Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Like It

Deprivatization -- I like the sound of that. I know Paul Krugman wasn’t writing about air traffic control...but he could have been.

The fact is that Fannie Mae was originally a government agency; it was privatized in 1968, not for any good economic reason, but to move its debt off the federal balance sheet (and Freddie was created 2 years later as a competitor.) Private ownership of Fannie and Freddie never made any real sense, and was always a crisis waiting to happen.“

I’m sure that it will be lost to history: There was a serious effort to privatize America’s air traffic control system. In the coming months, as the Bush Administration fades away, the accountants of history will move in to gather documents and files. The quest will begin again -- to document what will be taught in the history books in a few short decades.

In that mass of information, I doubt that there will be time to note the groups that kept us from making another monumental blunder of historic proportions. Let me note them here.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)

Like any battle, it was a lot messier than any retelling can recount. But for now, the battle is done. Only tomorrow will tell if we engage again.

Don Brown
September 10, 2008

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