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Bow Down To Boeing




|| By FITSNEWS || Last fall this website noted how the Lowcountry, S.C. media – most notably The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Couriertook a pass on information exposing serious problems at aircraft manufacturer Boeing‘s North Charleston facility.

You know, the sort of issues this website has been covering exhaustively for years …

FITS was the first news outlet in the country to report on production issues at Boeing’s North Charleston facility – which was built thanks to $1 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives doled out by Gov. Nikki Haley and state lawmakers.  Two months later, reporter Phil LeBeau – who covers automotive and aerospace issues for CNBC – confirmed much of our reporting.  More recently, The Seattle Times  and The Wall Street Journal  have referenced South Carolina’s production problems – while Reuters has exclusively reported on how those issues are affecting the company’s global supply chain.

And of course there was the Al Jazeera probe – entitled “Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787” – which exposed a rash of personnel issues within the plant (including rampant drug use by employees).

Anyway …

Not only did The Post and Courier ignore all of that … its “reporter” Warren Wise actually published a column attacking Al Jazeera for its coverage.

Seriously … what gives?  Apparently Boeing is “too big to criticize.”  And Wise apparently all too willing to drop to his knees for the company … as opposed to doing his job of providing impartial coverage.

Fast forward to this week, when The Post and Courier (again, with Wise behind the keyboard) ran a fawning article touting a new “economic impact” report prepared by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research (one of the area’s top crony capitalist propaganda outfits).

According to the report, Boeing contributes $11 billion to the local economy – along with 8,200 direct jobs and 20,000 “sustained” jobs.

Which is more than a third of the entire Lowcountry economy, or so we are led to believe.

Do we trust those numbers?  No, not really … reports like this are routinely inflated with “multipliers” deliberately concocted to dramatically overstate revenue and employment data.  We’re not saying Boeing doesn’t provide a massive economic impact to the Lowcountry (clearly, it does) … but our guess is the real impact is well south of the data mindlessly regurgitated by Wise.

More to the point …

If Boeing truly is creating all this economic activity (and presumably making major bank in the process) … why did it need a billion dollars worth of taxpayer-funded incentives to locate here?

And more importantly … can we have our money back?

No company should ever be given tax money – be it a billion dollars or a single dime – in the name of “economic development.”  Because no matter how good the rate of return on the investment is, picking winners and losers in the free market is not a core function of government.

It’s also inherently unfair to those forced to subsidize the handout.

Boeing may indeed be the jobs “juggernaut” Wise breathlessly touts in his commercial for the company … err, “news article” about the company … but that doesn’t mean it should continue receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers.

If anything, such economic impacts would indicate the opposite is the case …