Reregulation Regurgitation

Hello there, Godzilla here. I’ve been enjoying an early monsoon season here in the Ol’ Pueblo, and in the spirit of “green”, I went to my favorite store last week (Ace is the place!) and bought a 50 gallon rain barrel. You set the barrel up under a down spout to catch water, and then it has a couple of outlets where you can hook up hoses for watering, or hooking up several barrels in series.DSC03885.JPG The night after I set it up we had over an inch of rain and the barrel filled up! I was so happy it was like I had made it rain or something.
So of course the next step was to buy a couple more barrels and hook them up in series. Unfortunately the wifely unit put a stop to that project. Even when I explained all of the money we’d save on water (though the barrels cost $90 each, so, the payoff comes in 126 years), she shut me down. I’ve attached a picture here for your unbiased opinion. I think it looks kinda neat, no?
Regardless of your opinion on my rain barrel, I need to talk a little about reregulation, and specifically about an article by RSM EquiCo calling for congressional action on airline reregulation. The piece is very well written and goes through the obligatory bullet points listing the reasons that airlines need to be regulated again.
The article correlates the health of the airline industry to the general health of the economy, and although the airlines tanked before the economy did, the weak airline industry is exacerbating the general economic woes. The article quotes liberally from a speech given by Robert Crandall recently, where he drew a parallel between the airline industry and public utilities.
Further the article promotes “a structure in which a commission is established to review airline prices is essential, given the utility-like characteristics of airlines, and that if anything is to come out of possible industry re-regulation, it should be an updated pricing model.”
Of course, oil at $150 a barrel will also spawn an updated pricing model, while removing all of the excess capacity that caused the low prices in the first place.
Bad idea, bad, very bad. Airlines are not similar to utilities. Everybody needs lights and heat, not everybody needs to fly for business or pleasure. Setting up commissions and boards, and getting the government process involved in the airline business (in fact, I think getting government involved in any business) will be an absolute disaster for passengers. You can’t regulate common sense, and the glut of capacity and resulting pricing madness in the U.S. airline business has been a boon for passengers.
Now, it’s time to pay the piper (or the oil man, take your pick). Airlines that have grown because they have good fundamentals and a strong product will weather this current set of unbelievably bad circumstances. Airlines that have skated along with no plan, no strategy, no product, and no business being in this business will fail. We don’t need government regulation to limit the airlines that have this business figured out, while simultaneously propping up the ones who don’t have a clue.