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Flashback: Boeing Outsources 737 MAX Software to $9-an-Hour Engineers

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Boeing has been under fire lately for several deadly crashes involving its 737 Max aircrafts in 2019.

Bloomberg did a report back in 2019 spilling the beans on what potentially could have caused these crashes.

According to Boeing engineering veterans, the software mistakes that led to the deadly crashes, were allegedly the result of “a push to outsource work to lower-paid contractors.”

The Max software was developed when Boeing was down-sizing and cutting experienced engineers. The aerospace company was also pressing suppliers to cut costs.

According to Mark Robin, a former Boeing software engineer who worked in a flight-test group that supported the Max, recent college graduates working for Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd. occupied several rows of desks in offices across from Seattle’s Boeing Field.

The HCL coders were usually making designs according to specifications from Boeing.  However, “it was controversial because it was far less efficient than Boeing engineers just writing the code,” Rabin claimed. Frequently, he recalled, “it took many rounds going back and forth because the code was not done correctly.”

Boeing’s work with Indian companies had appeared to reap the company many benefits. Over the years, the company won several contracts for Indian military and commercial aircraft, for example, a $22 billion one in January 2017 to supply SpiceJet Ltd. That order featured 100 737-Max 8 jets and marked Boeing’s largest order ever from an Indian airline. This was significant given that Airbus has traditionally dominated in India.

Based on resumes published on social media, HCL engineers helped develop and test the Max’s flight-display software, while employees from another Indian company, Cyient Ltd., dealt with software for flight-test equipment.

“Boeing was doing all kinds of things, everything you can imagine, to reduce cost, including moving work from Puget Sound, because we’d become very expensive here,” said Rick Ludtke, a former Boeing flight controls engineer who was laid off in 2017. “All that’s very understandable if you think of it from a business perspective. Slowly over time it appears that’s eroded the ability for Puget Sound designers to design.”

Rabin, the former software engineer, recalled one manager saying at a meeting that Boeing didn’t require the services of senior engineers because its products were allegedly “mature.”

Rabin, who was laid off in 2015, said, “I was shocked that in a room full of a couple hundred mostly senior engineers we were being told that we weren’t needed.”

Other aerospace engineers have commented on Boeing’s cutthroat business policies.

“Engineering started becoming a commodity,” claimed Vance Hilderman, who co-founded a company called TekSci that supplied aerospace contract engineers and began to lose work to overseas competitors in the early 2000s.

U.S.-based avionics companies offshore aggressively by shifting more than 30% of their software engineering abroad in contrast to 10% for European-based firms in recent years, said Hilderman, an avionics safety consultant with multiple decades of experience.

Hilderman also spilled the beans on the wage gaps between America and countries like India.

Bloomberg noted the following:

Engineers in India made around $5 an hour; it’s now $9 or $10, compared with $35 to $40 for those in the U.S. on an H1B visa, he said. But he’d tell clients the cheaper hourly wage equated to more like $80 because of the need for supervision, and he said his firm won back some business to fix mistakes.

Boeing remains relevant given its role in the military-industrial complex. On top of that, 2024 presidential aspirants like Nikki Haley sit on its Board of Directors.

This brings up questions about a potential conflict interest. It’s no secret that Haley has hawkish views on foreign policy. Given her position at Boeing, she will likely push for interventionist policies abroad that would boost Boeing’s stock and create an artificial demand for aircraft and other equipment.

To add insult to injury, Boeing has embraced full-blown globalism by outsourcing jobs, as Middle America is stuck with funding never-ending wars and seeing their jobs shipped overseas.

This is a winning scenario for the globalist elite in D.C. But for Middle America, it’s a total disaster.

Immigration

Mara Elvira Salazar is No Friend of America First Nationalism

Republican leaders would be wise to ignore all of her political advice.

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If there’s one Republican leader that young activists should never listen to, it’s Florida Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar. 

Salazar, who is a Cuban American, has been an outspoken advocate of loosening U.S. immigration laws. In fact, she even confronted known immigration hawk and key Trump adviser Stephen Miller at a Republican Study Committee weekly lunch on February 24, 2021. She specifically criticized Trump’s immigration message and demanded that the GOP be more inclusive in its outreach.

“I told him [Miller] that the GOP needs to attract the browns,” stated Salazar. “We, for the last 30 years since Ronald Reagan, have not sent the right message to the browns,” she continued. “Reagan was the last guy who gave a path to citizenship to 3 million people … 35 years ago. It’s time for us to do the same thing that Reagan did.”

Salazar doubled down on her pro-immigration message when she went on Larry Kudlow’s show on March 2 and declared that former President Donald Trump would have done better with Hispanics by advocating for looser immigration. Journalist Ryan Girdusky noted how some of Trump’s advisers were already pushing for amnesty lite policies:

Girdusky added that Salazar was rather unhinged in her criticism of Miller’s vision for the GOP:

Salazar made a lot of noise about the Hispanic vote, despite ignoring how Trump improved his Hispanic numbers between 2016 and his re-election bid in 2020 from 28% to 32%. And he did so without much Hispandering or campaigning on passing amnesty. 

The unsavory fact that the GOP consultant class and the likes of Salazar refuse to acknowledge is that the Black Lives Matter unrest alone likely pushed significant segments of the Hispanic population into the Democrats’ arms. BLM radicalism alienated Americans of all backgrounds., but Hispanics were not having any of this kind of ruckus. Even Hispanic Democrats, of all groups, largely supported strong military action during the riots.

In reality, Hispanic support for Trump is largely based on his bluster and political bluntness, which many minority groups find comfort in. 

However, Republicans like Salazar gets it all wrong by thinking that expanding immigration both legal and illegal is a key to the Republican Party success. The Republican Party will have to concede that they can make gains with Hispanics at the margins but they cannot expect to win the majority of the Hispanic vote due to Hispanics’ propensity to support many causes ranging from gun control to more government involvement in healthcare. Data from the Pew Research Center demonstrates these beliefs among Hispanics. Nevertheless, there are some avenues for outreach with this demographic  but they must be done right. 

The key for Republican success is the white working class voters, which played a crucial role in putting Trump over the top in the Midwest back in 2016. These voters are not the most reliable in terms of turnout, but they comprise a vast segment of the American electorate. Any candidate who can activate them could potentially build a hegemonic electoral coalition for years to come. The goal for a sane Republican campaign is to maximize turnout and support among the WWC. 

Such inroads with WWC voters are more important than meeting a diversity quota the likes of Salazar and naive Republican strategists would like the party to pursue. Any nationalist campaign worth its salt would be promoting the following: Infrastructure projects targeting the Midwest, the restriction of both illegal and legal immigration, and re-shoring programs to bring jobs back. 

On the other hand, following Salazar’s program is the way that the GOP will become irrelevant and alienate many WWC voters who are already on the fence with regards to the Republican Party. These voters are not going to gravitate towards Republicans just because of the “R” next to their name. They still must be catered to and pushing for amnesty is one way to turn working class voters off.

Under Salazar’s watch, the GOP will simply be going back to the politically correct ways of the Bush administration. To tap into the sleeping giants that is the WWC, Republican leaders should ignore everything Salazar has to say and get fully behind nationalist policies such as immigration restriction, infrastructure development, and re-shoring. 

 

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