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May 18th, 2011

Worse Than The British Tyranny of the 1700s

By Rob Gettemy

The idea that the federal government can tell a private employer such as Boeing that they cannot move a portion of their production to a right to work state is an infringement that if enacted could and should bring this country to the brink of the type of protest we see spreading throughout the Middle East.  It is time to tell the federal government in very clear terms they are infringing on our God granted rights that were enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.

In case you have not heard, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint last month against Boeing accusing them of setting up a production facility in South Carolina to retaliate against union workers in Washington state.  Before I share my thoughts on this, it is important to look at the facts in the case.

The new Boeing facility in South Carolina is nearly complete, and is scheduled to open in July of this year.  This facility is expected to produce three Dreamliners a month or 30% of the total.  Boeing says they want to diversify its assembly to make it less vulnerable to disruptions caused by potential strikes.  On top of that, since plans were announced for the new production facility, Boeing has continued to grow its labor force in the Seattle area having added an additional 2000 jobs.

By the time this facility is at full production, Boeing will have invested $750 million and will have 6,000 full time South Carolina based employees.

Let’s be clear, Boeing is ADDING jobs in Washington state.  Clearly, opening the facility in South Carolina in no way punishes the workers who went on strike.  None of them are being down-sized as a result of this action.  Diversifying the company’s production is clearly a prudent decision.   Does our military have all its US based soldiers in a single location?  Does GM have all its plants in a single location?  Does any big company have all its assets in a single location, or for that matter a single state?  Of course not.  All smart, big organizations diversify their production.

The NY Times in their editorial gets to the heart of the matter though for the left in this country.  In fact, they showed their true colors in one short paragraph that reads:

“Today, 1 out of 13 private sector workers is in a union, down from about 1 in 4 in the early 1970’s.  Many forces are contributing to this erosion, including globalization and the decline of manufacturing.  But, one important force is the flight of companies to ‘right-to-work’ states where workers cannot be required to join a union.  Currently, unionized workers nationally make 19% more than nonunion workers, on average.”

The Times appears alarmed that companies would move to states where workers have the CHOICE on whether to join a union or not.  Keep in mind, this does not mean there are not unions in those states.  It doesn’t even mean that Boeing workers in South Carolina will not unionize.  It simply means that if the union does organize successfully at Boeing in South Carolina, workers who decide not to join the union will still be allowed to have a job at Boeing.  In Washington state, workers who do not join the union are now allowed to work in those same jobs.  If unions are good for the South Carolina workers, they are free to make that choice.

As a country, we can look at what is going on with Boeing as a single issue and perhaps say it is not that big of a deal.  After all, these jobs would still be in the US and isn’t it all about jobs?  But the reality is this is much bigger than one factory.  This is about our right to pursuit happiness in whatever way we choose as long as it does not limit another person’s freedom.  When we allow the leftists in this country to inhibit a single freedom, we give them license to inhibit every single freedom.

Beyond our basic rights though, there is also a practical implication of this NLRB action.  Should Boeing decide they don’t want to be under the tyranny of the state, what keeps them from moving production to another country?

If this administration can tell a private employer they cannot set up shop in a state that welcomes them with open arms, they will do anything.  Their intentions may be pure (I doubt they are), but intentions don’t matter.  When liberty is gone because we value the collective more than the individual, the very soul of American Exceptionalism will be gone, and it will have happened on our watch.

The NY Times, the NLRB, the Obama administration and most of the left in this country truly don’t believe in American Exceptionalism, where individuals have rights.  They believe that the collective should dictate for the masses.  Whenever the collective dictates to the masses, tyranny occurs.  Liberty is not lost in one fell swoop.  Instead, it is chipped away at slowly, one group or one freedom at a time.  It is not unlike the old story about how to boil a frog.  If you drop a frog in boiling water, it will jump right out.  However, if you put it in the water, then ever so slowly turn up the heat the frog will never notice the incremental increase until it is too late.  Our freedoms are being slowly boiled away by the tyranny of the state.

This action by this administration should be the call to action that is heard around the world.  This should not stand in America.

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About the Author

Rob Gettemy
Rob Gettemy is the founder and owner of 1 Million for Jesus Christ, a Christian apparel company. In addition, Rob teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa and was a candidate for US House, Iowa District 2 in the 2010 Republican primary. Rob attended the 912 rally in Washington DC in 2009 and also attended the 8-28 event in 2010. Rob has been an outspoken critic of liberal policies his entire adult life.

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