Mar 4, 2008

nativist, pork-laden hypocrisy

Some of the recent hoo-ha over Boeing's contract loss to EADS-Northrop-Grumman-Airbus-les Fran├žais is staggeringly stupid.
In Tuesday's speech on the Senate floor, Murray said the $35 billion decision for 179 planes was "a key piece of our national and economic security."

"Instead of securing the American economy and military at a time while we are at war we are creating a European economic stimulus package at the expense of U.S. Workers," she said.

"We cannot trust a foreign company to keep our military's best interest in mind."
Thank goodness our allies don't see things our way. Quick: without resorting to Wikipedia, name just ten of the many countries the U.S. supplies with weaponry. Which two already have a Boeing tanker contract?


josh cole said...

Supplies or Supplied?

le radical galoisien said...

Haha! I was watching on C-SPAN last night. I had switched to it by accident, and normally legislative proceedings are awesomely dry, but this Democratic rep from Pennsylvania on the some armed forces acquisition committee was attacking some senior Air Force officer (can't remember what her name was, cuz I didn't pay attention to details like those) for her (since she played a great role in purchasing) and her organisation's decision.

Anyway, the conversation went along like this, where "D" represents the Democratic rep and where "A" represents her:

A: We buy from those who offer the most competitive prices.
D: Yes, but have you thought of our industrial base? We need to protect our industrial base. That's a purpose of our government.
A: That's not part our criteria.
D: So you'd jeopardise our interests for a cheaper price?
A: I am only following the law. According to the Buy America act, France, UK, Israel, Northern Ireland, Germany, [lists off a dozen other countries] can be considered "American..."
D: So in this deal, how much profit remains in this country and how much goes to Europe?
A: According to the law, that isn't part of...
D: I'm not asking if you're following the law, what I'm... err, I mean, I'm asking if that was a factor in your decision.
A: No, because it's not part of requirements. We'd have immediate protests from our suppliers if we considered anything other than the criteria set out in the requirements.
D: Then maybe it should be part of the requirements.
A: Okay, that's it, I'm not talking to you anymore.

Paraphrased liberally, with all the euphemistic politeness taken out.

Okay, I have to admit I'm not really into federal politics (except for SCOTUS case law), but I've been disappointed in how childishness in which the cost-efficiency versus protectionism (which can be justified if you can show sufficient proof for market failure) debate has been conducted, at least to the public (this was a topic in the Hillary-Obama debate, as I recall).