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View Diary: Harvard innovation guru: Pursuit of profit is killing the U.S. economy (199 comments)

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  •  The political angle goes further, actually (13+ / 0-)

    Boeing (and all the major defense contractors) "diversified" its manufacturing so the company has facilities in as many states as possible. That's a key way they exert pressure on members of Congress whenever cuts to the defense budget loom.

    Never mind that it's an incredibly inefficient way to build something - the important thing is to fatten the bottom line at all costs!

    West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

    by blonde moment on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 06:51:20 AM PST

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    •  True, but a seperate issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You can find all kinds of defense industry plants located in strange places for state diversity. There is a difference between expanding into a political location, vs. using an outside supplier located there.

      "All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality." -Al Gore

      by Geek of all trades on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:33:12 AM PST

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    •  I've seen this allegation before (0+ / 0-)

      Is there any evidence to support this charge?

      •  Look at the F-22 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, dadadata

        In almost any historical commentary of how the F-22 became such a boondoggle, you'll see that production was set up in 44 states and even more congressional districts some with existing suppliers some with completely new plants.

        It took 20 years just to get a plane to fly. They cost 376 Million each when one includes program cost and they are essentially worthless.

        They have no air to ground capability, they can't land or take-off on a carrier, there is more computer code in a F-22 than in the latest Windows O/S.

        That's one of the reasons the F-22s that were ferried to Japan as production models went completely haywire as in systems freezing when they crossed the international dateline. Apparently that specific time zone hadn't been programmed which caused the pilots to fly back with no digital read outs, hydraulics about half gone and no radar. They followed the lights of the tanker planes to get back to Hawaii.

        They have complete power outages for no apparent reason  and require 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight. They finally were deep-sixed after the program cost over 80B over 20 years and it was found that a 50 Year maintenance contract would cost 1 Trillion with Lockheed Martin. 20B a year guaranteed with inflation increases in there so the contract may have been worth 3-5T by the time it was completed.

        Apparently the Joint Force fighter Jet , F-35 is suffering from a terminal meltdown also. We split the development cost with NATO countries so we won't eat all of the costs ourselves. However the reasoning for these two separate programs was that we had sold our own planes to too many countries that we needed brand new ones . That came after the USSR broke up.

        Having a major product built with new plants in many states has become more or less a way of doing business. That's why many call it the congressional-military-industrial-complex or CMIC

        •  Excellent example. (0+ / 0-)

          The case of the 787 is a larger plane spread over a smaller base but still, essentially the same problem of communication and configuration management problems causing design errors (which Boeing must now correct since they are the "designer") and cascading delays.

          Boeing has since acquired one of the four composite airframe part manufacturers and presumably take more of the work inside and better master the technology, but people should understand they were NOT previously a manufacturer of composites and so faced a classic Make or Buy decision when they decided to design the 787 with a composite airframe.

          Given that this was a major technological change, it is fair to say they badly mismanaged it.

          Was it really going to be so simple?

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:03:01 PM PST

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