I think they are two very different companies. As DfwRevolution points out, Airbus has govt. Funded projects like the A380. Boeing may be contracted for military sales, but commercial divisions are not funded directly by govt.
I found the images of the A380 pieces coming on ship and truck to be very funny. Boeing does outsourcing some things and is figuring to outsourcing more (such as wings, etc), but it seems that Airbus had the entire plane manufactured in Germany and it will be assembled in France. Boeing and its workers take pride that most major parts are manufactured in the US.
From my vantage points, and I like both companies, it just seems that France is more concerned with force feeding Airbus down people while Boeing is sitting back and making planes like they always have. Boeing is not relying on govt grants, but playing the field and seeing what consumers (airlines) demand.
I also think that they are two largely different companies in makeup. Boeing has a huge military and phantom works departments along with the large satellite business they do. Commercial aircraft is a large aspect, but only a piece of the puzzle.
I do really think that Airbus did well with the A340-500/600. Each long segment on SQ
I have taken on the aircraft was pleasurable for me. The cabin is quiet, the range is awesome. KrisWorld gets credit too........
DfwRevolution hit it on the head by saying "Airbus is concerned with image as much as they are finances". Airbus had to be first with the ultra long range aircraft ,and they have to build something bigger than the workhorse of the industry 747. It appears that Airbus tries to push Airbus as being "better" and having the biggest pax aircraft and all that jazz just to say so.
Don't get on my case for my view on Airbus, it is my opinion, I like airbus planes and will continue to fly them, I just view the business as a childish playground "mine is better" game.