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Friday, February 29, 2008

 

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Link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/29/business/29cnd-tanker.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Here is a perfect example of special interest groups getting disrupted by one person shining a light on what they were doing. So to fill everyone in a bit, Boeing and Airbus are the two biggest commercial airline manufacturers in the world. Boeing has also been a major supplier of aircraft for the Unites States government. One would think that to be the natural result because Boeing is a U.S company and Airbus a European conglomerate. It’s only natural to think that a government should give business to companies in its own country. But could this hurt the country by sticking with its own businesses?

Boeing for the longest time has been buddy-buddy with the U.S government and has been handed deal after deal. However, even with how well their lobbying has been and how good their track record was, their expectations with the government fell trough and bit them in the ass. The Air Force is in need of replacing their fuel tanker aircraft. Boeing thought that they could easily get a deal with the government and reap the benefits. Well Senator John McCain being on the Senate Armed Forces Committee had the power to scrutinize the dealings between the Air Force and Boeing which lead the spot light to uncover the scandal within. A few of the Air Force and Boeing top officials were caught padding the deal for personal gain. Two people are in prison and more have resigned from their positions, one even committed suicide over the scandal.

John McCain brought to light that the public was getting raked over the coals with this deal that Boeing and the Air Force was trying to slide under the radar. This shows that there is still a little hope in defending the masses from the powerful small groups. But most likely it wasn’t from a benevolent feeling that McCain had. It seems as thought it was two special interest groups keeping each other in check. In the article it said at the very end that both sides spent millions in lobbying and advertising in Washington. But hey, we the people are getting more for our taxes now because the government is going with Northrop and Airbus for the deal as it is costing less than the Boeing deal would have been.

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