State of the Airlines

Monday, January 24, 2005

OPINION: Regulate or Free Market

It was only a matter of time before someone would lose their mind and start waxing poetic about how much better things were when the airlines were regulated. I am starting to see this in some articles and all I can say is stop it, stop it right NOW. Much like disco music, airline regulation is a thing of the past that is really best left in the best. The government does kind of a crappy job of running itself like a business so how can you expect them to set up regulations to make airlines profitable. Regulated airlines made money because, at the time, they offered a unique product that did not need to reach the masses to make money. Business flyers and the occasional vacationer were enough. Now airlines offer a product whose use is so widespread its a commodity. Commoditized markets are tough to make money, just ask any company trying to make money producing personal computers.

Want your government to make a difference? Then tell them to update the bankruptcy rules that allow failing airlines to flounder about for years only to come out of bankruptcy without being any more viable than they were before into an industry that doesn't need as much of the product that they have to offer. -pause...breath in- Time to step aside and let the free market clear out some airlines.