Monday, March 31, 2003

Fly me to the ...: Good on McCain for giving it to the air carriers. See, the problem is that Southwest is seen as an aberration (smallish outfit, limited geographic scope, etc.), and that when push comes to shove, it's simply impossible to run an airline in a profitable manner - that is without government hand-outs. Now, on the one hand there may be a point somewhere in all that crying. Railroads have NEVER been profitable without massive government assistance - hell, they were built on the backs of the taxpayers. Highways (certainly a major means of transportation) aren't expected to be profitable. Indeed, most are funded entirely by the government. Look at your local bus/subway system (if you have one). I bet most if not all are running in the red, or are at below-subsistence budgets. I don't know that anyone would argue that mass transportation shouldn't receive some form of government assistance. It's just that if you want the pretense of being a for-profit company, then you're going to have to shoulder some of the blame when you don't turn that profit.

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