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August 12, 2022

The Morning Rant – Awful Corporate Executives Making Awful Decisions

United Airlines Plans to Fly an Imaginary Supersonic Plane Using Boutique Biofuel in Just 7 Years

It is becoming painfully obvious that a great many executive offices in corporate America are occupied by idealistic, green enviro-dupes.

A start-up company has promised a radical new supersonic jet that is “net zero” and runs on a boutique fuel, and United Airlines’ credulous executives are already hyping this as a plane they will be flying in just 7 years. (They won’t.)

United entered into a contract with Boom Supersonic in 2021 to buy 15 of their proposed planes. How’s it coming along so far? Well, a drawing of the plane does actually exist. A couple of weeks ago the first design sketch was finally released, with much media hype.

This Is What Your United Flight Could Look Like in the Near Future [People – 7/20/2022]

United Boom.JPG

On Tuesday, aviation company Boom Supersonic revealed the design for its highly anticipated Mach 1.7 Overture passenger jet, which touts a speed twice as fast as the standard passenger airline.

Set to begin production in 2024, the supersonic plane seats 65 to 80 people and uses 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

United Airlines has already expressed interest in using the jet in the near future, posting a photo of the new design on Instagram with the caption, "Our hearts went BOOM!

Boom has raised about $250 million dollars (including $60 million of your tax dollars,) initially promising that its first test flight would occur by 2019. That first flight hasn’t happened yet.

The company touts its hypothetical airplane as “the world’s fastest and most sustainable commercial airliner.”

Although there is not even a full-sized mock-up of the proposed jet, Boom has assembled one plane, a 1/3 scale mock-up that has seating for one person. One. It’s been rolling around the tarmac at an airport in Colorado, but it has not taken flight.

And then there’s the laughable promise about running on “Sustainable Aviation Fuel.” Turning french fry grease into mass market fuel is the 21st century equivalent to the fusion energy hype of 40 years ago. The technology for industrial scale SAF doesn’t even exist.

The U.S. Department of Energy is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal government agencies to develop a comprehensive strategy for scaling up new technologies to produce SAF on a commercial scale.

You can go ahead and put this on your calendar now, United Airlines will not be flying this supersonic plane in 2029. You know it. I know it. But United’s executives don’t know it. They really want to believe in the sustainable snake oil they’ve been sold.

There was a time when I would have thought United’s executives were just seeking some publicity with this, but having watched auto manufacturers torch their balance sheets by investing in doomed-to-fail EV operations, I have no doubt that United’s executives actually believe this imaginary plane will be flying for them soon.

A whole lot of creative destruction is necessary in the corporate world to cleanse it of the sustainable organic idiots now occupying C-Suites.

*****

Why Your “Delivered” Package Has Not Yet Been Delivered To You, and Other Fraud Incentivized By The “Goal Setting” Management Fad

This story came out just a week ago, and no one should be shocked by these types of employee actions at major corporations any longer. The reality is that executives have incentivized such behaviors with the idiotic “Goal Setting” management fad.


Toyota unit Hino admits falsifying engine data for nearly 20 years: Investigative report attributes fraud to poor frontline management and focus on targets

The report said Hino had fixed data to meet emission regulations that were actually exceeded, and falsified fuel performance reports. It also said that the fraud was caused by “an environment and structure in which management was not attentive to the front line and gave priority to schedules and numerical targets rather than appropriate processes.”

If employees are given goals that are unattainable, but they risk losing their jobs if they don’t hit those goals, they will often magically hit those goals, whether it’s fudging emissions testing (Toyota / Hino) or fraudulently opening bank accounts without customers’ consent (Wells Fargo Bank.)

The true scandal at Wells Fargo wasn’t the employees’ behavior. The scandal was that Wells Fargo’s executives - with all those fancy MBAs from all those fancy schools - didn’t understand that they had incentivized their employees to commit fraud as a necessary action to keep their jobs.

Here is an example of employee dishonesty in the face of unattainable goals that I bet many of you see on a regular basis. You check the tracking of a package you are waiting on and it shows “Delivered.” You’ve checked your mailbox and your front porch, but the package isn’t there. It finally shows up later – maybe hours later, maybe days later. So why did the delivery person report it as delivered when it hadn’t been? Because he had goals he had to meet. He is more incentivized to falsely report delivery than to face the consequences of not getting the package delivered within the budgeted time.

When employees en masse decide that dishonesty is the better option than accurately reporting on how they are completing their tasks, the fault is with bad management. Unfortunately, too many pompous executives believe that by simply decreeing a goal, their employees will magically find the capacity to do what is not attainable.

*****

“…for the EV Transition”

I won’t go into all the problems going on at Ford right now, but they are finding it necessary to cut thousands of jobs and drastically reduce expenses. Their official excuse? It’s for the EV transition. That is just brilliant.

Ford Reportedly Preparing to Slash 8,000 Jobs to Help Fund EV Transition [Detroit Free Press – 7/20/2022]

Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources familiar with the plan, said July 20 the cuts will come largely in the newly created Ford Blue unit that produces gasoline-powered vehicles, as well as "other salaried operations throughout the company."

What a great all-purpose excuse!

The next time David Burge (@iowahawkblog) crashes his pickup truck into a liquor store, he can just tell the arresting officer that he’s considering an electric vehicle, so it’s all good! The crash can assist in the EV transition.

Got fired from your job? Just tell your spouse that by no longer commuting in your gas-powered SUV you’ll be helping the EV transition.

What have y’all got?

*****

Feliz Viernes

As many of you know, I’ve spent a lot of time in South Texas, and I dearly love the Tejano culture – its people, food, culture, music, etc. The long-awaited re-alignment of Hispanics away from Democrats to Republicans has warmed my heart. Welcome compadres!

With that in mind, it’s Friday, so let’s end this rant with something that’ll put a smile on your face. How about a festive norteña version of Deep In The Heart of Texas!

(buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com)

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posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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