Dave Sather's Money Matters: Government agency kills American jobs

June 21, 2011 at 1:21 a.m.


Over the weekend, I sat at my desk pondering our nation's future.

My top concern, however, was not the overwhelming amounts of debt we'll never pay back, the impending default of Greece or the drought in Texas. And it wasn't the importance of the Kardashians.

Today, I am astonished at the political maneuvering of the Obama Administration via the National Labor Relations Board, relative to Boeing and its expansion into South Carolina.

Boeing, based in Seattle, is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries. It is the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world. Boeing is also the largest exporter by value in the United States and it employs more than 130,000 people in eight states with another 30,000 scattered around the globe.

Boeing is also the builder of the 787 Dreamliner.

The company's newest facility is a $750 million South Carolina plant, which opened earlier this month. This new plant, along with one in Everett, Wa., is geared up to build the 787. At least that was the plan.

Now the NLRB, which is controlled by Democratic Party appointees, is telling Boeing it cannot build the 787 in South Carolina. Regulators say that because South Carolina is a "right-to-work" state, this is mere retaliation for union workers going on strike in 2008.

But no jobs are being moved to South Carolina, according to Boeing. In fact, the South Carolina jobs are new. Furthermore, the NLRB has confirmed that since the South Carolina plant project started, 2,000 new jobs were added back in Washington. And yet the NLRB has a problem with this?

Evidently, these "leaders" forget that current gross domestic product growth is an anemic 1.8 percent, stated unemployment is 9.1 percent and climbing and functional unemployment is greater than 20 percent. Given this, our government is now stepping in to kill jobs and tell one of the largest employers where and how they can allocate capital?

Sadly, certain elected leaders fail to understand that corporations are owned by shareholders and not governments. Furthermore, corporate leaders are charged with allocating capital in the most efficient manner possible. If this is any indication of the future, we can plan on a continued exodus of jobs and money to other countries.

This behavior is not only ludicrous, it is borderline criminal. It may not be the "go to jail" letter of the law definition of criminal, but it is malicious and foolish.

If the NLRB is allowed to proceed, what precedent does it set for any corporation allocating capital? As if growth was not bad enough, this is an open invitation for corporations of every shape and size to take their resources and deploy them anywhere - other than the United States.

What's next? Will the NLRB dictate all new jobs in the Unites States only be allowed if they are in union-approved locations?

Given Caterpillar's significant expansion into Texas, another right-to-work state, one can only guess how long it will be before these governmental appointees step in and tell Cat how and where to allocate its dollars.

My only hope is the insanity of this situation prevents the NLRB from getting its way and voters remember how damaging issues such as this are killing our country. It is time to put politics aside and put Americans back to work.

Dave Sather is a Victoria Certified Financial Planner and owner of Sather Financial Group. His column, Money Matters, publishes every other Wednesday.



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