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Free market for thee but not for me

It really is incredible how Congress can get motivated when it's about stuff that affects them personally.

But it's even more amazing how talk of the free market goes right out the window, too. I kind of give the Democrats a pass on this (although i don't agree with them here). But the free market Republicans like Joe Barton that want to dictate where airline companies should fly their planes? Even if there's no ROI in having a direct flight to their home town? You gotta be kidding me.

It's actually the same thing with the post office. I often bring up the fact that they legally have to overfund their pension when the issue of their solvency comes up. But there's also the fact that they have an obligation to keep post offices open, and deliver mail to, every tiny town in America. No business would do that. FedEx and UPS don't do that (they dump their stuff on the USPS). So they're criticized when they don't run their organization like a business, but they legally can't run their organization like a business. We should really be thinking about the USPS as a government service that we need to fund, not a business that has to stand on its own.

The airlines, by contrast, are nominally businesses but they are stuck dealing with this nonsense. And to be fair, a lot of regulation really is required for the airline industry. Not that "fly to my hometown" is defensible. But if Congress wants to go down this path, maybe they ought to consider nationalizing the air transport industry.

By fnord12 | June 5, 2013, 2:30 PM | Liberal Outrage