The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Michigan:
Competing with other states to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to Boeing

Jun 23, 2003

Michigan is offering Boeing Corp. grants and tax credits worth 300 million dollars over 20 years for the company to build its new jetliner, the 7E7, at one of three potential sites: Willow Run Airport, Alpena County Regional Airport and Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport.

But Michigan is facing stiff competition: a dozen other states are bidding for the 7E7 plant, and some states have come up with much bigger "incentive packages." Washington state, for example, where Boeing already has two assembly lines, says that it's ready to give Boeing no less than 3.2 BILLION dollars over 20 years!

As usual, politicians say they are willing to give a big, already-profitable corporation these huge gifts for the sake of bringing jobs to their state.

Yes, a new plant would mean some new jobs, but there is no guarantee how many. The state officials themselves admit it may be anywhere between 800 and 3000 – it's Boeing who will decide how many it will be. And however many jobs a Boeing plant brings to Michigan, workers will end up paying a high price for them, and not only in terms of the taxpayer millions that are funneled to the company. When Boeing complained about paying too much for unemployment insurance and workers comp, for example, Washington state moved to reduce those costs to companies, putting more of the burden on the workers. The director of the Willow Run Airport rushed to say that insurance and workers comp costs to bosses in Michigan are already lower than those in Washington state. Another Michigan official said that "strong unions could deter Boeing" – an obvious attempt to scare workers into accepting low pay and harsh working conditions.

These bids and "incentive packages" are just another way for the bosses to extort concessions from workers, with the complicity of the politicians. They also show that there is money in the coffers of the states, contrary to what the same politicians claim when they cut jobs as well as funding from schools, health care and other social programs.

Use that money to serve the needs of the population!