Currently, Boeing is seemingly being raked over the coals in front of CONgress for their mistakes at best, outright fraudulence at worst regarding their 737-MAX jet.
The evidence keeps mounting that Boeing covered up information which illustrated how unsafe the MAX jet system truly is. This was done in an effort to bring the jet to market before their competition brought a new model to production. In other words, for profit.
Nothing but theater. The biggest problem with this is that there will never be criminal charges applied. It doesn’t matter at all if overt, intentional fraud is clearly demonstrated with full knowledge that human beings were going to die because of it. There is not even the suggestion of criminal charges coming out of these proceedings.
Not the first time by a long shot. We have seen such fraud committed by corporations for as long as this country has existed. Companies have intentionally dumped hazardous waste in waterways, which they continue to do as of this moment. Oil companies have hidden their full knowledge of the fossil fuel connection to climate change for decades. Drug companies hide drastic, even lethal effects of medications every single day. We’ve seen tire companies hide known catastrophic tire failures while continuing to produce and sell the same tires. Auto companies cover air bag failures. Vehicles that explode on low speed impact. Brake systems with known failures common on certain vehicles. The list can go on indefinitely.
No consequences. The biggest reason we continue seeing this is that there are no real consequences to this kind of corporate behavior. The corporation is typically given a slap on the wrist with a ridiculously small fine in relation to the consequences paid by consumers who are sickened, injured or killed because of such malfeasance. In this case, Boeing will likely have a fine imposed which still allows them to walk away with billions in profits. They will be forced to retrofit the MAX jets. Which will be done as cheaply as possible, so think about that. The CEO will be voted out or forced to resign while receiving a severance package worth dozens of millions of dollars. Boeing stock may decrease for 1–2 quarters, then bounce back. (If the economy doesn’t crash beforehand.)
This is not a flaw in the system, it is a feature of the system. The reason we keep seeing this over and over is because apathy to human consequences is literally built into the capitalist system. The word “capitalism” literally means a system which places profit (capital) above physical/emotional/environmental health or life/existence itself. Capitalism is a religion which worships itself and nothing else. There will never be consequences paid by the priests of capitalism when their actions have been for the purpose of promoting capitalism.
You pay for it. What will happen after Boeing is forced to pay a nominal fine and retrofit the death jets? Your airfare will increase. Your baggage fees will increase. You will pay for the theatrical performance CONgress is staging. Boeing will be faced with lawsuits and you will pay for those too. Just like you pay higher prices for tires, medications and vehicles. You subsidize the alleged “losses” brought on by products known to be unsafe yet that information is hidden, while the corporation posts higher profits, higher stock values, higher stock dividends and corporate executive bonuses/severance packages. Corporations poison and pollute the environment and you pay for it for decades, for generations in terms of over 1300 Superfund sites. You pay for it with your safety, with your health, possibly your life or the lives of your loved ones. You pay for it in stress, in fear, in hypervigilence, in loss of freedom of speech to protest against these same corporations, censorship by media corporations who threaten journalists who report negatively about advertisers, in laws favorable to corporate campaign “donors” while stripping more of your rights away.
No, none of what is happening with Boeing right now is an anomaly. It is business as usual. It is so normal that most Americans will not be listening, not be paying any attention to the CONgressional proceedings. Mostly because we know nothing will change in our favor because of this. For those of us that do pay attention, we can cheer, we can jeer, we can sneer. The result will be the same. That is, until we stop worshiping corporations, stop bowing down to the rich, stop allowing this to be just another day in corporate America.