Boeing – Boeing officially broke its promise to Kansans, announcing that it will end 84 years of history in the state after 2013. Beyond the loss of 2,160 good jobs and $1.5 billion a decade in lost wages, this announcement is a betrayal. Boeing is now sitting on one very rich U.S. Air Force contract. The company is getting $35 billion to build refueling tanker planes. But it only nailed the contract 11 months ago, on the third try, after that contract initially had been awarded to rivals including the European giant EADS in 2008. How did it get that contract? There were many factors, but a substantial one was that the Kansas congressional delegation fought for Boeing, and fought hard.
Kansas City Star
Boeing’s announcement is a sad reminder that business is business and the aircraft company is going to do what is in its own best interests regardless of any nonbinding “pledge” to Wichita or Kansas. Wichita and the rest of the state have no choice but to make the best of things, but Boeing’s exit will be a significant loss for Kansas.
Boeing merely is playing the system as designed. We have cities, counties and states falling over each other to give away as many tax dollars as possible to lure private companies from one locale to another. There are tens of thousands of economic development agencies nationwide – more often than not funded by taxpayers – to help both sides play the game. And nobody demands an accounting of what citizens of any given community do not receive as a result of giving sales-tax exemptions, property-tax breaks and abatements, reduced utility costs, free land and otherwise unnecessary infrastructure improvements to corporations. This isn’t free-market capitalism. Quite the opposite. Governmental bodies and elected leaders are transferring wealth directly from citizens to private corporations in exchange for temporary jobs. And not so much as a “thank you” from Boeing for all the largesse. Just a goodbye.
Hays Daily News
Thank goodness Boeing spun off its commercial aircraft manufacturing operation to Spirit AeroSystems a few years ago. We in the Wichita region still have a great opportunity to see growth in the commercial aviation market bring business and jobs to our territory. There is more to gain by seeking new manufacturers in that market (Airbus? Embraer?) than, heaven forbid, by getting in bed with Boeing again. While we’re at it, we should start a new dialogue about diversification into new manufacturing fields such as health care, high tech and alternative energy. Bye, bye, Boeing. It’s been good to know you.
Winfield Daily Courier
Voter ID – The voter ID requirement was pushed by immigration hard-liners – namely Secretary of State Kris Kobach – who cite voter fraud, including the absurd notion that immigrants here illegally are finding ways to vote. Of course, there’s no proof of that happening. That said, most Kansans should have no problem meeting the new voter ID requirement. Some, however, will. Such requirements unfairly target segments of the population, including the poor, elderly and minorities who may not have such IDs – and who also happen to be people who traditionally vote Democratic.
Garden City Telegram