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How Airlines Explain Our Screwed Up Economy

By Feux Follets following x   2018 Jun 11, 2:34am 88 views   1 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

The misery of air travel is a case study in why existing laws haven’t been enough to protect us from a new Gilded Age.

By now the nature of the economy’s market power problem is clear: decades of lax antitrust policy have permitted a concentration of economic power in the hands of dominant corporations, their executives, and their boards of directors not seen since the Gilded Age. This has disadvantaged the economy’s many other stakeholders: consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, communities, and everyone who benefits from economic growth as a whole. The question now is what to do about it.

It’s instructive to look at the airline industry as a case study in policy gone awry. It isn’t just your imagination that flying has become increasingly miserable over the past decade: a wave of mergers has left us with four major airlines who are free to offer us take-it-or-leave it terms—extra fees, smaller seats, fewer routes—while reaping consistent record profits. The bloody face of a passenger being dragged off a United flight last year is only the most memorable image of how unpleasant air travel has become.

How did we get here? The federal antitrust statutes, passed more than a century ago, are supposed to let the government keep big businesses from abusing their power. But, since the 1970s, Supreme Court decisions influenced by conservative economic theories have greatly diluted those laws, leaving the government with very few effective enforcement tools.

As I explain in a new research paper for the Roosevelt Institute, the one lever left to antitrust enforcers to guard against consolidation that squeezes out competition—merger review—has not been up to the task. Under existing judicial precedents, there’s no way to rescue the airline sector or the economy as a whole from the structural decrepitude into which they have sunk. Instead, it’s time for new comprehensive federal legislation to revive enforcement against dominant firms in airlines and elsewhere, to undo decades of consolidation, integration, predation, and exploitation and reconstruct an economy that serves everyone’s interests.

Full Article: https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/06/04/how-airlines-explain-our-screwed-up-economy/

Link to Research Paper: Airline Consolidation, Merger Retrospectives, and Oil Price Pass-Through http://rooseveltinstitute.org/airline-consolidation/

#Economy #Airlines #Regulations #Antitrust

1   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (30)   2018 Jun 11, 3:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Unless airlines are FREE! to pistol whip passengers and resell their seats a half dozen times before take off, FREE!dom is a bankrupt ruse.




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