Mailsack 7/24/13


The topic below touched a nerve with builders. I also received a number of private letters. One of them I read very carefully came from a thoughtful builder who had lived and worked in China. He pointed out that choosing to use words like “Communist” was a distraction, and that The Chinese had moved so far from Marx that the term no loner applied to them, and just harkened back to McCarthyism, causing people to miss the point that this is largely about how the short term greed of the few here is used by the long term goals of the Chinese. I agree with his main point. However, when I describe the PRC as ‘Communist” I am not primarily thinking of economics, I am thinking of them as a totalitarian police state with little respect for human rights. There was a time when a lot of Americans were bothered by the thought of other humans living in those conditions, but today we ignore it as long as they provide all the cheap consumer trash that supplies our gluttony for gadgets.  Here is a sample of the mail:


On the topic of Communist Chinese government at Oshkosh


Builder Dan Branstrom wrote:

” I’m the son of missionaries to China.  While we fled the communist takeover in 1949, I also realize that the incredible corruption of the Nationalist Chinese government, now on Taiwan, and now much reformed, eased the way for the takeover. I also believe that much of our early hostility towards the communist government was unwarranted.  That does not mean that I think Chairman Mao was a good guy.  After all, he is responsible for more deaths than any other person, and that includes Hitler and Stalin, because of his economic, military, and social policies.  It just means that I think many of our policies were unnecessarily hostile at the time.

Now things have swung the other way.  We have now become unnecessarily friendly towards the “Communist” government.  We have pursued economic policies that have, in effect, given them the keys to the candy store in the name of a “free market.” I say “free market” because, in dealing with Chinese “businesses,” there is no “free market.”  Everything is owned by the government because businesses only exist because the government says they can, and it intervenes whenever it wants.  They are tools of the government.  Decades ago, when China “opened up,” U.S. businesses were required to take on a Chinese partner if they were to do business in China.  The purpose of this was to transfer as much industrial technology as possible to China.  They then ate our lunch because those businesses, supported by the government, it’s financial aid and industrial espionage, used our R & D, which they didn’t have to underwrite, to undercut our businesses. At every turn, they kept holding out the carrot of the “vast, emerging, Chinese market.”  That is an illusion, because they have no intention of having us produce for that market, but to produce for themselves.  The “vast, emerging, Chinese market” was a big, fake incentive, and we fell for it.”

“P.S. Apparently, the Chinese just bought Thielert.”

Zenith builder Dave Griggs wrote:

“William, I had heard of all the Chinese investment in US aviation business, I am not sure where, maybe AOPA. I had more of an  interest in Cirrus because my son works there. Cirrus had put their jet program on hold and was experiencing layoffs in the manufacturing end of things, probably due to the economy and market. My son was saved from layoff by moving to the maintenance side of the company. So far the Influx of the Chinese money has created American jobs. Cirrus is actively working on their jet program and are hiring new people. Of course I am concerned about the long range goal of the Chinese investors. Will jobs eventually be moved out of the country? A bigger concern may be that a good portion of our huge national debt may be owed to The Chinese. Dave Griggs Zenith 750 builder in hot and humid Minnesota “

Zenith builder Paul Normandin wrote:

“William, About two weeks ago I was in Home Depot looking for a step drill bit, I noticed that it was made in China. On a whim, I walked up and down aisles and picked up objects trying to find something, anything not made in China. I didn’t even limit my search to “Made in the USA” just anyplace that wasn’t China. I failed. Bolts, screws nuts in stainless (nothing like that high grade Chinese stainless), brass, galvanized… I looked at lock sets, power and hand tools, all made in China. It shames me to see so much of what was once proudly made in the USA now being manufactured by virtual slave labor in China. We can’t have free trade with Cuba because they are evil communists. We can have all of our goods manufactured by human rights violating, environment raping slavers (who are also, by the way, Communists just like Cuba). We got here through greed; corporations wanting to make maximum profit without caring about anything more than the bottom line, and buyers who wanted cheap products without regard to where they were made. The only way I know how to fix this problem is to refuse to buy Chinese manufactured products but God damn, they are everywhere.”

Zenith builder Phil Carley wrote:

“Dear William, I share your passion and concern for “Made In America” for General Aviation and other industries. I was employed at a Computer Distribution Company from 1994 to 2004. This company outsourced it’s programing to India and many people lost their jobs.  I did not lose my job, but I saw no path for advancement within the programing environment.  I’m currently working for a local distribution company selling Rod Ends.

I’m training for my Sport Pilot license in a Cessna Skycatcher 162, made in CHINA, and thanks to your enlighten article Continental Motors, Inc. is now owned by the CHINESE!  Even though the motors are made in Mobil, Alabama.  Is it only a matter of time before the manufacturing will be taken off shore to China or maybe a nice CHINESE CLONE? After I complete my Sport Pilot training I plan to build a CH 650B with a Corvair motor and I will have “Made In America” my project theme.   Phil Carley Working American”

Builder Bruce Culver wrote:

“I think Paul P. would agree with you. He was getting involved with another homebuilding group dedicated to actually building light airplanes. I agree that a new organization is needed, because EAA has very little interest at all in true light aviation and homebuilding. As you have said, the big companies can make as much money selling 100 $1 million airplanes to the wealthy as they can selling several hundred $50,000 airplanes to the working classes, and it’s a lot less hassle. We are pretty much on our own. The irony here is that the “flying rights” they want to protect serve only the interests of the “professionals” who now run the EAA/AOPA/Private Pilot crowd. Those of us who want to fly “low and slow”, primarily VFR, will not have to use many if any of the FAA services for our basic light aviating. And long after the dearth of enough GA airplanes to support the current repair/maintenance infrastructure causes most of that infrastructure to disappear, the true homebuilders will be inspecting and repairing their own planes. Maybe we’ll be the only ones left… least down low.”

Builder Dave Morris wrote:

“We’re giving them our aviation industry, and right north of me we are training their pilots by the hundreds. Boy this is not going to have a happy outcome at all.”

Cruiser builder Sarah Ashmore wrote:

“You are so right once again. It is sickening to see how much of U.S. industy is now owned by Communist China, not to mention how many valuable, high paying, skilled jobs have been exported theer as well. As for the EAA I have a suspicion that in the not to distant future they will decide to “Re-Invent” the organization to be more representative of is base and drop the word “Experimental” from the name. We see other Big Businesses doing such a reinvention of their corporations all the time and EAA is big business otherwise the half million tab from the FAA would have shut this years convention down. As you have pointed out the EAA magazine has long since lost touch with the grass roots membership and only highlights mega bucks projects that have very little owner content (builder is no longer a valid term for those aircraft). Sun-N-Fun long ago replaced Oshkosh as the must attend event for the year and even they are starting to get too big to represent the EAA base.”

Builder “Pete” wrote:

“Unfortunately, went I went to the big model airplane meet most of the vendors there were selling chinese made parts.  A few vendors were filling the gaps with small business built items but sadly its just like Walmart was a few years ago with foreign made products dominating the market.
Who do I blame?  George H W Bush, former ambassador and traitor to the American economy.”

Pete, I think a lot of people had their hand in the transfer of jobs overseas. The thing the surprises me is how fast people switched from 85% of American’s caring about “Made in America” to 85% not caring at all. This only took 20 years. I can remember when Harley owners were outraged to find the factory had subcontracted some of the forks to Japan. Now, very few people care about such things. The mayor of Detroit pointed out that they have gone from 300,000 goo manufacturing jobs to 27,000. You can not sustain a city, an industry nor a country on this basis. Everyone knows this, but few people care, as long as they get what they want today cheap. If a US plant with 1,000 good middle class jobs is closed, that is a 1,000 people who are not going to be capable of building a plane, learning to fly or practicing their craft any time soon, if ever. The CEO who sells out the jobs makes the investors happy, he gets a big bonus and buys a Cirrus or a TBM, and we a supposed to think of this as ‘efficiency’ and making good sense. It is just personal greed in place of your neighbors, your children and your country.-ww

Zenith builder / Our JRB  Spencer Rice wrote:

“Just gave me another reason to build my own plane and build a Corvair engine!”

Builder Jackson Ordean wrote:

“The time is past ripe for a new organization/group.  I only support EAA because I don’t know of another alternative that is devoid of suits, concrete, glass, steel, big staff, slick mags, big expensive stuff, and Chinese sellouts. Of course, I’d want you to be President and lead on in the spirit of Poberezny.”

Jackson, I think you are right on, and the EAA has taken homebuilders for granted because they were the ‘only game in town’.  Today, what they underestimated was that a number of builders would choose nothing over them. I appreciate your support, butI have a better idea: Each of us starts with the premise that we are our own aviation organization. Our Shops are our temple of creativity, and we don’t need to feel that Oshkosh and the EAA management is the center of our aviation experience unless they re-earn it. Self reliance and sharing this with other like minded builders is great stuff, and you don’t really need a large top heavy management organization in another state selling you tickets for $150 to attend your own membership convention. Wherever you are should be the center of your aviation experience.-ww

One Reply to “Mailsack 7/24/13”

  1. Gotta’ love it! Quality existential anarchistic aviation. Yes! So if we were to fall prey to the stinking habit of the acronimization of the English language, we could be: QEAA, or EEAA (Experimental Existential Av.Assoc.). But what I really want to do is fly, so maybe Flight Loving Yahoo is what I’ll set my cap for. (I will get my core, I will get my core, I will get my core, eh, Toto)

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