POLITICAL choices have economic consequences - really big ones.
A series of columns in the Wall Street Journal in the last month shed light on one of those choices - states' posture toward union membership.
A little history:
Late in 2009, in the middle of the recession, the Boeing Co, facing a backlog of orders for its new 787 Dreamliner, broke ground on a second assembly plant near Charleston, S.C.
The company's first Dreamliner assembly plant was built in Everett, Wash., in 2003.
The $1 billion South Carolina investment is the first big airline plant built in the United States in 40 years.
The 1.2-million-square-foot facility is almost ready to go. A thousand workers are being trained to begin production in July.
With the economy teetering on the verge of a double-dip recession, Americans thirst for more such economic news.
But in April, the Obama administration's National Labor Relation Board filed a complaint to force Boeing to move the production line back to Washington State. The NLRB contends Boeing's investment in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, was an unlawful retaliation against its unionized employees in Washington State.
The company has suffered strikes at that facility.
Boeing vowed to contest the matter, which led to the first column by Jim McNerney, Boeing's chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Among other things, McNerney denied that the company is opposed to unions or is making a mass exodus to right-to-work states. Boeing operates in 34 states, only half of them right-to-work.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., also reacted to the NLRB's decision to go after Boeing.
In 1979, when he was governor of Tennessee, he wrote, then-President Jimmy Carter urged public officials: "Governors, go to Japan. Persuade them to make here what they sell here."
Alexander went to see Nissan executives, who were trying to figure out where to put their first U.S. plant.
Tennessee won over Kentucky.
"Tennessee has a right-to-work law and Kentucky does not," Alexander wrote. "This meant that in Kentucky workers would have to join the United Auto Workers union. Workers in Tennessee had a choice."