Boeing & Microsoft Holding Up the Market?

Here’s a thread to discuss some of the not-so-great big news that has come out recently for the Seattle-area’s two biggest private employers.

Boeing:

Microsoft:

Not exactly a heaping helping of good times for the area’s two flagship employers, frequently touted as having the fortitude to maintain the local housing market entirely under their own economic power.

What are your thoughts about how Boeing and Microsoft are doing, and what effect it will have on people buying and selling houses?

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

56 comments:

  1. 1
    pdxflyer says:

    I’m not sure where all got started, but the number of jobs that Boeing employs in the Seattle region, has actually decreased since 2001. Boeing tracks these numbers on its website as can bee seen here

    Now compare that with 1998 Employment Numbers. You will notice that in 10 years, number of employees has actually decreased. So how could it be responsible for the demand in real estate in Snohomish County?

    Now it can be argued that Boeing has been outsourcing their work to local firms and such, but I think there was an article not too long ago saying 50% of those jobs were lower paying jobs and not your traditional “Aerospace Engineering” or machinist jobs that everyone thought they would be.

    It just doesn’t add up if you ask me.

    I just don’t understand the logic that the housing is

  2. 2
    newbie says:

    I heard Google was going to setup a huge shop in kirkland. That may balance out boeing and MS? I doubt it though.

  3. 3
    Buceri says:

    Snohomish is still King’s affordable extension. I had many coworkers during the 90s that were commuting to Bothell from Everett.

  4. 4
    b says:

    I will say this once again: as a resident of silicon valley, a strong and highly paid professional job market WILL NOT SAVE HOUSING.

  5. 5
    deejayoh says:

    I heard Google was going to setup a huge shop in kirkland. That may balance out boeing and MS? I doubt it though.

    My understanding is that Google is not setting up a “huge shop” in Kirkland. It’s pretty small – limited to technical people only. Mainly a way to pick off key Microsoft talent that doesn’t want to relocate.

  6. 6
    Tsuru says:

    My understanding is that Google is not setting up a “huge shop” in Kirkland. It’s pretty small – limited to technical people only. Mainly a way to pick off key Microsoft talent that doesn’t want to relocate.

    “Google has three offices in the Seattle area – research and development centers in Kirkland and Fremont and a sales office in Fremont.

    Our Seattle based engineers build award-winning web and client based applications including Google Talk, Google Video, and Google Pack, that are used by millions of people around the world. Projects range from designing the frontend of a hot new web application to building robust backend systems that scale to support our large user base. To deliver these innovative products, Google software engineers constantly explore areas such as machine learning, data-mining, and general algorithm design. The Seattle sales team is focused on delivering solutions for the travel and retail vertical.

    Whether you love creating attractive Web 2.0 apps, building gritty systems infrastructure, or working with some of the world’s largest advertisers, Google Seattle has something for you.”

    http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/static.py?page=why-wa.html

  7. 7
    pdxflyer says:

    My understanding is that Google is not setting up a “huge shop” in Kirkland. It’s pretty small – limited to technical people only. Mainly a way to pick off key Microsoft talent that doesn’t want to relocate.

    Like 200 People small.

  8. 8
    deejayoh says:

    If you’re gonna talk about Microsoft, you’ve got to be fair and not just show the bad news… Not saying it will prop up the housing market, but the recent results were pretty darn good

    Microsoft Reports Record Second Quarter Results
    Robust holiday sales and enterprise demand drive revenue growth of 30%
    Microsoft Corp. today announced second quarter records for revenue, operating income and diluted earnings per share of $16.37 billion, $6.48 billion and $0.50, respectively. Compared to the year ago period, these figures represent growth of 30%, 87% and 92% for revenue, operating income and diluted earnings per share, respectively

  9. 9
    jimmythev says:

    Microsoft and Boeing will be fine… it’s Wamu I’d be worried about… any bets on when they go under? I believe they have the 2nd highest exposure (Next to Countrywide) to crapy loans in Socal and southern Florida don’t they?

  10. 10
    rose-colored-coolaid says:

    Tim, this is not a fight that is worth getting into. I’ve been calling baloney on this for a long time, but it doesn’t seem to change opinions. I view it as some kind of holy war. Some people want to believe there is a higher power named The Government which will bail us out. Others would rather believe in two higher powers name Microsoft and Boeing.

    For what it’s worth however, the key insight isn’t how profitable Microsoft is. I think it’s how their monopoly is coming apart at the seems. Technology and social influences are each moving to strip their monopoly. The next 5 years are likely to be crucial if they wish to keep a windows desktop monopoly. If they fail, the 5 years after that probably become crucial to keeping their office monopoly.

  11. 11

    Microsoft remains the number one employer of my clients who are purchasing second homes in Leavenworth. I am just one agent, but the number of clients from MSFT that I am working with seems to continue to increase. I would guess that if they are buying vacation homes, they probably are also having a positive effect on the primary housing market. I’m not saying they prop up the market, but I would rather have them around than not.

  12. 12
    Buceri says:

    The danger with MSFT is the transferring of positions overseas. Whole departments could disappear in 3-6 months.

  13. 13
    uptown says:

    Instead of looking at economic numbers and jobs I would pay attention to demographics if you want to see which way housing is going around here. Plenty of seniors and pre-retirement baby boomers in most of those overpriced neighborhoods.

    If employment was a major driver of housing prices, we would have seen the bubble during the dot.com boom, not years later.

  14. 14
    Silver9 says:

    seriously, real estate price increases in the last 5+ years was NEVER about local jobs.

    The reason prices went up so far and so fast was structural changes in home financing. This is also why you saw the same results in every city around the country and even much of the world.

    Those changes were unsustainable and we can see the results crashing around us with historical loses in the banking and investment communities.

    unlike other assets like stocks, home prices are directly related to home financing. the bubble went up and now it is receeding.

    you are foolish if you think “jobs” is going to offset the influence of the financial system. it is comparing a garden hose to a water main…

    If we are (very) lucky, the financial problems will subside in a few years and we can return to discussions of traditional supply/demand factors like income, population growth, etc.

  15. 15
    NotaBull says:

    I don’t want to be bullish here (check out my name for Christ’s sake), but we can’t say both:

    -Boeing getting lots of orders doesn’t help the local economy because there are less jobs there than before, and anyway they only assemble here because they make most of the parts elsewhere.

    -Boeing *not* getting a government contract will hurt the local economy (and housing) because it will make Boeing lose jobs.

    If Boeing had been awarded the deal, would the conversation have been focused towards the angle that it would NOT help Seattle because we don’t make the planes here any more anyway?

  16. 16
    singliac says:

    Jimmythev is right. WaMu is in some serious trouble. Boeing and Microsoft took big hits, but they’ll survive. WaMu had better find some foreign backers like Citi did, or they are history.

  17. 17
    Mama says:

    “The danger with MSFT is the transferring of positions overseas. Whole departments could disappear in 3-6 months.”

    Maybe in India…not even sure about China. The way the dollar is going, I doubt Canada looks too attractive (not to mention Europe).

  18. 18
    sunsplint says:

    The big name theory has been disproved as a reason for housing prices to be overly inflated from the wage/income/rental levels.

    The Bernanke activity from today is the type that has much more impact on the housing prices.

    There is suggestion that the lenders should write down the principle on the loans.

  19. 19
    shane says:

    Overall Boeing and Microsoft are doing fine. The loss of the tanker contract affects future employment more than current employment. No layoffs will be coming due to this contract loss. Orders on the commercial side will be drying up over the coming years, but the back log is so huge it won’t matter short term. What happens in the future depends on the magnitude of the coming recession. If it is a serious worldwide recession/depression than airlines will likely cancel orders. If enough orders are canceled, then layoffs follow.

    Even if Boeing/Microsoft remain healthy they can’t keep afloat a whole region on their own. Housing will still take a beating in the area.

  20. 20

    The last time Boeing lost a big contract ( The SST in 1968) it sent the local economy into a tailspin that took years to recover from. Not saying the same thing will happen now, as Boeing already has a lot less employees locally, the economy is far less dependent on Boeing, but as far as MSFT, every company has periods where they contract and lay people off. I might be wrong, but I don’t recall MSFT doing this. I know their growth has slowed a lot, but I just don’t recall seeing MSFT doing a bunch of layoffs, and i’m not hoping for this, but why should we expect that MSFT will defy the rules of which most other companies follow?

  21. 21
    WestSideBilly says:

    With respect to Boeing, a clarification to pdxflyer and shane:

    Boeing laid off a lot of people from 2001 through 2004 as a result of the travel slowdown, as well as moved their HQ from Seattle to Chicago in 2001. However, since 2004, Boeing has hired at a pretty steady clip, picking up 22,000 jobs since its low point in July ’04. A lot of these people were rehires/callbacks from the layoffs. However, Boeing is bringing people to the Seattle area to work. Very few, if any, of the jobs are significantly above median for Seattle, however.

    As for the tanker contract, it has no real bearing on employment numbers. The 767 will dwindle and be mothballed circa 2012 with the space likely used for 787 work. No layoffs, and there wouldn’t have been a significant hiring wave if Boeing had received it. The real ramifications for Seattle are that the damage to the bottom line ($5 billion a year is always good for that) will impact the existing 74k employees in terms of bonuses and whatnot.

    No matter how you slice it, Boeing employment does not support Seattle proper’s housing market at current prices. Most of the newer Boeing employees I know live in Renton, Federal Way, and other southern communities that are more affordable.

  22. 22
    shane says:

    westsidebilly,

    Not sure if you are debating me or not really. Basically I agree with what you just wrote.

  23. 23
    B&W NIkes says:

    IRA – I don’t think MSFT (or the rest of tech) hires and lays off quite the way we are used to visualizing old large scale employment with manufacturing giants like the lazy B. I think it’s more that contracts are allowed to expire without renewal and a lot of self-employed folks and vendors look for work elsewhere without technically being laid off from a single payroll. I’m guessing that as local tech rises or sags it shows up a little differently than 20th century state employment numbers. Though the net effect is about the same.

  24. 24
    johnnybigspenda says:

    So you guys are trying to say that the Michigan housing market is NOT affected by their total lack of good jobs?

    Seattle’s employment base is solid and diverse… not invincible and definitely not immune to cycles, but solid non-the-less.

    We are on the opposite end of the spectrum from Michigan because of this fact.

  25. 25
    b says:

    johnnybigspenda,

    Solid employment is the norm in pretty much every metro area in the country. Places like Michigan and Detroit are the outliers, not Seattle.

  26. 26
    Markus says:

    Shane and WestSideBilly called it correctly, there is little near term impact. We are short a lot of IT folks at my job; I just don’t see any layoffs if you’re a skilled & current MIS/CIS/C++ programming/system engineer.

  27. 27
    Matthew says:

    Very few people saw unemployment in 2000 either. My sister was a head hunter at a major temp agency filling jobs for many of the IT/Software powerhouses in this area. In literally a year span it went from having more jobs than bodies to fill them, to being so quiet in her office you could hear a pin drop.

    Always keep in mind that this economy can change on a dime. Very few people notice a recession until they are looking into a review mirror, standing in the unemployment line and wondering “What the hell just hit me?”

  28. 28
    johnnybigspenda says:

    b,

    I understand that there are lots of cities that have good employment, what I’m saying is that the employers in Seattle are ‘above average’ (or special if you will). ie. Industry leaders / market makers. I don’t expect them to singlehandedly keep Seattle out of the house of pain, but our trip there should be less painful and shorter than say an economy based heavily on the traditional industrial manufacturing that America grew up on.

    Actually, now that I think of it, can someone explain the 18 month delay between Seattle and the rest of the country? I’ve seen that referred to a lot on this site and the graph sure makes it look true, but what is the commonly understood rationale behind this?

  29. 29
    b says:

    johnnybigspenda,

    Again, this is not unusual. You seem to think that most of America is still manufacturing based. This was/is true of a few states in the Mid-West, but thats it. Any state on the coast, this is not true at all. Any large, established metro area is going to have at least two or three large industry-leading companies (Seattle hits the minimum). I used to live in Atlanta, home of UPS, Home Depot and a little company called Coca Cola. Ever heard of them? Hell, Charlotte, NC is home to several of the worlds largest banks! Like I said in an earlier comment, I live in Silicon Valley and you’d be hard pressed to find a larger conglomeration of “above average” industry leading technology companies in one area. Yes, that includes Seattle. Sorry, but AMZN+MSFT is nice but not close to GOOG+AAPL+MSFT (they are here too) +INTL+EBAY+CSCO+AMD+Everyothercompanyyouhaveeverheardofintechnology. Yet home prices here are falling starting to drop off a cliff. Sales are down HUGE, foreclosures are now higher than sales, and prices are off 10-20% since peak already with no end in sight.

    Also, I have an explanation for the 18 month delay, but you won’t like it. Its my neighbors down here buying shitboxes in Oregon and Seattle because they were priced out of investment shitboxes in California. Its been that way for at least 30 years, California housing inflates big time, people want to start investing after it peaks and cannot here so they say “Hey, Seattle is nice I hear and its cheap there!! Lets buy 4 condos!”. Same thing happened in the early 90’s. California equity locusts dried up last year as the market here started to tank, Seattle/Portland are now running on the fumes of the locals who still think their shit does not stink.

  30. 30
    b says:

    I forgot to add that jobs in tech here right now are still hot, people (myself included) are having a hard time finding good developers to fill empty slots and people are hopping companies all over the place for salary bumps. But that has not stopped the market from its death spiral. Why? Because psychology changed and folks who make good money know the gravy train stopped and there is no point getting on until its sane again. Its fine to buy a $800k house in Sunnyvale on your $150k/year software manager salary if you think its going to be worth $1.1m in two years. Now everyone knows that is not going to happen, so nobody is buying. Seattle just turned the corner and people now know the gravy train is over, it won’t get ugly for you folks until later this year.

  31. 31
    Sniglet says:

    I think Microsoft and Boeing are both great companies, but I don’t think they will be immune from a significant global recession. All those backlogged orders on Boeing’s books can vanish quite quickly if it’s customers see air travel demand drop. We saw a taste of this back in 2002, when many airlines were frantically cutting back, and the unused jets were piling up in the deserts of Arizona.

    I know that many people believe the downturn in 2002 was primarily a fluke resulting from fear after 9/11. However, I think it was more a function of the temporary slow-down in the economy. Regardless, it was very instructive as to how quickly fortunes can change for Boeing.

    Likewise, Microsoft was impacted by the downturn in 2002/2003. There was a de-facto (but not official) hiring freeze that made it VERY hard to fill positions without VP approval when someone left a team, and it the bar for approvals on new investment/features was significantly higher than it had been just a year or so earlier.

    If there is a global recession, we will absolutely see a slow-down in PC sales and the upgrade cycle (both consumer and corporate) which will go right to Microsoft’s bottom line. Just look at companies like Google and Apple, who’s stocks are already being hurt because they are seeing the first hints of a slow-down.

    Again, I don’t want to despairage either Boeing or Microsoft, but it is naive to think their businesses won’t be considerably impacted by a severe global recession.

    By the way, just a downturn in Microsoft stock is enough to put a chill in the purchase plans of employees. I know many employees who have already delayed some purchases when the stock dropped below $30 a share. Wanna bet there will be even further retrenchment in employee purchases if the stock drops below $20 a share (which will certainly happen if the US stock market takes a big hair-cut when the recession kicks in)?

  32. 32
    b says:

    sniglet –

    It won’t take less than $20 for that to happen. MSFT has been stuck around $25-28 for the last several years, which means most of the people working there have options with strike prices around that zone (unless you’ve been there 10+ years). A return to their $25 average eliminates that option equity for most employees I would guess.

  33. 33
    Alan says:

    I’m tired of the question even being asked.

  34. 34
    TBONE says:

    Microsoft hires 200 people every Monday. That’s worldwide hires but a lot of those are Puget Sound. Turnover is well below industry standards (and the great majority are leaving for other jobs, not becoming jobless).

    The tanker loss will hurt jobs at Boeing (a few years from now) in Kansas, not Seattle.

  35. 35
    Buceri says:

    A few points:

    1) Again; the biggest threat is jobs being outsourced. Rajish can do the programming much cheaper, and it is precisely the lack of US qualified programmers you all bring up, that makes the risk of outsourcing even higher. No better excuse to move operations than “we don’t have the qualified people here.”

    2) Seattle DOES have an employer base that it’s the envy of the country, considering that it is NOT a top 10 city in population.

    BUT, homes prices are completely out of whack!!!

  36. 36
    Sniglet says:

    I would have to disagree with Buceri. If global economic growth is robust then outsourcing won’t have a negative impact: it will only change the mix of jobs, moving lower-paid ones off-shore. Outsourcing certainly might hurt some people on an individual level, but in aggregate it’s a benefit (e.g. allowing companies to be more efficient, etc).

    No, the biggest threat to local jobs is a global economic contraction, and a significant decline in demand (be it for aircraft, new PCs/software, etc). A global recession would take the wind out of local businesses faster than anything else on the horizon.

  37. 37
    AndySeattle says:

    I think Alan summed it up nicely with:

    I’m tired of the question even being asked.

    The other obvious point is the simple math of it all… Why would Microsoft’s 45k local employees + Boeing’s 75k local employees prop up an area of 3.5 million people?

    Frankly Silver9 nailed it with:

    seriously, real estate price increases in the last 5+ years was NEVER about local jobs.

    The reason prices went up so far and so fast was structural changes in home financing. This is also why you saw the same results in every city around the country and even much of the world.

    And the sobering truth from our man b who said:

    Seattle just turned the corner and people now know the gravy train is over, it won’t get ugly for you folks until later this year.

    So while The Tim got us started on this silly subject, the fact of the matter is, no MS and Boeing won’t save us… The only thing that could slow the fall is new financing options that make ease of entry occur for everyone once again. Like the FHA bump from $417k to $729,750… Oops… That already happened.

  38. 38
    Cougar says:

    Oh, and don’t forget to plan for your retirement at 90! I am about to turn 50 and for some strange reason I don’t want to work anymore. Spending time with the grandkids and goofing off is more important than all the “wants” in the world. Yup, I share this with my kids when they try and duplicate how they “grew up” only to find out getting more credit means being in debt longer with no retirement. To many toys, not enough exercise will lead to fat and unhappy!

  39. 39
    Buceri says:

    Sniglet;

    The world car market has skyrocketed in the past 10 years, yet we know the story about jobs in Detroit. The mediam income has gone DOWN in this country; high paying jobs are moving overseas. This is already happening. Your X-rays might be read by someone overseas and you will never know it. Your pathology work is probably done overseas; your MRI is read overseas, etc. It does not pay to move “low paying” jobs overseas. Families of 4 were supported very comfortably by those “low paying” jobs you are referring to; they are now in China (Mexicans got too expensive; bastards wanted a lunch break – imagine!!!)

    Programming can be done from anywhere, and Indian are very qualified.

    Outsourcing helps companies; companies = shareholders, PERIOD!!!

    Ronald Reagan explained to the country that if Fat Cats got a tax break ; they will in turn, invest in you jobs for the peons and we would all benefit. “Trickle down economics”, he called it. Well, that was nice in the early 80s; but now trickle down economics has all but disappear. Give a tax break to the fat cats; and the fat cats will open a new factory……..IN CHINA!!!! Where do you think the government $600 stimulus check will end-up?? Those that will spend it, better spend it on beer, prostitution, or groceries; otherwise, the money will end up stimulating China.

    And the Chinese are on notice already; if costs go any higher; there is Vietnam, so watch it!!!!

    We are running out of industries to “re-invent” ourselves. The culture of “you’ll land on your feet” is coming to an end. There are less and less places to land on your feet.

  40. 40
    Sniglet says:

    No, Microsoft and Boeing won’t “save” us from the effects of a global credit contraction. Interestingly, you could also flip the question and ask, “who will save Microsoft and Boeing from a global economic contraction?”

    Again, I am not saying that these companies are bad (as companies go), just re-iterating that they aren’t immune from what happens to the global economy.

  41. 41
    WestSideBilly says:

    westsidebilly,

    Not sure if you are debating me or not really. Basically I agree with what you just wrote.

    Just adding to your point.

  42. 42
    NotaBull says:

    “Like the FHA bump from $417k to $729,750… Oops… That already happened.”

    AndySeattle, this is not correct. The bump in the Seattle area is expected, but not confirmed, to take the local conforming limit to a little under $500K. Plus, it has not already happened – it’s going to take a while (month or two maybe?) for banks, lenders, computer systems, etc, to take the new limits into consideration.

    Not that I disagree with your overall point – just want to correct a common misnomer with regards to the new FHA conforming limits.

  43. 43
    WestSideBilly says:

    I understand that there are lots of cities that have good employment, what I’m saying is that the employers in Seattle are ‘above average’ (or special if you will). ie. Industry leaders / market makers. I don’t expect them to singlehandedly keep Seattle out of the house of pain, but our trip there should be less painful and shorter than say an economy based heavily on the traditional industrial manufacturing that America grew up on.

    As far as Boeing being above average/special… GM, Ford, and Chrysler were posting huge profits in the 90s (the SUV craze), which also trickled down to the tier one and tier two suppliers (many of whom are in the Michigan/Ohio/Indiana area). It took two years of slow sales for that to fall apart, and look at where MI is now.

    As Sniglet said, Boeing has a 5+ year backlog of orders, but what if the global air travel business starts losing money and canceling orders like they did in ’02 (and several other times in prior decades)? It’d be very easy to see 1/4 to 1/2 of the Seattle area workforce laid off in short order. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    M$ is not immune either.

  44. 44
    Joel says:

    The bump in the Seattle area is expected, but not confirmed, to take the local conforming limit to a little under $500K. Plus, it has not already happened – it’s going to take a while (month or two maybe?) for banks, lenders, computer systems, etc, to take the new limits into consideration.

    Plus we don’t know how much higher than conforming the rates will be on these LFKAJ (Loans Formerly Known As Jumbo).

  45. 45
    Sniglet says:

    we don’t know how much higher than conforming the rates will be on these LFKAJ (Loans Formerly Known As Jumbo)

    True. But I think an even bigger issue will be the lending criteria applied to these jumbos. If higher down-payments and better credit scores are required, then they might not help all that much. What the market really needs is to expand the pool of possible buyers. It doesn’t help to offer a new product, but then tighten criteria so fewer people will qualify.

  46. 46
    NotaBull says:

    “But I think an even bigger issue will be the lending criteria applied to these jumbos.”

    Right. After all the loan limit is one aspect of the “conformance” of the loans. It seems that the legislators in their infinite wisdom looked at “conforming” loans and said “wow, if only more loans were that low in rate” and thought they could just expand the limit and allow higher loans to get the same rate. What doesn’t seem to have crossed their minds is that the rate is lower for a reason: the risk is lower. So the formerly-Jumbo loans that are now conforming will likely have a higher rate, or some other fee structure in order to offset this additional risk.

    The buyers of the mortgage backed bonds are not going to look at these new “conforming jumbos” in the way as the old lower limit loans. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but not even the most optimistic observers in the Seattle area think that this change will actually make much of a difference.

  47. 47
    AndySeattle says:

    AndySeattle, this is not correct. The bump in the Seattle area is expected, but not confirmed, to take the local conforming limit to a little under $500K. Plus, it has not already happened – it’s going to take a while (month or two maybe?) for banks, lenders, computer systems, etc, to take the new limits into consideration.

    Not that I disagree with your overall point – just want to correct a common misnomer with regards to the new FHA conforming limits.

    Good call out and thank you for covering it.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but not even the most optimistic observers in the Seattle area think that this change will actually make much of a difference.

    This is where I get all fearful… I think the increased allowance will allow more people to justify the huge purchase. When, in my opinion, the prices are irrationally inflated and should go their natural course, down to more affordable levels. Maybe I’m fearing change; or rather, fearing change that adapts to an error. Does that make sense?

  48. 48
    Emma Anne says:

    Does Costco employ a bunch of people?

  49. 49

    BILL GATES’ MSFT WANTS MORE CHEAP GUEST WORKERS AT LOWER WAGES TO REPLACE OUR LOCAL JOBS AND FURTHER DEPRESS SEATTLE REAL ESTATE PRICES TOO?

    Here’s the news from today’s Stein Report:

    “….Bill Gates, Corporations Lobby for H-1B Increase
    “The April 1 deadline and an election year have given American industry renewed vigour to lobby for an increase in the annual quota of temporary skilled worker (H-1 B) visas. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is among industry chiefs headed for Capitol Hill to lobby for this increase. Alongside, Compete America, a coalition of industry, research and education institutions, have also begun pitching for an increase in the annual quota,” India’s Economic Times reports. “Experts say as this is an election year, not merely the presidential race, but also for the Congress, the industry may be able to persuade lawmakers to actively consider an increase. There are also reports of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus introducing a new immigration reform bill. This would focus on illegal immigrants, but hike in H-1 B numbers could be tacked along as well.”

    This post at Old Atlantic Lighthouse points out that Virginia’s senators should oppose an H-1B increase. “There is no reason we need to import any nurses or doctors into this country. This has to stop. Senators need to learn loyalty to this country. We see your handiwork when we go to INOVA [Virginia Hospital] and get 3rd world medicine. We get the wrong drugs and the long waits because of immigrants, legal and illegal. We are not being fooled by you because we experience it with our own eyes and feel the pain ourselves or see it in the eyes of our family members. You need to stop pushing us down by H-1B and legal immigration and amnesties.” …”

    The rest of the nonprofit United Way Organization’s URL:

    http://www.steinreport.com/

    My comment [sent to U.S News and World Report too]:

    “…Wednesday, March 5, 2008
    A 2008 Letter to U.S. News & World Report
    America’s Recent Overpopulation Inflation Cannot Sustain Adequate Wages for Home Purchases

    REGARDING, “NIGHTMARE ON MAIN STREET” [March 10]: I have never read so many lame brain excuses over the cause of the current housing bust in the last six months, when its obvious to me the root cause was unplanned overpopulation growth in America, with subsequent wage mitigation. It may have looked good to a lot of Americans to see unplanned American population growth with simultaneous sky-rocketing home inflation prices; but with all this short sighted greed blinding us, we forgot to notice the party’s suddenly done, wages have mitigated with overpopulation competition and there’s now a terrible piper to pay to bail this mess out. I noticed in 1990, America was overpopulated at 250 million people, yet gas was like under a buck a gallon and homes were about 1/3 the cost today, in approximate 2008 dollars too. Since then, we’ve added 25-45% people to America on a linear legal/illegal immigration population growth curve since 1990, clearly causing an exponential inflation growth of approximately 200%. I’d call population growth linear and the inflation it causes horrifyingly exponential. America’s wages did not go up even half the real core inflation rate since 1990; if you take housing costs, energy, college education, food, medical expenses, etc, etc into the equation. That’s why we’re in this mortgage mess. Its greed and uncontrolled legal/illegal immigration population growth. We need a break from immigration population growth in America now, or we’ll fall like Rome. If America can show the rest of the world how to depopulate as soon as possible, our example may likely be the world’s inflation cure too, assuming they follow our scientific environmental lead….”

    My URL it came from:

    http://overpopulation-softwarengineer.blogspot.com/

  50. 50

    THANKS TIM FOR THE GRAPHS ON KING COUNTY SFH PRICE INCREASES SINCE 1990

    You gave me data for my papers.

  51. 51
    NoMoreWork says:

    Maybe something we can all agree on:

    “The Air Force spokesman has blatantly stated that they didn’t take into account American jobs in their decision. With our economy nose-diving at the moment it is outrageous that our own government would not do everything possible to encourage job creation here at home.”

    Housing market prop or not, support Boeing

    http://murray.senate.gov/tankers/

  52. 52

    I AGREE NOMOREWORK

    But even Boeing has a bit of Bill Gates in them. The 787 is out sourced galore, like 90%. Boeing may of shot itself in the foot arguing that Airbus is foreign when they are too.

  53. 53
    Buceri says:

    “The Air Force spokesman has blatantly stated that they didn’t take into account American jobs in their decision. With our economy nose-diving at the moment it is outrageous that our own government would not do everything possible to encourage job creation here at home.”

    Well; it was not pretty. But we can’t be all for free trade and then bitch when we are at the loosing end of the deal. The law does not allow the AIr Force to consider jobs, etc. If we want them to buy American (which I think they should), let’s just say it. And put tariffs on imports.

    By the way, Air Force I is next. Don’t be surprise if the next plane to carry the chief is an Airbus.

  54. 54
    TJ_98370 says:

    The very few times I was involved in acquisition for the DoD many years ago, I was told it was mandatory to attempt to find the item from a U.S. company. If you did buy from a foreign manufacturer, you had to provide a detailed justification. Maybe things have changes since then.

    Air Force explaining tanker decision to Boeing tomorrow

    WASHINGTON — The Air Force will brief Boeing tomorrow on the decision to spend $35 billion for air tankers using Airbus planes.

    Congressman Norm Dicks accuses the Air Force of “bait and switch” by indicating it wanted a tanker the size of Boeing’s 767 then choosing a larger Airbus model.

    The Air Force says the Airbus-Northrop Grumman plane is the better all-around performer. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands behind the decision.

    The head of Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems unit, Jim Albaugh, says Boeing offered its 767 because the company thought that plane offered the size and flexibility the Air Force wanted. He says Boeing was discouraged from offering a tanker based on the larger 777.

    But he says Boeing will protest the decision only if it thinks there was an “irregularity” in the proposal phase.
    .

  55. 55
    TJ_98370 says:

    Buy American Act

    The Buy American Act (41 U.S.C. § 10a–10d) was passed in 1933, mandating preferences for the purchase of domestically produced goods in direct procurements by the United States government. Other pieces of Federal legislation extend similar requirement to third-party purchases that utilize Federal funds, such as highway and transit programs……

  56. 56
    James Friley says:

    I support Boing Aircraft for production in the United States. The United States has to much out sours in foreign countries. Where did the statement go that Stated(MADE IN AMERICIA)?????

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