Airline dereg: more a failure than Matt Yglesias says

Years ago, I wrote a piece on deregulation of all kinds and developed a mini-obsession about the absurdity of the airline sort. It had produced bankruptices, savage wage-cutting, union-busting, awful service, and the abandonment of marginal cities while not producing any improvement in affordability. It’s hard to get people to believe this, but it’s true. Matt Yglesias is out with a post (“Passenger Aviation in the United States: 40 Years of Failure”) on how the airline industry is a “stunning business failure.” Is it ever. But he doesn’t mention deregulation. The industry… Read More

Fresh audio product

These shows have been up on the server for a while, and available to podcast subscribers (e.g., iTunes – Podcasts – Behind the News with Doug Henwood), but I’ve finally gotten around to updating the web page. Here are three recent shows: June 2, 2012 DH on Bob Fitch (an abbreviated aural rendition of this) • Ben Jacobs on the Wisconsin recall • Stan Collender on the fiscal cliff May 26, 2012 Vijay Prashad, author of Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, on the topics implied by the book title • Mark Dery, author of I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts, on pop culture, beheading, David Bowie… Read More

Raid the Pentagon budget, do good works

A friend posted an item to Facebook, pointing out that it would cost C$5 billion a year to provide free university to all Canadians, a fraction of the country’s $24 billion military budget. I thought translating this into American would be a useful exercise. Here goes: Translating this in to American: We spend about $845 billion on the military, and personal expenditures on higher ed are about $165 billion. So for 20% of the military budget we could make higher ed free to individuals. But that’s not all. The old rule of… Read More