Thursday, November 05, 2009

More From the Usual Suspects

My readers know better, but Forbes’ readers don’t.

”Q: Didn't deregulation wreck the airline industry?

A: No, deregulation greatly benefited consumers. The problem is that government did not finish the job. “

You can just imagine where an article written by Steve Forces goes from there. (Hmmm, Grandfather’s money, Brooks School, Princeton, Run for President. Sounds like your typical magazine article writer.) Not to mention his lady co-author -- Elizabeth Ames. (A pearl necklace ? Really ?) These two are highly qualified to tell you everything the “consumer” needs to know about the airline industry, I’m sure. (And here I was thinking the National Airspace System was supposed to benefit the citizens.)

”As we have seen in the case of the financial crisis, people often blame problems on a lack of regulation when the real culprit is bad regulation. This is true of the problems plaguing the airline industry.“

(Focus Brown. Don’t let the billion-dollar-banker-bonus-”bad” regulations distract you.)

”These problems are usually blamed on airline deregulation. Writer Matthew Yglesias, a free-market critic,....“

Well, Matthew’s stock just shot up as far as I’m concerned. (You can check him out at Wikipedia for a slightly less-biased source that isn’t trying to redefine him.) (Oh yeah, I need to focus.)

”In most industries, the high-quality products usually offer the biggest profit margins, because they allow companies to charge more.“

What ? Huh ? Whatever. Airlines aren’t “most industries” so I won’t even try to figure that one out.

”Washington's deregulation of airlines is not responsible for today's poor service. The problems stem from the fact that--contrary to what is believed--the entire airline industry was not deregulated. Airports and air-traffic-control systems that are critical to smooth and efficient flying were left under the control of government. “

Here we go. We just didn’t go far enough in deregulating things. The bankers should have been able to get trillion dollar bonuses. Well, that was the argument just a few paragraphs back wasn’t it ?

If we’re talking about deregulating/privatizing/corporatizing air traffic control and airports it must be time for....wait for it....

”Writing in Regulation magazine, Robert Poole Jr. and Viggo Butler explain that government management of our airports and air-traffic-control systems has produced an antiquated, inefficient infrastructure unequipped to handle the explosion of air travel resulting from deregulation. “

Heeeeeerrrrre’s Bobby ! Hold the applause until he can get the “1950’s” line in.

”Poole and Butler say that the misery of today's air travel is largely caused by an air-traffic-control system that relies on outdated 1950s technology.“

“Thank you, folks. I’ll be here all week.”

There’s just one more thing I have to share with my readers. I really find it hard to believe that people -- supposedly smart business people, the kind you would expect to read Forbes -- would pay to be talked to like children. Look at this last line.

Real World Lesson
Government management, driven by politics and divorced from the realities of supply and demand, is not up to the task of managing the complex logistics of aviation infrastructure. “

Just in case you were too stupid to understand what Steve and Elizabeth were trying to tell you, let them spell it out for you: Government Bad -- Business Good. Their honest day’s work done, they retire to the parlor for tea.

Please go back and read some of Steve Forbes’ Wikipedia entry.

”...joined the board of directors of the health care industry funded advocacy organization FreedomWorks...

...member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation.... shown Saturday mornings on Fox News Channel...

....joined Rudolph Giuliani's campaign for the 2008 presidential election....

...served as John McCain's Economic Adviser on Taxes....“

These are the people that support Robert Poole and his agenda. If you don’t know what FreedomWorks is, take a couple of minutes to find out and see who funds them. See if they are the kind of people you want dismantling your government. Again.

Don Brown
November 5, 2009

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