that the best you can do? Is what I wrote not true?

I did not say the Dems & Reps are identical, just that both are captives of Wall Street. Examples abound. For instance the response to the 2008 financial crisis. Or don't you remember

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How's the weather in Vladivostok?

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Well I would admit that there many people who have some amount of money invested in the very Corporations that are problematic within this discussion. That does not mean we agree with everything they do or say or believe in.

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The sameism fails here.

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Does it though ?

This is the same party that told us we didn't deserve single payer [real] Healthcare, then proceeded to lose to Trump.

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Your lens is foggy. Return to the facts. The Dems didn’t fail us; corporate lobbying did.

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PAODCFL. Your logic is faulty. Lobbyists can only fail, when they don't deliver the goods they are paid to deliver. It is the pol's that they buy that fail the public. We can't blame the lobbyists, they are doing what they are paid to do, we can and do blame the politicians that the lobbyists buy.

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The lobbyists are paid shills who represent their clients. Someone failed us, the public. You can assign the blame, but I see it as participatory.

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So I guess you let off the people who pay the bribes ,and go after the people who take the bribes ?

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Potato... Potato? I mean, aren't they also taking the cash? Happy to be wrong!! But I feel "big tent" Dems are a huge part of the issue, yes along with the GOP obv.

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All politicians are complicit, some are better at spinning the truth.

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Can you share more details on what you see?

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The key statement in this essay is "The new crop of Boeing executives came to their posts from the financial side of the industry rather than from careers in production". Boeing has gradually gone from an engineering company to a financial/b-school company. In my opinion the solution to Boeing's current problems is the wholesale replacement of senior executives with people who come out of engineering and production. Do you really want a high paid bean counter making technical decisions?

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I don't want a highly paid bean-counter making medical decisions for me either, so why would I want one making technical decisions on planes and vehicles that I must trust for the safety of myself and my family?

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But we do have highly paid bean-counters making medical decisions for us. This essay about "shitty" Boeing reminds me of the shitty nursing homes I worked for, including the one I organized with the Teamsters in 1997.

The administrator is hired by the owners and usually has a six month contract which is only renewed if he makes a profit for the owners. Usually a "he", hires the DON who is responsible for patient care, but has little to no authority concerning the number and quality of staff, and is blamed and fired if the facility gets fines and doesn't make a profit. The staff, usually single mothers who desperately need their jobs, earn very little and usually don't last long enough to get any promised benefits due to being blamed and fired for everything about patient care that they can't possibly keep up with due to the staff patient ratio. Staff turnover keeps salaries and benefits lower, but is devastating for patient care which depends on the staff knowing the names of and required care of the residents.

The regulators jobs are threatened by the administrator who belongs to a nursing home lobbying organization that donates to state candidates. The administrators work together to notifiy each other when regulators are nearby so they can expect the "surprise" inspections. Additional staff are hired a month or so before the expected inspections and fired the day after.

Patients/residents and staff are commodities that have no value other than what they can profit the owners. I remember so many individual stories of neglect, suffering, and death. It was a daily, ongoing situation.

Unless you are wealthy, you live under a medical tyranny. The doctors and insurance make decisions about your health without even telling you all about what your tests reveal. We are commodities in this healthcare system not just if you end up in a facility. It's not just Boeing that is shitty in this country that is defined by capitalism.

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Gloria! Exactly my thoughts and my experience first with LTC and now through the entire "health?care INDUSTRY." The medical schools are turning out obedient factory workers (hospitalists) to keep up production of "discharges" whose bodies and insurance have been stripped of every last billable diagnosis, spare part and coding opportunity. I stopped teaching bedside medicine when they told me to skip the heart exam because they will get an ECHOcardiogram. Every little toenail clip or vaccination that can be done while a patient is waiting for interventional radiology to do what I did for free at bedside as a third year medical student, is rescheduled as a return outpatient visit to a hospital owned clinic so they can also charge a facility fee. AND if they already shipped them to a nursing home, somebody has to pay for the round trip medical transport. The only good news is that there's no social worker to arrange follow ups and the hospital "discharge packet" is just a list of drugs and a surgery return to remove staples (doesn't say from where or why they are there.)

So tell me why Medicare will go bankrupt in 10 years? Not too many moribund elderly. Medicare is being systematically fracked, exploited, and cheated by the Medical Industrial Complex. Nice kids who want to be nurses and help people are getting burned out by bad working conditions and low pay. The new Dougie Hauser has his eye on a "leadership" position in Population Health, MBA, MHSM, Informatics and robotics. They don't mind the "electronic ID badges " it saves time introducing yourself. But what they don't know is that these are the same trackers Amazon puts on warehouse workers and the CCP puts on Uighurs.

Hey just dump a bucket of water on me! What a world!

Gloria you are right on. ✅️ For me the only solution is the Impossible? Dream of national single payer health.

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I call it the finance insurance healthcare conglomerate. Healthcare industrial complex is also a good name. The web is so large and complex, and so crucial to the overall economy that I don't see how we can walk it back to single payer universal at this point without a system remake.

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It has a name Gloria. Association of Health Insurance Providers or AHIP. A lobby so powerful that it killed Single Payor for the ACA which it wrote.

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It's bigger than that. The boundaries between finance, reinsurance, and insurance are very blurred and intertwined. Wall Street is buying hospitals, clinics, and health systems. For-profit hospice is becoming a big player.

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Brian, during my 50 year career in IT, I've worked in several major U.S. corporations including W.W. Grainger, Freddie Mac, Bacter Healthcare, and Motorola and I've learned that the bean counters always prevail over human values. That is the beauty and the horror of capitalism.

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Exactly, this (besides needed rights for workers preventing the quality harming outsourcing to lowest cost countries) is what is a core sign of companies in decline (the cost cutting finance and business school people takeover from the innovation of driven engineering people). Reverse this and have charismatic innovation focused leaders in charge that truly respect their people and you can turn companies around for the better.

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They did that with one VP recently, and he turned against the workers and gave away worker pensions, naturally.

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Sad, when respect for people is missing. It will likely not lead to sustainable success, when the leaders (even if they are trained engineers) turn against their people.

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👍

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Professor Reich: i grew up in seattle and many family members worked at boeing when i was a kid. one thing that always stood out to me was the company's insistence upon safety of the planes themselves, and the responsibility that each individual had to make sure their work as well as that of their co-workers, was up to these high standards. by the time boeing moved their corporate offices out of seattle, it became clear that the public was not even a fading interest growing smaller in the rear-view mirror of the boeing machine. i'm surprised it took so long before extreme greed took precedence over all else since everyone else around me knew this would be the price we all would pay, and openly stated as much.

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I too grew up in Seattle area with my dad working for Boeing, and I did as well after college. Quality control was something Boeing prided itself on, and because of strong unions it was a great company to work for. Now it is a prime example of greed over safety, but in this case that causes crashing out of the sky!

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Laissez faire

"The concept of laissez-faire in economics is a staple of free-market capitalism. The theory suggests that an economy is strongest when the government stays out of the economy entirely, letting market forces behave naturally."

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The theory. One of many, all non-falsifiable. Thus akin to religion. Differing, though in the important respect that sympathy and compassion are absent.

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Merely a quote. Adam Smith.

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Did lazy fare ever exist? The earliest written documents in human civilization weren't poetry.. that wad the oral tradition. The earliest writings were cuneiform receipts and balances attesting to adherence to the codes of fair weights for goods in the markets of Hammurabi. And further transcripts of laws regarding product quality, payment schedules, fines and fees starting in later Exodus through Deuteronony. The first FTC SEC and IRS was God's word. And there are as well ample texts on migrants.

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Merely a quote. Read Adam Smith.

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I’m thinking of the gradual heating of the crab or lobster or frogs-in-a-pot, as well as the warm, warmer, hot-hotter climate issues. Egads, what’s next? Relieved that so many are not taking their eyes off the back burner.

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This process started long before Boeing moved its headquarters. Complaints started really surfacing when McDonald Douglas bought Boeing. Also: somewhere along the way relatively recently, Boeing was allowed to certify its own safety inspections instead of in-house FAA people. It continues to be a slow moving train wreck, or mid-air collision if you will. It's only going to get worse.

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Again you repeat this inaccurate statement. McDonnell Douglas did NOT buy Boeing in any sense. It was a merger in which Boeing most certainly came out on top. The new company was called “The Boeing Company” and the name “McDonnell Douglas” was gone forever. Does that sound like McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing? JFC, get a grip.

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Well, they do still use MDC’s logo…

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Ha ha, you are right. Well, the new logo was based on the MDC “bug”. That actually was the joke in St. Louis: in return for swallowing up MDC, they threw us a bone by keeping the bug.

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I grew up there. My dad worked there most of his career. I worked there for a few years.

He used to tell me that the F-15 was the last decent plane they designed because they stopped being an engineering company. Sounds kinda like Boeing, eh? Stonecipher screwed up Boeing the same way he screwed up MDC.

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The Boeing Commercial Aircraft name was kept because it had the quality cred, but the McDonald Douglas bean counters were the real winners in that merger, as they have basically sacked the company of its quality credentials. Don't believe me? Ask people on the factory floor.

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I don’t need to ask anyone, I worked on the factory floor in St. Louis for 35 years, both before and after the merger.

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Regulatory Capture by Industry of US government regulations. Fabulous takeover by Richy Rich and the Corporations over the past 50 years in the US.

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I earned an EE degree while repairing robots…. advanced into maintenance management in many well known corporations in 50 years and I agree that those leading corporations with strong needs for quality control must have their feet on the floor. If I were CEO I’d have the top 20 leaders come in early every morning to work with those responsible for building the product …. Going from job to job until they figure out the process as seen on the floor.

Most leaders of the companies today have no idea of what’s going on…. and they don’t care as shown in this Boeing dilemma.

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When you prioritize profits over product, and you make money your highest social value, you get shit outcomes in everything else: safety, performance, utility, endurance, happiness. Because "the market" doesn't give a shit about anything but itself, and we enslave ourselves to it. When we let the private equity and financial services crowd become the ayatollahs of our society, we get a different kind of imprisonment but a similar malaise.

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Laissez-faire

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I think we'd be a lot better off with laissez-faire socialism than laissez-faire capitalism.

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Absolutely

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And Kerry,

Those who understand this keep talking and we see no changes. Now we see the same absurd take over of housing. Corporations buying up whole areas to “rent” back to citizens who can never afford to buy or to even rent in some cases. Neighborhoods run by slumlords. Do something …. Say no to owning everything we, regular citizens need…. Education , housing, healthcare!!!

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Speculators. In housing, education, and healthcare. It’s the libertarian dream. An investor class and a plebe class. It’s pretty much what we’ve got, with rural/urban and generational divisions.

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I’m a mental health counselor. I’m no big deal in the corporate world but I’ve seen this first hand in healthcare. Lack of concern for the people who are receiving services, distance from the actual day to day delivery of the service/product. It’s the same dysfunctional system of corporate leadership being disconnected from the results of their decisions. It is clear Boeing needs new leadership that is able and willing to engage with their operations.

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New leadership is just crime washing. Until Wall St is kept out of these decisions nothing of consequence is going to change.

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Yes…. Wall Street now owns America. The new “class” of Hedge Funds are particularly dangerous. There’s no stock - it’s just a bunch of billionaire hooligans crushing America for its last dollar. They’ve buried themselves under so many layers of shell corporations and are presented by the best lawyers on Wall Street that the IRS and our Judicial System doesn’t know what to do with them. The Hedge funds strike out and purchase entire industries that show promise of profit. 27% of the sales of single family homes last years were bought by hedge funds….. 40% of all private hospitals are now owned by Hedge Funds …. same with Electrical Power companies. This present inflation is the work of private billionaires and Hedge Funds.

Our only slim hope is our ability to vote this November….. if we can have an honest election.

❤️

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Totally true Kimberly! Thank you…

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This is another example of a major company that has gotten so big that they slip into a state of complacency and become more concerned with generating profits for their shareholders over safety and quality! I relate it to what is going on in our Congress. The Republicants have committed themselves to do whatever it takes to protect and defend Donald Trump and impeach President Biden! The Republicants showed this again yesterday in the House Oversight Committee hearing.

They all took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not to protect and defend a person who has shown his contempt for America and our democracy!

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21

Keith ; Sadly, the oath is a joke! thanks to the corrupt, bought and paid for Supreme Court!

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Yes … I agree. I’m approaching my 80th birthday and in very good health with a solid memory of the past …. which I’m sorry to say usually brings me pain.

The story of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg is proof that people were executed for crimes Trump may have committed.

However, our Supreme Court has rotted to a level of corruption that any person with a little knowledge of our Constitution can easily see. We are now being governed by our courts. This is because Mitch McConnell saw this to be possible. He knew the ignorant apathetic citizens would accept ‘the law’. He saw to it that our Federal Courts were packed with Trump servants. He refused to allow Obama to appoint a Supreme Court Justice when Obama still had a year in office.

So after the satanic Federalist Society selected those to be appointed to the Supreme Court, Trump appointed 3 justices. This came at a price as Trump was given 40 million each for two and 39 million for the third.

If you include John Roberts for his dirty work in getting GW appointed for his second term…. all while Al Gore actually won, we have six Justices that all have a dirty history and all are devoted to Trump.

This pathetic Clarence Thomas is an outrage…. He and his wife should be serving prison sentences.

I could continue but you may already know the above….❤️

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RonRose ; I totally agree!

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Mar 22·edited Mar 22

RonRose : The fact that Harlan Crow, who gave gifts to Clarence Thomas was bad enough. That he is a collector of Nazi memorabilia, and has statues of dictators in his garden is concerning. As well. Right out in the open, and no moves to impeach Clarence Thomas, or investigate Ginny, his wife, who was engaged in insurrection shown by evidence, and not investigated. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!

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The Malaysian workers are not to blame at all, note. The plug door itself had no defect. It was its installation in the fuselage that was done improperly. In Wichita, in the Spirit AeroSystems subsidiary you talked about in your article. A very detailed explanation was given on the excellent Mentour Pilot YouTube channel. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ROeGKs4xTfs

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G’morning Robert ,Sleep eludes me this morning .I wish the mess we live with these days would magically disappear 🫠 .Boeing's story is becoming the story of the world’s lack of leadership in its own advancement! We are getting a wee bit less human , and more like the machines we try to make like ourselves!

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ha listening to this as I read ur comment... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvqFAi7vkBc ... maybe not a "lack" of leadership, just a new breed of such, a devolution perhaps, if one can imagine.

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Could this be the turning point where US shareholders actually start caring if their investments kill people? Nah.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21

Be careful, Judy, about making assumptions. As soon as I read "Vanguard Group," I thought, "Umm . . . That's the second rotten thing I've learned about Vanguard over a couple months' time. Time to move it on out . . ."

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I’ve got a significant (for me) amount of my retirement in Vanguard funds. I’m now considering moving it out.

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It's sure not the company my father invested in when Jack Bogel was alive. Their customer service has gotten pretty bad! Shocking for a company like Vanguard.

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Agree. I miss Jack Bogel. Still, it is a better company than most other investment companies.

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Please be careful. Vanguard does not rip off its customers with high fees like other investment companies.. Vanguard does not "own" Boeing stock, it holds it in "street name" for the actual owners, its customers.

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My father ddid too. I inherited it and got it the hell out

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Vanguard is the major stockholder in USA, Inc . I was doing some who owns whom research and found Vanguard as the major stockholder in just about everything from NBCUniversal to medical centers and insurance companies. Black Rock is 2nd, Try a google search on who owns who for the major corporation of your choice. https://www.tipranks.com/stocks/ba/ownership

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This is and has devastated the US. Sadly, the US assassinates its moral and spiritual leaders who naturally arise and has little history of taking to the streets like the French. Some of us did that in the 1960s , 1970s for our beliefs and were ridiculed for it. Good luck.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21

Vanguard is only one of the many "institutional" investors on Boeing's shareholder list - three of the top seven shareholders are Vanguard funds. I think it's a fairly safe bet that most of this invested money is from the retirement accounts of Americans who have no idea what pressures their financial institutions put on corporate managements in the name of "shareholder interests." Their control is not as direct as private equity ownership, but they apply constant pressure on management to make and meet short-term financial targets ... at the unspoken expense of the longer term interests of the company's other stakeholders including employees, customers and community. (Much of my career was in Engineering management, trying to meet corporate targets without compromising something critical.) Fixing this will take a fundamental change in public and private mindset - seeing the corporation not only as a vehicle for earning a return on capital but as part of the entire ecosystem in which it operates. Enlightened regulation by a government that recognizes this - elected by a public that recognizes this, understands its own long-term interests and holds their elected officials to serving it ... well, never mind ... Sorry I even mentioned it.

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I don't know if you sent this info to me or if you were just writing it or if you sent it to someone else or . . . At any rate, I agree with you. Suddenly, all responses to me on my comments are going into Spam. I think that's because I sent a really obnoxious comment aimed at me from that Charlie jerk guy to Spam, and now all comments to me are ending up in Spam! BUT -- I think you have solved a small mystery for me, and that is . . . People were sending me "likes" on something I said was "mind-blowing", and I couldn't remember what I was referring to when I said it! I just realized from your writing that it must have been my learning that Vanguard is an investor in Boeing, so thanks!

Additionally, there is a third huge investor besides Vanguard and Blackrock . . . Capital States or . . . I can't recall . . . The best way to invest is in socially responsible firms but I have read that even they fall into investments that aren't socially responsible.

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Thank you for this info. (If I didn't thank you already.) I appreciate it.

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If these panels had blown off a private jet, you know heads would’ve rolled, the quality department would’ve been restructured, apologies would’ve flown left and right, and by now, Boeing would be making THE safest planes in the world.

Management has to change its attitude towards listening to its employees, especially on safety. Whether it’s a matter of oil always leaking in the floor from machinery that workers are slipping in, or panels blowing off planes during flight, management must start listening to the people who actually do the work, and are responsible for the CEOs and board’s ridiculously high salaries and disgusting bonuses.

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The public sector is superior to the private sector when it comes to the health and well-being of a nation's people.

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Unless it outsources to the private sector, as the FAA did in outsourcing safety inspections at Boeing to Boeing itself.

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Yeah, that was a mind-blower, wasn't it???!

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Setting the fox to guard the henhouse.

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Yes!! Most excellent point!!! So true!!!

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Not really.

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If you don't have a mind to blow.

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I'm sure you are good at blowing.

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How much do we pay Boeing yearly from our military budget? Years past I know it was huge sums.

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And a ton of their employees are MAGAnuts.

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I'd be interested to know that too, Michael!

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You are aware that Boeing has two divisions, Commercial and Defense? The issues being discussed here pertain solely to the Commercial division. The Defense part of the business is regulated in a completely different manner and has completely different management and management philosophy.

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Would like to know your opinion professor on the following:

AI Artificial Intelligence runs on computers, lots of computers that need electricity. These computer farms produce incredible amounts of heat and the heat harms the computers so they need air conditioning which requires electricity. All of which needs water, lots of water. Where are we going to get all the electricity and water? What will be the environmental cost of this?

What happens when the power goes off?

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Yes. Bitcoin mining in the US using computers consumes as much electricity as the entire state of Utah. Worldwide, bitcoin mining produces as much carbon dioxide as the country of Greece.

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Solar, other alternatives are carbon neutral, if not free.

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What happens when the power goes off and we live in a world where AI is so embedded in civilization that civilization no longer can function without it? The same q could be said of computers today except that civilization functioning may become far more dependent upon AI in the future.

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Outsourcing! - is MBA bollocks - you get a small, short term cost advantage and you pay by losing a large long term cost benefit.

Your suppliers will squeak a cost that seems lower than doing it in house - but it's probably not actually lower and in the medium to long term its higher.

If your business is in a mature slow-moving industry, then that will cost you some margin - but its probably survivable.

If your industry is changing FAST then massive outsourcing is a death sentence.

Which is what we are seeing with the Big Three US Auto makers

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