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Airbus Execs Say Company May Leave the UK in a ‘Hard Brexit’ Scenario
The most obvious thing in the world has finally occurred and the only surprise is that it took so long!
Yesterday, Airbus said it would “reconsider its footprint in the country, its investments in the UK and its dependency on the UK,” and further stated that if Britain crashed out of the EU without a trade deal it would entail an “extremely negative outcome for Airbus,” and “would be catastrophic,” etc., etc.,
Certainly, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said many times that she doesn’t intend on crashing out of the EU without a trade deal and she and her Cabinet have devoted much time and effort towards obtaining a deal.
Whether the EU side has reciprocated in that drive for a deal is another matter. Many of us understand the reason as some in the EU have hurt feelings, and still to this day some continental politicians can’t understand why the UK is leaving and why more than 17-million voters chose to leave the European Union.
Regardless, the UK is leaving. Of that there is no doubt.
If the EU and Airbus want to continue to sell aircraft to the UK they will continue to operate their facilities throughout the UK with no substantive changes.
But if they do leave, it presents an enormous opportunity for the government and companies in the United Kingdom to purchase Airbus properties in Northern Ireland and in Britain to create a homegrown aircraft manufacturer.
When Someone Wants to Leave, Do Yourself a Favour and Let Them Leave (on good terms)
Whether it’s a marriage, a business partnership, or a foreign manufacturer wanting to pull up stakes — do yourself a favour and let them go.
If you stop them from leaving it’s only temporary anyway! So cut your losses and move on brave souls.
There’s plenty to be said about helping them pack and in engaging in some polite small talk until they’re out the door.
Then, as soon as their gone, pull out a blank sheet of paper and design the domestic aircraft manufacturer of your dreams — and get on with it every day until it’s done!
That’s how you get onto the good stuff and prevent yourself from getting bogged down in anger, self-doubt, recriminations, and what-if scenarios. That stuff will drive you bonkers!
Which is why Theresa May needs to take the bull by the horns and politely inquire as to the asking price of all of the Airbus manufacturing facilities which are scattered all over Britain and Northern Ireland — and buy-out Airbus (UK assets only) ASAP.
It’s no time to be a wallflower, it’s time to create a domestic aircraft manufacturer, par excellence!
One that will create just as many (or more) jobs in the UK as Airbus.
Nationalize Airbus, With Intent to Sell
Nationalizing Airbus throughout the UK would cost a few billion, sure, but investors from all over the world would want to get in on THAT IPO!
Commonwealth countries — which make up 2.5 billion people — should be offered ‘first dibs’ on such an IPO to guarantee their participation in that new company, and to help ensure they will choose to order aircraft from that new entity.
The astonishing success story of Airbus, of Bombardier in Canada, and Brazil’s Embraer all point to the success that a UK airline manufacturer could enjoy (assuming the right management team of course) which could also produce their own ‘joint fighter’ and ‘joint bomber’ jets for Commonwealth and developing countries.
Canada could be tapped to produce the landing gear (for example) while Australia and New Zealand could build many of the components for the aircraft, while items with high labour costs (like sheet metal) could be manufactured in India, and seats and luggage bins could be made in Commonwealth nations in Africa and the Caribbean — and all of it shipped to the UK for final assembly and flight testing.
It really comes down to which Commonwealth country can build the best seats, or the best wings, etc., and then simply arrange a build plan around those capabilities.
‘Canada, what can you build better, cheaper, and faster, than any other Commonwealth nation to add to the new [enter name of aircraft here] and deliver it to us for final assembly on a timely basis?’ That’s how you approach each Commonwealth country.
Once the IPO has raised sufficient capital, the UK government could then sell it to that (primarily Commonwealth) investor group.
Not Only Will UK Airbus Jobs Be Saved, But an Entire Commonwealth-wide Aviation Industry Will Have Been Created!
Which is another way of saying; ‘Thank you, Airbus. I love you, and I will always remember you fondly.”
Once Brexit occurs, UK companies and citizens will no longer have the luxury of coasting along like snowflakes caught in a gentle breeze; Rather, UK citizens will need to ‘Man-up’ or ‘Woman-up’ (as the case may be) to rebuild the country into all that it could’ve and should’ve been, all along!
From now on gentle Britons, it’s sink or swim, win or lose, own or be owned… decide how you want to spend the next 50-years.
A great way to start is for the UK government to automatically nationalize every company that wants to pull out of the UK, hold it for up to 6-months, and then sell it to any appropriate investor group that has strong UK and Commonwealth connections and looks viable enough to pull it off in style.
That’s how you ‘Build a Better Britain’ Theresa May!
As of today, we’re 286 days from the official Brexit date and much remains to be done, and for all the squallering about it, not much has happened. At least, not that the public can see.
Yes, a final Brexit date has been set, Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to pay a £20 exit fee (or perhaps as much as 40 billion according to some reports) to the European Union, there may (or may not be) an interim period when the UK is partly in and partly out of the UK (and without EU representation during that interim period — even though the UK will continue to pay billions to the EU) no trade deal has been agreed, nor have customs issues been resolved.
And all of it built upon the principle that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ which means that the UK has effectively nothing if negotiations go awry.
Further, the Good Friday Agreement could be endangered if the ‘no agreement’ scenario comes to pass.
Not very confidence inspiring.
Perhaps All is Not Lost
Negotiators have different ways of obtaining agreements and sometimes the most effective strategy is to wait until the end of the negotiating cycle and hit ’em hard with a deal they just can’t refuse just as the last few days tick off the calendar. Which is a legitimate negotiating plan, if, if, if, that’s what the plan is.
There’s something to be said for playing ‘defence’ (watching the other side to get familiar with their tactics and devices) as EU negotiators play ‘offense’ using all their ammunition to try to slow, obfuscate, or completely derail Brexit.
In short, it might be better for the UK to let the EU expend all of its effort — and withstand that barrage — then at the last-minute, the United Kingdom suddenly offers up a trade deal that the European Union can’t pass up.
If that’s Theresa May’s strategy to deliver Brexit to UK voters, it’s a good one. But only if she and the MP’s whose constituents voted for Brexit can withstand the ongoing negotiating and media blitz for 286 more days.
Otherwise, she will fail, and so will Brexit.
Risky (if you have a weak team) and brilliant (if your team is strong)
We shall see…
Q: Why does the UK need a tax on job-stealing robots?
A: To pay Universal Credit to millions of soon-to-be-replaced workers.
And why do we need Universal Credit in one of the richest countries on the planet?
Because unemployment skyrocketed due to the recession in the 1980’s, it skyrocketed again when millions of UK jobs began to be offshored in 1990, and again when millions of immigrants arrived in Britain looking for work.
And because automation and robotics are about to change the world more than all of the above combined!
Bye Bye UK Jobs (Offshoring)
Since 1990, but beginning in earnest around 2000, UK businesses began outsourcing much of their manufacturing to Asian and non-Asian countries that offer low-cost labour.
This had an immediate and positive effect on company profits in Britain and resulted in just as immediate job losses in the UK as millions of ‘man-hours’ shifted to Asia. Consequently, the unemployment rate shot up, and eventually, many of those formerly employed people ended up on some kind of social assistance, or moved back home to Mom and Dad’s house, or they lived a precarious life staying with friends until they could land a job.
Those who didn’t find a job or who weren’t able to stay at Mom and Dad’s house, or weren’t able to mooch off their circle of friends any longer, ended up homeless; either on social assistance or not.
And as some of you already know unemployment insurance benefits only last for so long.
A sad thing about homelessness is that it causes a dramatic rise in crimes like theft, vandalism, hooliganism and other social ills as the homeless watch those fortunate enough to have a job/a home/a warm bed, etc., and resent their success. It’s not evil you’re seeing, it’s human nature.
You’d feel the same way if your company terminated your employment and by the time you got out looking for work there were millions more job applicants than jobs available.
But for UK companies, offshoring jobs scored a solid 6 out of 10 as a means to improve profit.
Enter, The Immigrant Workforce
Some UK companies decided to hire the immigrant workers that arrived on Britain’s shores by the millions and were willing to work for a lower hourly rate than native Britons.
For many companies, this was an even better solution than offshoring jobs which sometimes resulted in questionable quality or problems related to timely delivery of products that were produced offshore and then shipped to Britain.
Some British companies were able to lay-off hundreds of workers on a Friday and have their immigrant counterparts start work on the following Monday without skipping a beat. Of course, there may have been language barriers or quality control issues at first, but on the main cutting their labour costs by one-half (or more) worked wonders for profitability, if not always productivity.
For UK companies, hiring low-cost immigrant workers, probably scores around 8 out of 10 as a means to improve profit.
Rise of the Machines (Job-Stealing Robots)
In the corporate world, the quest to lower costs and increase profits never fades.
That is why cars replaced horses, ships were fitted with powerful engines instead of sails, it’s why jobs were (and still are) offshored to countries that can manufacture items at the lowest cost, and it’s why jobs were taken from British workers and given to low-cost immigrant workers in the UK.
But the big daddy of them all is just around the corner as human workers are replaced by machines.
For companies, this cost savings/quality improvement represents the greatest business opportunity to arise since the Neolithic Period when Trog first sold Grok a bag of salt he’d dug out of the ground.
Once Human Labour Becomes Redundant, Then What?
In robotized factories, labour costs are almost microscopic when compared to the other costs of doing business. Quality can improve by orders of magnitude and companies can devote even more time, money, and effort to sales and marketing to keep all those machines busy 24-hours per day, 365-days per year, without sick days, arguments with superiors, or paid holidays.
Almost any job can be done by robots, even policing can be done via millions of cameras set up around the country and monitored by small groups of people in a control room hundreds of miles away. In the case of a stolen car for example, as soon as the theft is reported to a website, the website programme can then steer the stolen vehicle to the side of the road and shut off the engine, and an automated tow truck could go out to recover the vehicle. We’re almost there now…
And robots never go on strike for better wages.
Companies that replace most of their workers with automation represent the best way yet to improve build quality, to lower costs, to operate 24-hour production runs that last 365-days of the year, and to increase profits.
Hey, who needs a large Human Resources department when only 5 employees work in a 5 million square foot factory and all executive positions are hired via a points-based website?
For UK companies, hiring robots scores a perfect 10 out of 10 as a means to improve profit.
Almost HALF of all U.S. Jobs Lost to Automation by 2033 (PwC Report)
This is a lot closer to happening than most people think.
“A 2017 report from PricewaterhouseCooper predicted that 30 percent of jobs across the nation will be automated in the next 15 years.
Predictions for outside of the U.K. aren’t any better. In the U.S., job loss estimates range from 33 percent of jobs by 2030 to 47 percent of jobs by 2033. Around 137 million workers in Southeast Asia could lose their jobs to automation within the same period.” — Futurism.com
Shall We Prepare For That Eventuality or Wait for Something Magical to Happen?
Waiting until then to do something about it isn’t responsible leadership. Neither is hoping that something magical will occur to solve our self-made problems.
If the 1% own all the automated factories and services but nobody except the kids of the 1%’ers have jobs, to whom will those companies sell their goods?
As more and more people are replaced by machines and as their unemployment insurance runs out and as fewer and fewer humans are required to operate a company, more and more people will find themselves on Universal Credit in the UK — so we better start NOW to make it sustainable!
The benefits for companies to automate are such that automation is coming no matter what, therefore, taxing job-stealing robots to support people on Universal Credit is the only relevant option.
Yes, the Protestant work ethic; A truly great thing.
But if machines are doing all the work, humans will become largely redundant insofar as work is concerned and companies will still need people to purchase their wares — otherwise what’s the point of all that automation?
Avoiding a Societal Crash Bigger Than the 1929 Stock Market Implosion
It’s almost too late to address this looming crash. But if politicians got energized this societal catastrophe could be managed, if not quite averted.
Automation WILL happen, it’s not something that can be ignored. Change is coming. And we’d better be ready.
For now, it’s a relatively simple fix;
Theresa May’s government needs to increase Universal Credit payments to (the anti-poverty standard metric of) £1088 per month, to include full medical and dental coverage, and provide full prescription medicine coverage — with no barriers to enter the Universal Credit system other than applicants must be adults who reside in the UK and earn less than £1088 per month.
This monthly amount and the healthcare benefits that go along with Universal Credit should also automatically apply to the country’s senior citizens to ‘top-up’ their pension to that amount, if they report less than £13,056 (from all sources) on their annual tax return.
In this way, every automated vegetable farm can sell its produce, every automated dairy can sell its milk, every rancher can raise their livestock, and every automated delivery company can get paid for their investment in all that amazing technology, because, well, at the end of the day, people need to eat and producers need to get paid.
And the UK can pay for it all without changing the existing tax regime other than adding a 5% tax on the daily output of every robot and automated system in the country.
Will companies go for it? You know they will.
How to Pay For It
Once people see they can exist without starving to death courtesy of their £1088 per month+benefits, people may decide they can earn a (taxable) living from their own home-based business — hand-painting landscapes on canvas, or running (taxable) Airbnb accommodations from their home, or becoming a (taxpaying) tour guide. Who knows. But artists, lodgers, public speakers, or those who create anything desirable or those who sing or play a musical instrument (well) may become well-rewarded for their unique and creative talents and pay taxes once again.
A 5% tax on robots and other automation devices or systems that work 24-hours per day, 7-days per week, 365-days per year without labour strife, without complicated accounting, without employer contributions to pension plans etc., without sick days and so much more — or pay a number of humans to fulfill that task?
It’s really a no-brainer. Humans can’t begin to compete with automation. What matters is keeping all those consumers alive and purchasing which after all, is what makes the economy function.
Companies will make so much more profit they won’t mind paying a 5% tax on the daily output of every robot and other automated device. Quality will improve, production and productivity will go through the roof, and companies and countries that get on it first will find the largest possible benefit.
Here’s to automation and to artistic endeavors!