Fights over legroom in the skies… and deficits in free fall

==Airline Deterioration==

airline-eliteTensions -even outright fights- about legroom and cattle-car treatment on airlines have reached a point that any sensible person would have predicted. (I did.) Violent interactions, frustration, pain and rising, seething anger.

What to do? Picket the carriers?

Naw. Any (metaphorical) torch and pitchfork mobs should head instead for the charter and corporate jets, which are obscenely subsidized, instead of taxed as luxuries.

Stop the new White Flight! Tax the hell out of luxury-air and chase the rich back onto First Class, where they belong! And with only twice our comforts and legroom… okay, limit it to (tops) 3x.

first-class-airThe crux to remember: all forms of transportation degrade and collapse, when they are abandoned by the rich. Let em be rich! But they should fly with us. Then watch air travel get better again.

(This is what the Tea Party would be railing about if it were honest populism, instead of howling after the Export Import Bank, at the command of the Koch Brothers. A made-up “issue” toward an institution that costs the taxpayers exactly zero.)

federal-deficit-decline== More facts inconvenient to the narrative ==

The federal government is on track to record the lowest annual deficit in six years.

Time and again, every single report that comes out fits perfectly with my appraisal of the deficit back in 2012

…and the almost perfect correlation (and shocking reversal of cliches) about how the two U.S. political parties handle fiscal responsibility.

It would be one thing if the matter were even slightly ambiguous. Then you would have some basis for clinging to Hannity-rants and quasi-religious incantations. But in fact, if you conservatives actually-and-truly cared, even slightly, about fiscal responsibility, you would never again touch the Republican Party with a ten-light-year pole. The fact that you still cling to that loyalty shows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you are in this as a religion. Not as a logical, pragmatic and modern citizen.

==Competition and Libertarianism==

Paul Krugman is often on-target, though I suspect he kind of dumbs down his columns… and at times he veers from moderation down some paths where I just can’t follow. Let me cite one of his B+ pieces. In his article, The Libertarian Fantasy, he shows you examples of a fact that should be blatantly obvious to anyone with any sense… that the libertarian movement in America has been hijacked away from its last anchors in reality and intellect. Facts do not support the Randian agenda.

competitionYes, it’s a good piece, though Krugman is often more shallow than I’d hope from a Nobelist who reads sci fi. There are more fundamental ways to undermine the grip of Rand-cultism, by appealing to what libertarianism should be about… competition. The most creative force in the universe — when it is flat-open-fair and transparent, and when the players (as recommended by Adam Smith) are not rentier-oligarchs, but companies and entrepreneurs who are small-enough-to-fail… and who then are free to start over and over and over again with fresh ideas.

Paul Krugman is in a perfect position to accomplish what I cannot (though I’ve tried.) Getting liberals (not leftists) to rediscover the founder of their movement — Adam Smith — who knew that oligarchy has always been far worse an enemy of enterprise than civil servant regulators ever were.

LIBERALS-ADAM-SMITHYes, libertarians should criticize bureaucracy! That’s their role and it’s an important one — that they are currently failing! Because they have allowed themselves to become oligarchy’s tools, devoid of common sense.

See my earlier posting: “Liberals rediscover Adam Smith!

==Promises vs Outcomes== 

America’s wealth gap is ‘unsustainable’, according to a new Harvard study, An Economy Doing Half its Job.

In Bread and Circuses, P. Z. Myers takes apart those trying to minimize income inequality.

See also his earlier post in which he talks about “Rollin’ Coal,” a backlash against environmentalism, in which good ol’ boys blast pedestrians, bicyclists, baby carriages with specially arranged clots of thick diesel smoke. Oh, and they especially do it to hybrid drivers…cause they have it coming.

Showing that same level of intelligence, the CEO of Sears promised that applying Ayn Rand’s methods and Lord of the Flies management style, he would quadruple business and profits. Instead, Sears has tanked. So has his vaunted hedge fund. Proving that the Objectivist methods are just like Las Vegas. Where you can always make a small fortune! Providing you start with a big one.



Filed under science

2 responses to “Fights over legroom in the skies… and deficits in free fall

  1. One odd thing about many modern libertarians is that they ignore how utterly anti-competition the great 19th century oligarchs were. J.D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil were not about some ideal of competition–they elevated using their position to crush the opposition to an art form. Vast wealth disparities, whether on an individual or business basis are deadly to the very concept of libertarianism.

  2. Nelson Chen

    Charles, the standard libertarian rejoinder to your truthful claim is to claim that “eliminating the competition” is somehow impossible without government grants of a monopoly. I believe a careful study of history will show that such is not true.

    The stuff about airline seating is interesting, but I’ve read from a seasoned pilot (of how seats have not gotten smaller; rather it’s that passengers have ballooned in the past decades. I just finished a trip to Shanghai, where the service was great despite enduring delays. We had dinner served on board despite the flight being only one and a half hours!

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