The CEO of Boeing enjoys the sight of his workers cowering. It’s our humiliation as well as theirs.

Summary: We can only guess at our leaders’ plans for the New America they’re building on the ruins of the old. But on rare occasions they speak frankly about how they see us. We should listen. They’re not kidding.

Spirit Of Truth

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Michael Kinsey’s definition of a gaffe “is when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” As in this from Thursday’s quarterly earnings conference call with Boeing’s senior management:

Bloomberg News:  Jim, you have a birthday coming up next month. … Will you be at your desk, and has the Board approvide you staying on past age 65?

Jim McNerney, CEO: Yes, the heart will still be beating. The employees will still be cowering (laughing). I’ll be working hard; there’s no end in sight. We’re continuing to build the succession plan … But there’s no discussion of it yet. So you’ll still be asking questions of me.

Boeing has worked hard to demoralize its workers (the most recent round early this year). McNerney exults in his success. In this Boeing joins other leaders such as Amazon, Nike, and Walmart in forging a new corporate-worker relationship. It’s natural that their great success creates contempt for their employees.  They’ve weaken or broken their unions. Converted their workers into contingent, low wage, no benefit peons. Among their results: wage as a fraction of America’s gross domestic income from 51.5% in 1970 to 42.6% in 2012. It’s a victory on scale rare in our history.

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Fred: Wages/GDI.

America has strong social cohesion. The peons are quiet, and the leaders think as one. For example, McNerney’s comment matches the tone seen in Romney’s most famous speech during the 2012 campaign:

There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement.

And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax … [M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

How should we react to this information? Anger might motivate us to act, as described in these posts. Or pride.  See these posts for more information about steps to political reform in America.  We must act soon, for the clock runs on and a New America arises on the ashes of the America-that-once-was.

“Nothing is written.”
— Lawrence of Arabia, in the 1962 film

Listen to Mitt Romney tell his peers about America

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14 thoughts on “The CEO of Boeing enjoys the sight of his workers cowering. It’s our humiliation as well as theirs.

  1. When I got a job here (at Boeing), everyone in my family was so happy for me. Now, just a few years later, they strongly encourage me to seek employment elsewhere. There is no pride in working for this company. What little you can manage to muster is quickly dissolved by the general attitudes of those wearing the “shiny shoes”. We, the “peons”, are nothing. We are replaceable and they know it. They don’t hesitate to show it any given opportunity.

    This is just another fine example of that attitude. They know they’re beating us. Now they’re throwing it in our faces.

  2. Jenny’s experience nails some big picture problems for the future of the U.S. economy–which is 70% consumer spending. If the only workers getting rewarded for continual record business profits are those at the top, then most workers see NO motivation from the obsolete maxim — “if you work hard, you’ll get ahead”. And if those workers aren’t getting any more money in their paychecks, the economy will continue to barely muddle along.

    What drives me crazy is that there is never any pushback when we’re told that the magic solutions are cutting corp. taxes and slashing regulations. (Both the far-left and far-right media are corporate-owned, so there you go.) Regs ARE off the charts burdensome, but all that would do is make for bigger bonuses for upper mgmt.

  3. McNerney is the one who made the decision on the 787 outsourcing, which lost the company $20 billion. McNerney, 3M tape is not airplane building. It is management who’s brought the company employees to the lowest morale and history! Goal for zero, zero moral, zero pension, zero respect, zero trust.
    It is management who has no concept of the abilities of their workers. It is management who does not listen; too arrogant to learn from their people. Of course when you don’t come up from the ranks what do you really know? Managements concept of leadership is to brow beat their employees into submission, licking the boots of your senior manager is the way to get ahead. Managements idea of success is, I’m out for myself. This is what management teaches. However you get there is okay, just don’t get caught.
    Some people think I might be kidding or over-the-top! But it’s true. This company does not want your input, except in a chorus of yes sir. A real leader is not afraid of criticism or challenge. A real leader seeks a different opinion, a different view. Especially one who is not from the company.
    Don’t worry folks they all want us to be Walmart workers. Question is will you want to fly on the planes.
    If somebody asked me would you apply at Boeing again, the answer would be a definite no!

  4. CEO Jim Mcnearny has executed an action today…..There is an equal and OPPOSITE REACTION for every action…..REMEMBER THAT …ferral feline!!

  5. The next step, is to have her pension so to some third-party insurance company. Step after that is to remove healthcare completely. After this I’m sure they’ll come after wages again. Now if I was out of college looking for a job Boeing might be a stop for education or a few dollars, but my guess is most will move on. This is not a company anybody will have a career with any longer.
    But I asked those who are reading this, if they would take the time to understand how we got here. When you destroy the currency of the country, you start down the road that leads from a Republic, to socialism, to fascism!
    By the time most of you wake up we will already be a North American trade union, no Constitution, no Bill of Rights, dictatorship. We’ve already seen that there are no elections in the European trade union.

  6. Jim, couldn’t you have waited to put your foot in your mouth at least a day before the interns left for school? With all due respect, sir, what you term as “cowering” is nearly 100,000 people who exercise patience, precision, grace under fire, flexibility, and willingness to continue learning, sometimes at great sacrifice to our own well-being and family life.
    Someone in your position, Jim, has a sense of their place in history, and exercises great care in what they say, lest it be quoted for the rest of history.
    “Let them eat cake.”

    1. Shelly,

      Nicely said.

      We can only guess at another’s thoughts, their interior life. My guess is that we should see these increasingly frequent statements as expressions of our ruling elites power and wealth. They’ve beaten us, in this round at least, and they exult in their victory. While perhaps unwise, it’s a natural human emotion.

      As is the following “explanations” and insincere apologies.

  7. As a former Boeing worker whose job was “surplused” after almost 40 years, I can tell you these comments are dead on.

    Nothing you do or accomplish will be acknowledged. It is never enough and you will always be told that your job is at risk. Management’s answer to this is tell you that if you don’t like it, maybe you need to look elsewhere.

    I sincerely hope that interns and anyone else who is considering working at Boeing watch closely how the CEO views his company’s heart and soul as “cowering” employees to be humored instead of being heard. Boeing is not your grandfather’s company, hasn’t been for years and continues to get worse.

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