The first thing you might ask yourself is what does SIFE and Boeing have in common? The obvious involves free enterprise and capitalism. The less obvious involves social business. I am an advisor for SIFE students at Warner Pacific College. I am on a plane in the air somewhere between Denver and Portland, reflecting on the last three days at the National SIFE Convention in Minneapolis.
161 teams and several thousand college and university students were presenting their SIFE programs. Round one is made up of several leagues with about eight schools in each league, with each team presenting their program. The judges then look at how the presentation was organized, how rich the content was, and lastly how well it was delivered.
We had four students on our presentation team, and they did a great job. However, we did not make it to round two. Twenty schools, or teams, moved on to the second round. Schools such as the University of Arizona, Seattle University, and Oregon State University, and I watched all of their presentations and they were excellent.
From those twenty, four are chosen for the finals. This year Drury University, Syracuse University, Texas, and Flagler College were chosen for the final four. The last competition involved those four teams. The grand winner was Texas, who did have a great program and presented it well.
Each of these schools, all 161, were using the power of business to make a difference all over the world. It really was amazing. Central America, Navajo Indian Reservations, and Cuba were just a few opportunities that were presented. Each of these events was used to improve the lot in life of people by teaching them how to do business better.
What does all this have to do with Boeing. In today’s Wall Street Journal there was another opinion page arrticle on the NLRB complaint between the IAM and Boeing. This time it wasn’t Jim McNerney attempting to justify the company’s actions, it was a philosophical discussion about the bigger issue, one that unionism in general needs to pay attention to or it may become irrelevant.
As of right now there are 22 right-to-work states in the US. This means there are 28 union shop states. Over the past decade the right-to-work states have had their gross state product increase by 54.6%, while union-shop states grew 41.1%. If we look at personal income right-to-work states grew 53.3%, while union-shop states grew 40.6%. The WSJ goes on to say that population in right-to-work states grew by 11.9% while union states grew by 6.1%. This last statistic could mean anything, but it could mean that people are moving from northern states to southern states to get more sunshine.
Another indicator that right-to-work states are profiting at a higher level than union shop states resulting in a per capita income growth rate of 23% higher than union shop states, which equates to a $2760 increase in income. Not too shabby.
What do these two events have in common? Both of these events are a result of free enterprise. SIFE is encouraging social business, which is investing profit to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate. SIFE is taking ingenuity and innovation to a level of servant leadership so desperately needed in this world. Free enterprise can make a difference if we pursue it.
Boeing and the IAM is also a positive event. This synthesis will ultimately be good for the relationship between business and people. In Marxist writings we learn about dialectic materialism. If we apply this to our Boeing/IAM event we see to opposing forces. This would be the thesis and antithesis. The slamming together of these two forces will create a new synthesis. This synthesis will be good for all, at least in my opinion.
And that is my thought for the day!