The total sum of my knowledge of economics, business, government, and taxes could fit into an 8 oz. glass filled with 7 oz. of ice and a Coke, and then filled to the brim with a gallon of space left over. I admit it.
However, I do know when something smells wrong. I think.
As I drove home from my volunteer job at the hospital today, I heard that airlines were demanding compensation for lost business caused by the volcanic ash that has caused so much hardship from loss of national and international business in Europe. I cannot as yet find whether US domestic flights have demanded the same compensation or not. I know their business has suffered as well.
Acts of God are just that. If you own an airplane and you can’t fly that airplane for any reason, who must pay for the time the plane was grounded? Taxpayers?
Am I wrong in assuming the airline companies are asking the EU governmental bodies for a bail out to cover their losses? Where does the government get this bail out money? From taxes? Am I right in thinking these businesses are asking tax payers to bail them out?
I think insurance companies are trying to get off the hook if catastrophes like this are an act of God. No one could foresee the havoc this volcanic eruption is causing. There are billions of monetary units at stake here. They are already denying tourists any refunds of their tickets due to acts of God. Also, several of the airlines who must pay if their flights are cancelled are just posting the flights as “delayed” instead, even if the delay is for several days. They don’t have to pay for “delayed” flights.
I already assume that those who choose to fly will already pay more in the future out of their own pockets in the form of increased ticket prices and fees for everything from their luggage to their toothpicks. The airline companies have to recoup their losses somehow. This is at a time when travel plans have already been cut due to the current economic conditions. It is indeed a sad situation.
Will the airline companies be added to the list of those world-wide companies that cannot be allowed to fail? Will the average tax payers one more time be the ones who ultimately support the private for-profit companies?
When my son was young after my ex and I split, he would often want me to buy things that I could not afford. When I tried to explain to him I did not have the money for such and such he would just say, “Write a check, Mommy.” A couple of years later it was, “Can’t you just go to the ATM?”
It seems to me that the airlines are acting the same way my son did. There are simply times that they can’t go crying to “Mommy” to bail them out.
My son learned a hard lesson one year. He wanted a skateboard. It took quite a while but I was finally able to buy one for him for his birthday. He rode it a few times and then left it in the carport. I told him to put it away but he either forgot or didn’t think anything would happen to it.
The next time he went out to the carport the skateboard was gone. I never did replace it with another one. His interest soon changed to something else anyway but he experienced the loss.
Granted the economic peril of the airlines is much greater than the financial concerns of my son. However, occasionally even airlines have to own up to the fact that they can’t always go to Mommy who will write a check or go to the ATM. Granted, unlike my son who had a loss due to his own negligence, the volcanic activity is not the airlines’ fault. But that doesn’t mean the taxpayers always have to ante up the money to pay for their crises. Isn’t a for-profit company a company that must take the chance that there will be times when there is no profit? That there will be losses and sometimes those losses will be too drastic to recover from? The public is going to pay anyway one way or another. Namaste. Attic Annie