Why Air Travel Is So Expensive and Unpleasant


BY JIM HIGHTOWER

In a music about outlaws, Woody Guthrie famous that, “Some’ll rob with a six-gun / Some with a fountain pen.”

Certainly, the big-money thievery in our society at present is being perpetrated by the Fountain Pen Gang of company monopolists, Wall Avenue financiers and Washington lobbyists. They’re making an attempt to tug off one other multibillion-dollar heist proper now within the airline trade. It is a merger caper that might gouge customers, shortchange airline staff and minimize service to communities by additional shrinking competitors in an already-monopolistic market. Simply 4 giants — American, United, Delta and Southwest — now management two-thirds of all air journey in your complete U.S. The one aggressive pressure left is a handful of smaller traces, resembling JetBlue, Spirit, Alaska and Hawaiian. Presently, although, Alaska and JetBlue try to take over the opposite two, perversely arguing that slicing the variety of opponents will miraculously enhance competitors and magically scale back costs for customers.

That is what I name “Santa Claus Economics”: You must be 6 years previous to consider it. Right here, girls and boys, is the explanation that much less competitors will not be extra: All of those airways are owned and managed by the identical tiny group of uberrich, Wall Avenue monetary profiteers. For instance, Vanguard Group (a $7 trillion world funding powerhouse) is the biggest institutional shareholder in American, United, Delta, Southwest and Alaska, plus the second-largest in JetBlue. So, removed from combating the Large 4, the 2 monopolistic wannabes would be a part of them to rig costs even larger and make airline “service” extra of an oxymoron than it’s now.

The phrase “free” in free enterprise will not be an adjective, it is a verb. Now we have to free-up the enterprising opponents that company monopolists are locking out, decentralizing market energy, not rising consolidation.

WHY IS MY DOCTOR UNIONIZING?

You wait a month to get a physician appointment, you then sit within the ready room an hour as a result of Dr. Included is perpetually overbooked, you then’re lastly rushed in to your 10 minutes with the doc… tick, tick, tick… and you then’re scooted out, unsure whether or not you are imagined to take drugs or make funeral preparations.

Welcome to corporatized, consolidized and bureaucratized “well being care” — a inflexible system by which nurses, pharmacists and medical doctors too are now not unbiased well being professionals pushed by an ethical mandate to offer their greatest care to sufferers. As an alternative, all are handled as cogs in a monopolistic construction pushed by an crucial to offer most revenue to Wall Avenue traders who personal the corporate-care chains. This monetary hierarchy calls for factory-like cost-cutting — together with slicing the numbers of nurses, pharmacists and physicians who truly present the care.

The cutbacks go away remaining caregivers burdened to the breaking level, and “care” is regimented to such time-motion metrics as limiting medical doctors to solely 10 minutes per affected person. Subsequent!

Even when professionals complain that company cutbacks are endangering sufferers, the hierarchy responds with irrelevant monetary statistics. For instance, when Walgreens’ pharmacists lately revolted in opposition to fixed employees cuts, the chain’s company bosses coldly retorted that they had been investing $400 million in new pharmacists. Feels like a giant quantity, however actually? Walgreens is pocketing $27 billion this yr in revenue! So, investing underneath 2% of 1 yr’s revenue is not going to make a blip in service to sufferers. As an alternative, the majority of the billions that buyers pay goes to counterpoint prime executives and Wall Avenue traders.

This enrichment of the wealthy few at our expense is why well being care suppliers are unionizing — not for themselves, however for us sufferers. For info and motion, go to doctorscouncil.org.



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