A couple of weeks ago, President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board made a ruling that sent shockwaves through the American business community. It tried to tell a private sector company that it couldn’t build a new plant in another state simply because it was a “right-to-work” state.
For several years now, Boeing, the Seattle-based aircraft builder, had been in negotiations with its union about expanding its plant in Puget Sound to build its new jumbo 787 Dreamliner. The new plant would add several hundred high-paying jobs to the community. Negotiations broke down when the International Machinists Union refused to sign a long term no-strike clause. Nervous because they had so much on the line with the new Dreamliner, and this particular union had gone on strike four times since 1989, costing the airplane maker $1.8 billion in revenue, Boeing began to look elsewhere.
Eventually it decided on South Carolina. If the unions didn’t want the jobs that the new plant would create, South Carolina was exuberant to get them. The plant has been under construction for two years now. As Boeing is preparing to begin operations, the Obama administration is seeking to shut them down.
Keep in mind that Boeing isn’t planning on cutting a single job in Seattle; they just want to expand and do what businesses do — make a profit.
The NRLB’s decision violates nearly every conceivable sense of corporate sovereignty and property rights. It smacks of Stalinism and centralized economic planning. If the decision stands, it will mean the end of the rule of law for businesses and will cause many corporations to rethink future investments and perhaps even look to other nations from which to operate their companies. Who would invest in a country like this?
This decision gives us a clear look inside the motives of this administration, and it is a strong warning to every business in America. The ramifications of such central planning of the economy are horrifying.
Ironically, while the president’s number one task right now is to unleash the American economy, he’s telling a private sector company that they cannot create jobs — unless those jobs are in a certain place and for a certain group of people. In other words, he’s discriminating against non-union members.
While some may be surprised at this, it is not inconsistent with the policies we have seen from this administration in particular and the Democrats in general.
Consider that early in Obama’s presidency he was meeting with a group of private bankers. A source in attendance leaked part of the conversation that sounded like a thinly veiled threat from Obama. The president apparently told those in attendance “Remember, I’m all that stands between you and the pitchforks.”
This is the same president who had no qualms about stepping in and destroying the orderly bankruptcy process of GM by putting unions at the front of the bailout line and freezing out legitimate creditors.
And it’s the same president who has no problem with an unconstitutional mandate that every individual purchase health care or be fined.
The president is treading dangerous economic ground here, but businesses have been loath to speak against him, perhaps out of fear of political retribution. But consider the stakes.
Should Obama continue to mercilessly bully and over-regulate businesses, what are the chances than anyone can be truly successful?
If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, ask yourself the following questions. What if those jobs had been coming to Kentucky? What if this happened to my company? It is time for business to stand up against this administration’s continuous intrusion?
Leland Conway is co-founder and executive editor of www.conservativeedge.com and host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP. He can be reached for comment at Leland@conservativeedge.com.