Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 4 | Winter 1985 (Seattle) /// Issue 14 of 24 /// Master# 62 of 73

“A NATION THAT CONTINUES YEAR AFTER YEAR TO SPEND MORE MONEY ON MILITARY DEFENSE THAN ON PROGRAMS OF SOCIAL UPLIFT IS APPROACHING SPIRITUAL DEATH.” —Martin Luther King Jr. / here was no weekly news magazine describing the virtues of Seattle’s espresso bars, chocolate shops and Italian ice cream parlors. There were very few places like that then. Large houses on Capitol Hill sold for less than $20,000. Food banks were rustling up new programs. Churches gave weekly dinners and potlucks that were open to the public. Engineers and machinists were applying for jobs in Texas or California or anywhere at all outside of Washington. A billboard downtown read: “Will the last one in Seattle please turn out the lights?” It was late 1972 after the Boeing bust. 40,000 workers had been laid off. Today, Boeing employs more than 73,000 people (in Washington—103,000 worldwide) and is setting the stage for bringing in its highest sales record ever this year. Of course, there are factors other than Boeing’s economy which have multiplied the price of real estate on Capitol Hill. But the fact that Boeing put40,000 people back to work didn’t hurt. Boeing has a long history as a partner of the federal government and is subject to the swings of the military economy. Boeing built aircraft during the First World War. By using aluminum and other light metals, Boeing developed aviation technology and emerged as one of the industry’s leaders by 1926. During the Second World War, the company designed and produced the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-29 Superfortress bombers. By the end of the war, Boeing had become one of the nation’s three largest aircraft manufacturers. Now, 93.7 percent of Boeing’s corporate profits are derived from military projects, including missiles and space (which is largely Star Wars). That defense contracts are written on a costmaximization basis—and contractors are rewarded for maximizing costs—is no secret. But this high dependence on profit from defense is not consistent with Boeing’s overall history in the airplane business. Earlier figures are almost the reverse, with commercial airplane manufacture accounting for the majority of corporate profits during the 30 years prior to 1980. In the early Reagan years, memos to employees and stockholders were blatant about Boeing’s intentions to pursue an increase in defense contracts. A technical editor for a Boeing grant-writing project said that the formats of grants changed at this time in order to include application to military work. It became more and more difficult to pinpoint projects at Boeing which were isolated from defense projects. Lee Lathrop of Boeing’s Public Relations Department in Seattle described the company’s current policy. “Our strategy doesn’t call for doing less military wof^. There’s no strategy that says we’d like to do more from a percentage point of view either, but rather to increase business both comercially and militarily.” But just to be sure Boeing gets it’s full share of those monies, the company maintains a large, experienced lobbying staff in Washington D.C. At a recent stockholders’ meeting, Boeing Chairman TA. Wilson was asked why the company continues to produce weapons in light of the effects on the economy and employment, along with their questionable morality and legality. M s ■ |a* ^ 0 wi - pKi tehnt u J I Bd- M.s e’ sn ,FEexoxeoi un .P r o d u r ■'u ', | i OilCompan shown in a tr ia l run on Puget Sound w ith the Seattle skyline in the background. Tauruswasdeliveredin is the first offive PHMsbeingbuilt by Boeing for the U.S. Navy. during 1982 in commercial, quasi-military and naval roles. Jetfoils in worldwide operation have now carried over 13 m illion passengers during more than 100.000 hours of operation. During 1981 »®5 „> »< « « « f j e ^ ' t(«i^ ^ Aa Spat® , W®6' ®e n v e ^ e r Clinton St. Quarterly 37