Please... show us exactly where the author "spews forth dreamy fabricated visions of the good ol' days."
Fine. I'll go line by line, again.
But whereas the Boeing that Wilson led in the 1970s utterly dominated the skies, today's Boeing is another matter.
Boeing's "dominance of the skies," as I have pointed out twice already, was due to enormous strategic mistakes by its fragmented competitors, not outstanding managerial ability. Besides, maintaining such dominance in any industry is virtually impossible. Economics abhors a vacuum.
Its once masterful technological leadership is gone
The 777 and 787 are the most technologically advanced aircraft ever built. The 787 is the most revolutionary jetliner since the 747; no one has ever built an airliner fuselage or wing structures from composites before.
and, in an orgy of indiscriminate outsourcing
If the Japanese can build wings cheaper than Boeing itself can, then it would be "indiscriminate" -- and suicidal -- for Boeing to continue building them itself and basically throw money away. The 787 will sell for significantly less than the 767 or the A330 it makes obsolete -- how do you think these cost savings are achieved?
As I mentioned in another thread, David Ricardo explained the theory of comparative advantage
200 years ago, which conclusively disembowels the protectionist arguments, but apparently some people are still playing catch-up.
Even Paul Krugman, a hysterically anti-Bush New York Times economist/columnist who has become (along with Maureen Dowd) the poster child of the embittered left, has been repeatedly forced to point out the massive error of all this hand-wringing about oursourcing (see, for example, Ricardo's Difficult Idea
, We Are Not the World
, or The East is in the Red - A Balanced View of China's Trade
). If you want the mathematical proof, let me know.
Besides, that "indiscriminate outsourcing" will result in hundreds of 787 sales in Japan, and by extension, prevent hundreds of sales Airbus will never book. It would be nice to imagine that political considerations have nothing to do with aircraft orders, but that's not the world we live in.
Stonecipher is presiding over the destruction of what remains of Boeing's erstwhile manufacturing greatness
Manufacturing employment at BCAG is higher than it was in 1970, when things were looking pretty tattered at Boeing.
That aside, assembling more aircraft in less time with fewer workers is a sign of progress
. Employing lots of people to do redundant tasks does NOT create prosperity. What is so difficult to understand about this?
- not least the world-beating wing business that was the apple of Wilson's eye.
Let's take a deep breath and remember that Airbus was the first to introduce the supercritical wing, not Boeing. It took Boeing 10 more years to introduce the supercritical cross-section on the 757/767. The 727 had innovative triple-slotted flap systems, but the most important characteristics -- the cross-sections -- were derivations of NASA airfoils.
a wing is not an especially difficult or competitively significant task. It has far more symbolic than actual importance. Designing
a wing, on the other hand, is a much more valuable core competency, and that will stay with the engineers up the road in Everett.
A fairly comprehensive and detailed article that postulates how Boeing has fallen to No. 2
That's easy enough: complacent management, excessive conservatism, and a lack of strategic focus. Not "indiscriminate outsourcing."
Airbus passing Boeing in total sales and total deliveries has finally given management a much-needed kick in the pants. There is a hunger in the organization that has not been seen for many, many years. The Lazy B is finally waking up.
why it won't be able to regain its former greatness
I'm glad Mr. Fingleton has such an accurate crystal ball. Maybe next he'll try lottery numbers.
why that is very detrimental to America
No question there, but Boeing will not turn itself or American manufacturing around by sourcing components from the highest-cost provider.
Unfortunately, the 6-page article is not available on-line.
I noticed; citing the detailed arguments in the rest of the 6 pages is great, considering no one else can read it. Unless you'd like to retype it and post it, all I have to go on is the introductory paragraphs, which contain more than enough fallacies for now.
Boeing's top management has presided over one of the most lamentable downsizing programs in American corporate history.
As I said above, when Boeing is hit with recessions, terrorist attacks, massive overcapacity, order cancellations, what should they do? Start paying workers overtime to build aircraft that nobody wants?
Not only has the Boeing group cut 77,000 jobs in the last 7 years
Interesting how they conveniently measure from the cyclical peak in aircraft production. If the economy today was like the economy in 1998, virtually every industry, everywhere
would be employing more workers. Bubbles are great fun while they last.
but it has euthanized its research and development
R&D is not the problem, viz.
the 787 and Sonic Cruiser, both of which are revolutionary designs (in one case, too revolutionary). As I said above, results, not expenditures, are the only gauge of success. I see no evidence at all that Boeing is lagging Airbus in the technology department.
all this while spending $10-billion to "enhance shareholder value" in a buy-back of one-sixth of its outstanding stock
In hindsight, certainly a shortsighted move, but if Boeing needs more capital, it can just re-issue the treasury stock. In fact, it would probably realize a huge profit on the trade, given that BA stock was one of the best Dow performers in 2003 and 2004 and is trading near a three-year high.
In your rush to attack and falsely accuse the columnist you have missed the very basic, obvious point that he draws attention to!
Which is, no doubt, that Boeing's outsourcing of heavy manufacturing is "hollowing out" (a worthy contender for the list of banished words
) America's manufacturing base, eroding its competitive advantage, and sealing its long-term fate. This completely ignores the fact that Boeing's true advantage is and has always been designing aircraft, not manufacturing them.
Whether Buchanan and his writers like it or not, manufacturing is migrating from high-cost nations like the US to lower-cost sites in the third world. We can weep and gnash our teeth about this, but there is nothing that can be done to stop it. The wage gap between the developed and the developing world is simply too high and manufacturing processes are too easily copied. Like water flowing downhill, transferable activities will, in the long run, be done in the lowest-cost manner. Boeing's challenge, and America's challenge, is developing the intellectual and entrepreneurial capacity to become a global innovator instead of a global manufacturer. The future of the US economy is not manufacturing, and anyone who pretends otherwise is in store for a rude shock.
And show us where exactly in those short paragraphs is the columnist being "xenophobic?" Do you even know what the word means???
If you don't think Pat Buchanan is a xenophobe, I'd say you're the one who has something to learn. His particular brand of paleoconservative isolationism pervades The American Conservative
. In 1955, William F. Buckley criticized his fellow conservatives for "standing athwart history, yelling stop." Buchanan must be pretty hoarse by now.
[Edited 2005-02-01 03:33:10]
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.