Boeing and its desires create opportunity, economic and political. That is a major part of the substance and character of this state, the nurturing of the business that nurtures a prosperous middle and upper-middle class at work building a large share of the world’s air transport system. If not that, there is work making things for the people who make airplanes, or providing services for the people who make things for the people making airplanes, or sitting in classrooms to learn ways to do any of that. And in part, because of this Washington nobly resists the trend toward a two-tiered society where the few, the rich, live in a world apart from the struggling masses.
If this is exaggeration you could not tell by the sense of urgency wafting from the state Capitol. Washington’s Legislature rushes into special session today with the specific goal of doing what is necessary to obtain Boeing’s assurance it will build its new 777X airliner and its carbon fiber wings in the Puget Sound region. This is not a small economic wrinkle — build that aircraft and 56,000 Boeing jobs will stay with us rather than take flight, and the effect will last for decades, according to Gov. Jay Inslee’s advisers. The legislative session is held concurrent with the pending vote of Boeing’s machinists on a new union contract extension, the key ingredient. It ensures Boeing will continue building its 777 in Everett until 2024, in exchange for concessions on pensions and health care. The union votes Wednesday.