Every time we fly we are treated to a dose of applied Libertarian philosophy – we are told to put on our own oxygen mask first before we choose to help others.
Simple principles, really: no person has a claim on the life, liberty, or property of another; voluntary exchange is the only just relationship between equals; you can not give a thing you do not have. This is sense that was once common; wisdom that was once conventional. Today it is heresy of the first rank.
Pay attention to this lesson in liberty while you still can, because it won’t be long before the government buys one of our perpetually bankrupted airlines; after all, that’s what they do in Europe. And things will be different on Public Option Airways.
For starters, on POA, there would be no oxygen masks, only an empty Oxygen Trust Fund full of useless IOU’s. But don’t worry – the CBO projects that there are theoretically enough oxygen masks to last until 2017, statistically speaking.
If there is a loss of a cabin pressure, POA would appoint a special commission, a Czar maybe, to regulate the distribution of masks that it doesn’t own. Passengers of limited ability would band together and lobby the commission to receive preferences, set-asides, and mandated assistance - affirmative oxygenation.
The National Association of Oxygen Mask Producers would lobby the commission for requirements and specifications that would double the price of the masks and insure no new competitor could ever get a license to produce one.
The Eco-brutes would force the commission to mandate masks that are “green”; solar and wind-powered, with cap and trade filters that limit the amount of greenhouse gasses can be exhaled. Nancy and Harry would compromise on 8 allowed breaths per minute and write it into law, then add an earmark to build high-speed rail from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Ex-governor Doyle would sell them some Spanish train cars and make another killing.
Archer Daniels Midland would lobby the POA commission for the masks to be made of 15% corn; Northrup Grumman would finagle them to be armed with cruise missiles; the liberals in Congress would first balk at that, but then cave in once Dave Obey earmarked a new oxygen mask factory in every single Congressional district with some leftover stimulus money he had laying around. Rep. Murtha would get two.
The Bailout Banks would finance all that factory construction will free Fed money, and the projects would be insured by AIG. They would siphon off their bonuses in gold this time. All the pickup trucks at the job site would have to be GM, of course. A class action lawsuit would be necessary at some point – not for any particular reason, just to make sure the trial lawyers get their snouts in the trough.
Public Option Airways flight attendants’ and pilots’ unions would lobby the commission for a pay increase for the extra work of handing out masks that used to drop automatically. The commission would go one step further, requiring everyone on the plane to join the union, including all the passengers. ACORN would get a grant to sign them up with Card Check. Later they would be caught on tape advising Hare Krishna’s on how to set up prostitution rings at all the major hubs.
When John Stossel reveals that there were no actual oxygen masks at Public Option Airways, the POA commission would blame George Bush. That would satisfy the journalistic curiosity of the media.
MSNBC would counter with a special report on the gap between the excess number of oxygen masks on rich corporate jets and the critical shortage at POA. Jesse Jackson would cry racism, Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer would be back on Meet The Press speaking in tongues about the 47 million un-oxygenated, and President Obama would make a prime time speech, causing Chris Mathews’ leg to tingle again, and Sting to discover God for the second time.
Another Obama speech? That would jolt those five senile Norwegians from their comas and they would give him another Nobel Peace Prize, the first back-to-back winner since Archie Griffin at Ohio State…….oh, wait, that was the Heisman Trophy, the one you must actually do something to win. Never mind that part.
And what about those passengers on the POA flight that lost cabin pressure? Oh, they have been dead for months now. But this was never about them; this was always about expanding power and control of the Parasite Class – the people who live off the ability of those who produce things and create wealth.
However, the flying public takes dying on POA more seriously, and they will switch to private sector airlines where a real oxygen mask drops in case of emergency and you simply put it on yourself. Radical Libertarians!
The POA commission will call them dangerous, domestic terrorists, racists, enemies of the state, and compile a list of their emails. It will mandate all carriers follow the same rules as POA to “keep the private carriers honest.”
Would you fly Public Option Airways? Then why do you accept “Public Option” education, energy, agriculture, health care, transportation, finance, housing, and research? Where did you think I got the ideas for this amusing little fable?
We must quit pretending that government incompetence and impotence are rare side effects that must be tolerated to achieve some grand public ambition. Incompetence and impotence are the essential qualities of the beast; its only ambition is control, and there is nothing grand other than its appetite for power.
So the next time you fly and the flight attendant reaches for the oxygen mask, remember Public Option Airways and remind yourself to vote for Tim, Not Tammy.
Tim Nerenz is the Libertarian Party Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 2nd District. To support Dr. Tim's campaign, please visit the campaign website at www.timnerenz.com