Monday, April 30, 2012

Boeing upsets union's stance

WSJ: "The 787 Dreamliner that left the assembly building Friday was the first plane completed at a plant that has shifted the dynamics of U.S. aircraft manufacturing and is pivotal to the company's most ambitious production increase since Boeing started delivering jetliners in 1958.
The Dreamliner, with "Made with pride in South Carolina" emblazoned on its nose, was the first commercial jet built on the East Coast and the first assembled by a nonunion workforce. The 240-acre site here includes the first new jetliner assembly campus in the U.S. in more than four decades and Boeing's first outside Washington state. ...
Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the North Charleston plant is its work force of more than 6,000, most of whom were on hand to chant, "We build jets" at Friday's ceremony.
For decades, Boeing has relied on unionized machinists in Washington. The company's Pacific Northwest tenure has seen generations of aerospace workers, many from the same family, pass down experience building some of the world's most complex flying machines.
But the relationship between Boeing and its largest union has been tumultuous. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' membership, currently above 29,000 at Boeing, has voted to strike five times since 1977. The most recent walkout, in 2008, halted production for 58 days."
By being 'militant' The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers finally pushed Boeing into setting up a second facility.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foxconn workers in China get pay rise but ...

The unintended consequence is that before long Foxconn will move some of its manufacturing out of China, where it currently employs more than a million workers into lower cost and lower expectation countries.

War on drugs

Forty years ago President Nixon declared 'war on drugs' - . 

Unfortunately, not only does the war not being won, but whole areas of some nations such as Colombia and Mexico are despoilt due to drugs. And young Americans, together with many in other countries are drug abusers and whole gangs of drug pushers inhabit the sleazy areas of many large Western cities.

UN monitoring and Syrian violence

By trying to reduce the chances of conflict and casualties, the UN has not taken really drastic action against Syria. But by so doing, it is actually not diminishing the violence and casualties. If anything, the UN monitoring is allowing the regime to behave as if it is within the 'law' in attacking its own people that the regime labels "terrorists".

Monday, April 23, 2012

UK passport control


"Heathrow passport control waits of more than an hour

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passport control at London's Heathrow Airport 
two days after it was revealed MPs warned it 
may struggle to cope during the Olympics."

Some months ago, Theresa May, the Home Minister, fired the top two civil servants responsible for Border Control on the basis that they had moved to selective screening of incoming passengers without her explicit approval and that was too dangerous. 

UK Border Controls point at Heathrow
Now we have these long queues. The consequence is that the border officers will not have time to do proper checks, but will be harassed to let through anyone with a passport that looks ok; thereby it is more likely that illegal  immigrants, criminals and terrorists will be let in.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Euro Debt

The more the governments of the world try to bolster the Euro, the longer the agony and - in all probability - the bigger the fall, when it (inevitably) happens.


Unintended consequence of Fracking
says that due to the unexpected success of fracking in the US, the price of natural gas has dropped to lowest level in a decade.

The second, more serious, unintended consequence is that the abundance of natural gas through fracking is making investments in 'green' energy harder to justify. So, solar, wind and wave energy projects (at least in the US) will have a major setback.

Unintended Consequences

This blog is about Unintended Consequences.

It will report on occurrences of the Law of Unintended Consequence and also of Murphy's Law and other inconsequential matters.

I hope that my readers will add their stories that illustrate these, and similar, laws.

One of the most clear examples of this law in operation is "How the war in Iraq strengthened America's enemies" -