22 February 2017

Professor Robert Reich and dream-lining

In this case I am reprocessing my own Facebook post, since the subject is quite important. It shows how our brains are being washed by people of influence who don't care for hard facts that might stand in the way. Slight changes in and additions to the text were made.

Thanks to a Facebook friend, I have read a post* by professor Robert Reich** on the benefits of the international manufacturing, in which Mr Reich disputes the "America first" buzzword: "In other words, contrary to Trump, the Boeing Dreamliner is made all over the world and will be sold all over the world. His "America First" economics is total demagoguery."

I shall not argue with the conclusion, just wanted to make a purely technical point here. Being a fan of Boeing and preferring to travel in its planes over other means of transportation, I was kinda keeping an eye on the Dreamliner project. I find it strange that Prof Reich is unaware of the problems that plagued the project, causing a timetable and a financial overruns and lots of technical issues that were discovered during the first years of the plane's construction and use.

Well, one of the main problems with that project was exactly the unfortunate decision by the Boeing management to outsource a lot of work on different parts of the plane abroad, as anyone who followed the project will be ready to tell. Here is (one of too many) quotes:

A global network of suppliers would develop, and then build, most of the parts in locations as far away as Germany, Japan and Sweden. Boeing's own employees would manufacture just 35 percent of the plane before assembling the final aircraft at its plant outside Seattle.

The decision haunts Boeing to this day.
Poor show, prof. Reich.

P.S. Another strange point in the post: Prof Reich relates to the Dreamliner as something that "will be sold", when it flies for quite a few years already and is being sold, obviously. New model, possibly? Or lack of attention?

But read the whole article, if you please. And there are a lot more where this one came from.

(*) A snapshot of the original post by prof Reich, just in case:

(**) Prof Robert Reich's bio (Facebook):
ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, co-founder of the nonprofit Inequality Media and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, Inequality for All.