CHICAGO (TheStreet) -- Boeing (BA) shares are up 84% this year, leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average. At the Dubai Air Show, Boeing announced 259 orders, with a list price of $100 billion, the largest commercial aircraft launch in history for the Boeing 777X. The aircraft is a technical marvel that at the moment does not have a competitor.
And how is Boeing reacting to its unprecedented success? Unfortunately not with humility or wisdom or with any apparent awareness that success sometimes goes to a company's head.
Rather, Boeing has reacted with hubris, leading to a dramatically concessionary contract offer to 31,000 members of the International Association of Machinists. The offer was buttressed by a threat to move work on the new aircraft out of Washington, Boeing's principal work site since 1916.
Perhaps Boeing, the largest U.S. exporter and a widely admired corporate leader, is reading the country's mood correctly. Perhaps the union movement truly has been left behind, along with any sense of loyalty or sense of place.
Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001 and opened a 787 assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C., in 2011. Neither move caused any apparent harm. Rather, success in South Carolina has only encouraged Boeing to consider locating 777X production outside of Seattle.
Still, it's chilling to consider that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley may have become the voice of new America when she said: "I wear heels, and it's not for a fashion statement. It's because we're kicking the unions every day.