So the Obama administration is now telling companies where they can build their factories. That’s the takeaway from the National Labor Relation Board’s action challenging Boeing’s ongoing plans to set up a plant in North Charleston, South Caroline, to build the 787 Dreamliner. The NLRB doesn’t like this because the plant won’t be unionized and won’t be subject to strikes—like the 58-day strike in 2008—which shut down Boeing plants in Washington state.
This reminds me of Barack Obama’s earlier order that General Motors executives keep their offices in the Renaissance Center in Detroit rather than in the GM Tech Center in suburban Dearborn.
Obama’s motives in both cases are clear. Keep tax money flowing into Detroit’s monstrously dysfunctional city government in a city that voted 94% Democratic in 2008. Keep the union dues money going into unions which contributed $400 million to Democrats in the 2008 cycle.
But of course both moves directly contradict Obama’s public statements. He said he didn’t want to micromanage General Motors. But he tells its executives where they have to punch the time clock in and out each day. And he says he wants to encourage American exports. The last time I looked Boeing was America’s largest exporter. How does it help American exports to give unions a better chance to close down America’s largest export for 58 days, as they did in 2008? I suspect we won’t get any answers from the White House—certainly not any good answers.