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What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Let’s imagine that the government signs a contract with Boeing, where the company will provide 500 military aircraft over a ten year period. The contract is structured so that Boeing gets $10 million for each unit, payable on delivery, and another $5 billion at the end of the 10 year contract, as a bonus for completing all aircraft on time, bringing the total of the contract to $10 billion.

Nine years into the project, 450 aircraft have been delivered, and the company is well positioned to deliver the remaining aircraft before the expiration of the contract and collect the bonus. The Air Force decides that they cannot afford to pay the bonus, and unilaterally alters the contract to eliminate the bonus, and decides that the original price of $10 million per copy is sufficient. The military also announces that while other contracts with defense contractors are unaffected by this contract change, budgetary constraints may cause them to alter other contracts in the future.

Boeing protests, saying that each aircraft costs the company more than $10 million to build, and the company stands to lose money on this contract if the previously promised bonus is not paid. Boeing further states that had the bonus not been a part of the contract, they would have signed other, more lucrative deals with other parties, and that the bonus was the reason the deal was agreed to in the first place. Boeing petitions their congressman to reinstate the original conditions of the contract. Instead, the Democrat-controlled congress threatens to pass a law preventing corporations who receive money from military contracts from negotiating the terms of those contracts.

Boeing responds by refusing to deliver the remaining aircraft. Other defense contractors, afraid that their contracts are in danger of future cuts if this precedent is allowed to stand, send strong letters and lobbyists to speak to congress in Washington. Many of these letters claim that the companies will cease delivering products to the military if such a law were passed.

QUESTIONS

1. At this point, is Boeing justified in refusing to deliver any more aircraft?
2. Should the government be able to force them to deliver them anyway?
3. Is the law preventing defense contractors from contacting their representatives constitutional or fair?

Most would say that the Air Force and Congress are out of line. Sure, $20 million per aircraft seems steep, but the Air Force still made the deal, and should have considered that prior to having the work done.

How is this any different from what is being done to those who provide labor as their product? The employees have delivered the product (their labor), and now that the work is done, there are attempts to alter the agreement. Attempts to negotiate are met with threats of making negotiation illegal, and so the employees refuse to provide any more labor under those conditions. I am interested to see what answers our Republican fanboys have to the above questions. I bet they avoid answering them.

The only difference I see is that the Republicans don’t like the fact that many unions support Democrat politicians. As Borepatch says:

the problem isn’t the Democrats, and the solution isn’t the Republicans.  The problem is an institutionalized ruling class that views the rest of us with increasing contempt.

EDITED TO ADD: I am tired of being spammed by comments that do not directly relate to the posts. Comments that are not related to the post, or are mere links to other sites with no comment will be deleted.

2 replies on “What if the shoe were on the other foot?”

When the shoe is on the other foot…

When reasoned people undo your position, you resort to force to stifle other voices. Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot all did the same. Good union men, all.

THE ANSWER YOU SEEK:
When the shoe is on the other foot, may you reap what you are sowing.

If the shoe fits…

That makes no sense. I am asking you if you think that Boeing is justified in refusing to deliver the aircraft.

BTW- that isn't an answer to the question, and you know it. Nice try. There will be no further debate until you do.

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