Loss of two 737 MAX jetliners has unleashed a media assault against Boeing, maker of the planes. Some of the issues raised in the reporting are important, but much of it is herd-instinct overkill. The most important angle that is missing concerns the importance of Boeing to the U.S. economy, and the economic fallout that would result if the company’s most important product does not return to service quickly and safely. In thinking through how to respond to the MAX crisis, it is important to understand that Boeing is the only U.S. builder of jetliners left; that it has been the biggest U.S. exporter for a decade thanks in large part to 737; that it is the nation’s largest tech enterprise; that it sustains over a million domestic jobs; and that it is an engine of growth in a dozen states. Whatever the federal response, the government needs to avoid impairing one America’s most important economic assets. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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