Impact over money

You can say that a fatal design flaw killed all these people, but that’s actually just another way of saying that money did.

Crash Course: How Boeing’s Managerial Revolution Created the Max 737 Disaster

This article is so fraught and terrifying that if you don’t feel like you need to throw up while reading it, you may not be actually human. The author, Maureen Tkacik, goes into great detail about how Boeing, contorted into a money-making business instead of an airplane-making business, ended up where they are today. Where they are today (and have been for the past 30 years) is prepared to cut corners on their magic flying tube machines in order to appear valuable to Wall Street.

My dad worked for both McDonnell Douglas and GE, building jet engines and testing them (by flying them up high, turning everything off, and then seeing how long it took to turn everything back on). I sent him this article, which I sort of feel badly for doing, because even though he’s so long gone from those companies that he has no involvement, I think it must still be disturbing to read this. He texted me back and hour and a half later to say that he knew Brian Rowe at GM, and he was a guiding light for my dad (and he met his family on the 1972 world tour). He knew Harry Stonecipher, and knew he went to Boeing, but not that he emulated Jack Welch and not that Neutron Jack canned him. It all feels a little close.

But any time we look to the bottom line as the marker of success, instead of what is actually happening, we are all complicit in these kinds of things. The things that are most needed, the best ideas, humans — all of these are not actually translatable into cash, and when we try, the real trouble begins.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s