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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Boeing Announces $10 Billion Stock Buyback and 50 Percent Dividend Increase Even as It Fucks Its Workers

Posted by on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Everything that's wrong with capitalism:

CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing [NYSE: BA] Chairman, President and Chief Executive Jim McNerney announced today that the Boeing board of directors authorized an additional $10 billion for the company's share repurchase plan and declared that the company's regular quarterly dividend will increase by approximately 50 percent to 73 cents per share.

"These actions reflect sustained, strong operational performance by our businesses, increasing cash flow, and our confidence in the future," said McNerney. "Our team's relentless focus on business execution and competitiveness is providing the financial strength to continue investing in our core businesses while increasing our returns to shareholders."

Meanwhile, the actual people who build Boeing's planes (who are not even mentioned as contributors to Boeing's profits) are being asked to give up their pensions in exchange for keeping their jobs. Hooray for the free market!

 

Comments (50) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Blaming CEOs for driving down workers pay in order to maximize corporate profits makes about as much sense as blaming that fox in the video at the end of the morning news for killing field mice. The fox is just doing what foxes do, the CEO is just doing what CEOs do. Blaming capitalism for the diminishing standard of living of the American worker makes about as much sense as blaming the ocean for the tides. Both phenomenon are driven by titanic forces beyond anyone's control.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
2
To really and fully understand everything that is wrong with capitalism, try perusing Michael Perelman's (one of the two most intelligent economists alive today in Amerika) latest book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Invention-Capi…
Posted by sgt_doom on December 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
3
Fuck #1, he's too stoopid to even bother responding to.
Posted by sgt_doom on December 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
4
@3 My response, to your non-response:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3SgOleq3…
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 5
#1 You provide two examples from nature, something that has taken billions of years to refine as we see it today. Capitalism is "Not like the others" to sing a SS Song. Provide similar examples, not foxes and mice and waves, those are not "man made".
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
6
Can their shiny new tax breaks be put up for a referendum? I'd like to see whether things change when they have to run a statewide PR campaign about what a wonderful company they are.
Posted by Eric L on December 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Hernandez 7
@1 - um, dude, what's happening to the Boeing workers right now is entirely a product of capitalism. I don't understand how anyone can find fault with that attribution, no matter what your personal feelings on the matter may be.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on December 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
@2,
Michael Perelman's (one of the two most intelligent economists alive today in Amerika)
Who's the other one?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 9
Well, Boeing workers own shares through their awards and stock purchase programs, don't they?
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on December 17, 2013 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Sean Kinney 10
@1 is making a particularly strong structuralist/functionalist argument. At some point, however, human actors who possess some degree of agency must be imagined in this scenario. Otherwise, you might as well equate Boeing with Borg.
Posted by Sean Kinney http:// on December 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this
11
The rise of finance and the fall of manufacturing.

Like GM before it, Boeing is now a financial services company that happens to make vehicles.
Posted by dirge on December 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
Even?

That's the Point.

Stealing from the normal 50/50 capital/labor split that created the Anerican Middle Class to feather their own nests.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 17, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
13
Hooray for corporate welfare!
Posted by CPN on December 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
14
Desperately trying to convince Wall Street and investors that their gambit with the Seattle workers isn't going to screw up the long-term future of the the company.
Posted by j-lon on December 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
15
@5 OK, here's another metaphor. Blaming a CEO for maximizing profits is like blaming a baseball player for hitting home runs. Maximizing profits is what a CEO is trained to do and the criteria on which his success is judged.

@7 Sure, but all those Boeing workers having jobs at all is also the product of capitalism. From 1945 to 1974 international market forces favored the American industrial worker. From 1974 until now those same market forces have not.

@8 On the internet he is known as Sgt Doom.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
16
You mean the workers making really good money for doing nearly nothing over there at the Lazy B? The workers whose jobs are highly sought by anyone seeking work with the right connections to make applying even worthwhile? Or do you mean the workers who got a performance bonus for work done while their lazy asses were out on one of their whiny bs strikes?

They're being asked to contribute to their own retirement you socialist moron. (Yes, the first term presumes the second, I know.). Get a sense of perspective.
Posted by Seattleblues on December 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 17
Oh god, Ken Mehlman and Sgt Doom arguing politics. All we need now is for Roku to get involved and we can have our very own singularity of stupidity.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on December 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 18
Whoops, hah, guessed wrong: it turned out to be SeattleBlues who carried us over the stupidity event horizon. Exterminate all rational thought.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on December 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM · Report this
Unregistered User 19
soooo... short Boeing then?
Posted by Unregistered User on December 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM · Report this
20
They clearly don't need taxpayer money...
Posted by Sterno on December 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM · Report this
COMTE 21
@1:

Here's why you're oh-so wrong.

A fox catching field mice or the ocean tides are natural occurrences; whereas CEO profit-taking at the expense of worker's wages and benefits is a wholly man-made construct. Yes, Capitalism has expanded over the centuries into a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut, but that's a perception entirely created by those who have a vested interest in perpetuating the Capitalist paradigm. Capitalist practices are not inevitable, any more than Socialist ones are, nor are either impervious to the pendulum-swings of human progress and social change; the entire history of modern industrialization has in fact been a textbook example of how these two global socio-economic movements have struggled against each other for the past 250 some-odd years.

Although Capitalism may appear to have gained the upper hand for most of this period of time, it's never been able to completely eradicate Socialism, because frankly, to do so would simply result in a reversion to a modern form of Medieval feudalism. And no matter which side of the fence you sit on, almost no one (with perhaps a few exceptions among the highest echelons of the 1%) thinks going back to such a primitive socio-economic construct would be either practical or successful, short of some sort of complete world-wide collapse of the current system.

The fact is there are many, many CEO's out there who DON'T do "what CEO's do", at least not in the sense you imply. Costco's Jim Sinegal is the veritable poster child of a modern, progressive company leader who bucks the "natural" inclinations you seem to feel are immutable, and yet who still run a highly successful, highly profitable Capitalist enterprise nonetheless. Even big, bad Microsoft, (which admittedly has had significant issues in the past with regards to how it treated contract employee in particular), is nevertheless consistently rated as one of the top 5 most ethical companies on the planet. There are of course, lots of others out there as well, with more joining their ranks on a daily basis; one might even posit that such ethical corporate behavior represents something of a trend. Whether it will be one that is sustained over time is anybody's guess, but it certainly points to the mutability of what CEO's CAN do, if consumers, employees and stakeholders come together to demand such practices.
More...
Posted by COMTE http://www.chriscomte.com on December 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
22
@18

You're a lefty. For you rational thought has been gone for years.o
Posted by Seattleblues on December 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
treacle 23
It's not like there's a shortage of money... there is apparently a lot of that going around. Similar to the problem with food production, the issue is with the distribution of money. Those who control it, don't want us lower- and middle-class people to get all uppity again and try for a revolution, like the last few times.

@15 - You are right, CEOs are bidden (by the structure of capitalist enterprise and the markets, which are built on positive-interest currencies) to increase profits. We can't fault them. They are only following orders.

People don't matter, only profits.
Posted by treacle on December 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
24
@1 - Rubbish. Claiming that nobody can do anything about it, as if it were a law of nature, isn't supported by evidence as no one would deny that on average, the relative condition of lower classes has improved compared to the past (our current excursion into laissez faire notwithstanding).
Posted by anon1256 on December 17, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
25
@18 Yep one can always depend on Seattleblues to post something stupid. She is nothing if not consistent.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on December 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM · Report this
26
It's repeated over and over that they're "giving up their pensions". I'm pretty sure that they still get whatever pension benefits they've earned so far, but that future retirement benefits will switch to a 401K system, where the company will provide very generous matching funds to employee contributions (it was 50% back in my time). There aren't many companies that still do pensions; 401K's have become the standard, and if you're smart you'll probably be even better off financially.
Posted by onalki on December 17, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 27
@18: All three are certainly very stupid (although I am pretty sure Mehlman is satire), but until Bailo gets here, they are all just pretenders to the dumbest motherfucker on the planet throne.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
COMTE 28
@26:

Been there, done that, already debunked.
Posted by COMTE http://www.chriscomte.com on December 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
29
@27 My thought as well, Mehlman is satire cleverly done. Just google the name for the clue.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on December 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
care bear 30
I kind of feel bad but I am about to make a bunch of money.
Posted by care bear on December 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
31
Yep, I'm so stupid that I can't understand why a high 5/ low 6 figure income with great benefits and union set low production quotas is such a Dickensian workhouse environment. I'm so moronic that asking a man to partially fund his own retirement and 'fucking a worker' is a link I can't quite get.

The worker and the steel or wiring or the production facilities are resources. They can be got elsewhere if the current source dries up or gets too expensive. The ownership and management are what make these resources result in an airplane.
Posted by Seattleblues on December 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 32
@31: Yes, that is exactly why you are so stupid: you have no understanding of what is actually going on, and you have missed the point entirely. Good job, you have reached a sliver of self-awareness. You go girl!

By the way, highly skilled and highly trained/experienced workers are not the same as steel or wire. Someone who owns a business and employs people would know this, which is probably why you do not. Someone who actually owned a business and employed people (or even worked regularly) would know for damn sure that managers and CEOs do not build products, and are nothing without good workers.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
33
@21 I'm no expert on such matters, but I suspect the high pay received by Costco employees is more the product of the particulars of that companies business model than w/ the benevolence of the CEO. You can read more about that here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27…

@23 I think it's a mistake to think of the concentration of wealth at the top as something anybody really controls. In any case the stagnation of workers wages is a global trend, not just something that's happening in America, so you can't blame Reaganomics. You can read more about that here:

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-an…
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this
34
@33: Ask Wilhelm Keitel how that "just doing my job/following orders" defense goes.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
35
@33 - Sure, why don't you cite the most influential neoliberal rag around (The Economist) to claim that corporatist globalization is inevitable.
Posted by anon1256 on December 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM · Report this
treacle 36
@33 - Well then, let's just throw up our hands and claim ineffectualism then!

As it happens, the "concentration of wealth at the top" is a result of two key factors: (1) collusion between money power & political power, and (2) the mechanics of positive-interest currency [ aka (money + time = money^2) ], which is to say, money based on debt (or, the loaning of money into existence based solely on the promise to repay the principle, plus interest. Where does the interest come from? ).

That niggling problem --where does the money to pay interest come from?-- is the fundamental factor within capitalism writ large that causes bankruptcies and bubbles. It also drives money to concentrate in ever-greater amounts. Without some overt mechanism to redistribute these concentrations, (traditionally the "Jubilee", or war, or revolution), they simply won't de-concentrate. The rules of "free-marketism" certainly provide no mechanism for this redistribution. It's all cultural (philanthropy), or govt-enforced (taxes, other).

Boeing just got a $10B tax break from Washington.... they need to pay that forward, or lose it.
Posted by treacle on December 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 37
@33,

Yes, because retail employees are really highly valued in this economy.

Speaking of Reaganomics, have you noticed how other first world countries have embraced austerity even more so than the United States? Did you hear that the IMF finally admitted that austerity and income inequality are bad for business? Or is the word of the IMF not good enough for you?
Posted by keshmeshi on December 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
38
@32

Okay Teddy, you genius, educate me. How much should someone operating a machine he doesn't understand for the 3 hours a day he isn't at lunch or on break make? 150 grand a year for this trained chimp? 200?

How much of his retirement, medical care and other personal responsibilities should his employer pay for? Should they buy him a house and a new Lexus? Pay for his airfare and hotel costs on vacation? After all this monkey operating some machine is the backbone of Boeing! They couldn't make planes without him, since training someone else to push those buttons or pull that switch would take literally minutes!

Boeing is the best job for the otherwise unemployably lazy maybe in the country. And unions are no more or less than extortion rackets whose leaders and members should be imprisoned.
Posted by Seattleblues on December 17, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
39
@38: Unions are corporations of workers. They are the exact same as corporations.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 40
Oh SB, you're so cute when you talk about "work" as if it's something you've heard of or even personally experienced.

Go home: your village misses its favorite idiot.

@27: I dunno. Bailo has moments of near-lucidity, and to the best of my knowledge has never spent any time parroting decades-debunked anti-vax propaganda or claiming that the Rockefellers had Kennedy assassinated.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on December 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 41
@26-"There aren't many companies that still do pensions; 401K's have become the standard, and if you're smart you'll probably be even better off financially."

You mean "if you're smart and lucky and are leaving the workforce at the right time". Playing poker might be a better investment than a savings bond, for some people it'll really pay off. But it's a terrible retirement plan, the cards are going to go against you sometimes, and the house always gets it's cut.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on December 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 42
Writing is on the wall for Boeing and Airbus. Become even lower cost commercial plane builders...or dissipate.

Airborne: Can China get its commercial jets into the sky?

After several failed attempts to get China's commercial aerospace industry off the ground, the company is essentially seeking to rapidly build a global brand, with everything that comes along with that: Supply chains, marketing, and maintenance and repair teams to operate around the globe. It also hopes to compete with international heavyweights Boeing and Airbus globally as well as in the expanding domestic market.


http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/china…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 43
Wow. All five conservatives in Seattle are here. How many are regular blog authors on Sound Politics?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on December 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
sloegin 44
$10b stock buyback. Paid for by Washington State taxpayers. Thanks Olympia.
Posted by sloegin on December 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 45
China's Aviation ABC's: Airbus, Boeing and COMAC

The 168-seat C919 will compete with Boeing's 737 and Airbus's A320 in the medium-range sector, the largest segment of the $100 billion a year global jetliner market. How important is the smallish 737 [built in Renton] to the American company? This year, Boeing received 1,056 net orders through the 13th of this month. Of these orders, 1031, or 97.6%, were for 737s.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang/…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
46
Boeing trained China to build plane parts. It was part of their wonderful business plan back in the 80's.
Posted by aurelius3 on December 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 47
@ 38, it's telling that you have to lie about the situation in order to argue about it. Also known as bearing false witness.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Pol Pot 48
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQthFDpYC…

Help me out
Yo, yo, yo, yo
Help me out
Yo, yo, yo, yo

We've got 5 million ways to kill a CEO
Slap him up and shake him up and then you know
Let him off the flo' then bait him with the dough
You can do it funk or do it disco, y'know how this go
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

We've got 5 million ways to kill a CEO
Slap him up and shake him up and then you know
Let him off the flo' then bait him with the dough
You can do it funk or do it disco, y'know how this go
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Well, I hope you testify that it was worth your waitin'
On the turf debatin' how to get it percolatin'
He workin' you while we happy just to work a day
But I'ma slap him 'til my blood starts circulatin'
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Do you checks have elasticity?
Did they cut off yo' 'lectricity?
Did you scream and yell explicitly?
Force the boss into complicity
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

I'm a white chalk stencil but I push a pencil
Rollin dope fiend rentals through your residential
Broke as fuck, eatin' lentils with no utensil
Fina teach pimp class with a hoe credential
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

They own sweats shops, pet cops and fields of cola
Murder babies with they molars on the areola
Control the Pope, Dali Lama, Holy Rollers, and the Ayatollah
Bump this rollin' in your bucket or your new Corolla
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Well, you might catch me on the scenic route, with my penis out
Yellin', "Twamps for the executives with the meanest mouth"
Wanna know what this demeanor's bout? City tried to clean us out
Green is clout, shut 'em down they ain't never seen a drought
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

You interviewed but they ain't callin' you back
And for the record I ain't called it a gat
But tuck this in the small of your back
Wait in the bathroom stall 'til I tap
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

We've got 5 million ways to kill a CEO
Slap him up and shake him up and then you know
Let him off the flo' then bait him with the dough
You can do it funk or do it disco, y'know how this go
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

'Cept this game ain't slow, it's the creeper
If you a janitor, get a street sweeper
Ugly is even skin deeper
If you can't get the Pres, get the VeePer
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

They made the murder scene before there was a coroner
I might a been born here but I'm a foreigner
Spillin' swigs for victims of pigs and Afeni's kid
Flip off the lid, who you pourin' fo'?
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

You too could be a corporate green killer, bean spiller, uh
"Gangster of Love", just like Steve Miller
They wear skivvies that's made of chinchilla
Factory in Mexico, bought a spring villa
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

I'm from the land where the Panthers grew
You know the city and the avenue
If you the boss we'll be smabbin' through and we'll be grabbin' you
To say, "Whassup with the ra-venue?"
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)
And if you feel it we can even try to seal it with the

We've got 5 million ways to kill a CEO
Slap him up and shake him up and then you know
Let him off the flo' then bait him with the dough
You can do it funk or do it disco, y'know how this go
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Tell him it's a boom in child prostitution
When he show up at the stroll give him lead restitution
You could throw a twenty in a vat 'o hot oil
When he jump in after it watch him boil
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Toss a dollar in the river and when he jump in
If you can find he can swim
Put lead boots on him and do it again, you and a friend
Videotape and the party don't end
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Tell that boogers be sellin' like crack
He gon' put the little baggies in his nose and suffocate like that
Put a fifty in the barrel of a gun
When he try to suck it out, a-ha, well you know this one
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Make sure you ain't got no priors
Don't tell 'em that we conspired
We could let him try to change a flat tire
Or we could all at once retire
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)
There are just a few of the

We've got 5 million ways to kill a CEO
Slap him up and shake him up and then you know
Let him off the flo' then bait him with the dough
You can do it funk or do it disco, y'know how this go
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Bay Area, get ready to brawl
Bay Area, are you ready to brawl?
L.A., get ready to brawl
L.A. are you ready to brawl?
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Chi-town, get ready to brawl
Chi-Town, are you ready to brawl?
Detroit, get ready to brawl
Detroit, are you ready to brawl?
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Atlanta, get ready to brawl
Atlanta, are you ready to brawl?
Houston, get ready to brawl
Houston, are you ready to brawl?
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

New York, get ready to brawl
New York, are you ready to brawl?
London, get ready to brawl
London, are you ready to brawl?
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Capetown, get ready to brawl
Capetown, are you ready to brawl?
Tokyo, get ready to brawl
Tokyo, are you ready to brawl?
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Yeah, The Coup
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)
Boots Riley
Pam the Funk stress
It's really goin' down
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

Yeah, ya know
In case you didn't know, gats are comin'
The Coup, you know, sum'n, sum'n
(Yo, yo, yo, yo)

More...
Posted by Pol Pot http://bottlefuelrag.blogspot.com on December 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
49
Boeing should do what Airbus is doing and move to a right-to-work state like Alabama and demand tax breaks. Sloggers seem to think Airbus must be so much nicer because, you know, it’s “European”
Posted by Sugartit on December 17, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
50
Boeing isn't screwing it's workers, their union put the screws to them by not being representative of the rank and file members, that pay their wages. I belong to a Union in Seattle that would not under any circumstances do what the Boeing workers union did to them. Granted, they had a choice at the initial vote, but the union leaders urged them to vote against the proposals which makes me wonder who the union leaders are working for?
Posted by longwayhome on December 20, 2013 at 7:41 PM · Report this

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