Brons2, if you think that unemployment benefits are unlimited (in time) in Europe, then you're mistaken as well - although I'm quite sure it's not just 6 months here, but you don't get full benefits for life...
Nonetheless - back to the topic...
All the people claiming that Boeing does not receive "help" from the federal level, please do a bit of research on the topic of offshore tax credits - just to quote from one article in the Seattle PI
from, admittedly it's a while back already, February 2000:
The World Trade Organization yesterday rejected a U.S. appeal aimed at saving tax breaks that help companies such as Boeing and Microsoft compete overseas, but Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the United States will not abandon the program.
This is one of the reasons why quite a few people find it ironic, to say the least, when it's now the US saying they'll be going to the WTO...
The Foreign Sales Corp. program enables U.S. makers of computer software, airplanes, chemicals, machinery and many other products to shield some export income from taxes. The tax breaks for companies such as Microsoft, Boeing and General Motors would be worth more than $15 billion over the next five years, according to congressional estimates.
Did you catch that number? $15 billion over the next five years
! True, not all of it is for Boeing, it's actually a sum of the amount of credits that Boeing, GM
, Microsoft and others have received, but after all, this program did not just start in February 2000 but has been going on for quite some time (since 1984), so I'd say it's fair to assume that Boeing has received quite a chunk of money from it.
Here's the link to that article: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/brak24.shtml
Then, in 2002, there's this article published in Forbes...
In Geneva yesterday, the trade organization's Appellate Body upheld a European Union challenge to the U.S. tax law, which provides tax breaks for firms that export through offshore subsidiaries. The law was held to be an illegal export subsidy under WTO rules.
The U.S., of course, helped write those rules, to promote free trade. Now the EU has used them to cunning effect, and as a result it may seek to impose some $4 billion in retaliatory duties on U.S. products.
See those words that I highlighted, especially the word between "export" and "under"? Yes - "subsidy".
And before some of you go off saying things like "the WTO is just a club that Europe uses to bash the US" or similar idiotic ideas, reread the following from the second paragraph: The U.S., of course, helped write those rules, to promote free trade.
Here's the link to that article: http://www.forbes.com/2002/01/15/0115wto.html
It's quite easy to find dozens of articles about the subject... so before you go on claiming moral high ground on the part of the US, do some research first: both sides have dirtied their hands, and only a fool could believe that one side in this micro-conflict is really any better than the other.
People, and especially politicians, on both sides should take their heads out of the sand (or wherever else they've got them) and for once not hold big speeches about what they might be doing at some point in the future, but actually convince people by the actions they've taken - but even that's nothing specific to the US... when Gerhard Schröder was elected he said that he only deserved to get re-elected if he could fulfil his goal of halving Germany's unemployment rate of around 4 million people within the 4 years he was elected for... after those 4 years we were above 4 million and practically no-one cared... after all, it was just a politician's promise - and, according to the appologists for Schröder, it wasn't his fault anyhow, with 9/11 happening, the economic situation around the world being bad, etc...
Politicians all over the world always have said what people want to hear - and that will, most likely, never stop: why the electorate keeps falling for those lies, I don't really know...