No Country for Old Airline Passengers

The U.S. Senate voted down an emendment that almost every American could have approved of heartily, a Chuck Schumer-sponsored measure that would have allowed the FAA to tell airlines to stop packing passengers into planes like sardines. At a time like this can anyone doubt that this isn't a democracy?

The U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that almost every American could have approved of heartily, a Chuck Schumer-sponsored measure that would have allowed the FAA to tell airlines to stop packing passengers into planes like sardines. At a time like this can anyone doubt that this isn’t a democracy?

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61 thoughts on “No Country for Old Airline Passengers

  1. >Do you see any other way?

    Yes. Stop thinking so fucking small. We may live on a finite planet, but that planet is located within an infinite universe. Time we stopped worrying about this rock and found a new one. Past time, actually.

    To quote Interstellar: “We were never meant to save the planet. We were meant to leave it.”

      • I have never before let this sequence of letters pass my keyboard, but there is a first time for everything, so here it is:
        LOL!

      • I’m disappointed, Glenn ; I had expected at least an roflmao for that one !… 😉

        Henri

    • “The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in. ”

      – R. A. Heinlein

      While that solution might preserve the race, it doesn’t save the planet of our birth.

      • I suggest, CrazyH, that the issue is not one of saving the planet, but rather one of saving H sapiens sapiens. Even if we fuck up as badly as it looks as if we’re going to do and our species becomes extinct, without being superseded by a new and better model, the planet will continue to exist and, after short period of time, geologically speaking, some sort of equilibrium will be restored and the place will again teem with life in many various forms (i e, not all bacteria). But there’s no guarantee that creatures with the high proportion of brain mass to body mass from which we, as the late great Kurt Vonnegut noted in his work Galápagos, suffer, will reappear….

        So can it go….

        Henri

      • Stephen Jay Gould maintains that evolution doesn’t happen by slow, gradual changes – but rather quickly in reaction to cataclysmic events. e,g, Mammals didn’t outpace the dinosaurs over eons, but rather a few scraggly rats were still around after the dinosaur -killer asteroid hit. They quickly diversified to fill the empty ecological niches ala the Galapagos Finches. (Second shout out to Niven & Pornelle’s excellent “The Mote in God’s Eye”)

        So, too, something will probably arise out of whatever poisoned remnants left after we cause our own extinction event. To quote the Enterprise’s Science Officer, “It’s life Jim, but not as we know it”

  2. Very briefly:

    The issue of societal collapse is that it doesn’t happen slowly. It happens all at once. The example the environmentalists use is of the lily pads on a pond. Start with one lily pad that covers 1/1000th of a pond’s surface. Every day, the lily pad doubles by producing a new lily pad. So, on the second day, it’s 2/1000ths. On the 3rd day, it’s 4/1000ths, then 8, 16, 32, etc.

    The thing is, up until about Day 7, it’s still not a lot of surface that’s covered. On Day 8, it’s 256/1000 (about 1/4). On Day 9 it’s 512/1000. On the 10th day, the whole pond’s covered. But for most of the time, it didn’t really seem like a big problem, those lily pads.

    When the climate heats up too much, when the weather gets really out of whack, we won’t have time to stop the problems. We won’t be able to keep the sea back or prevent the die-offs. It’ll be on us so fast, it will, literally, leave us speechless. We simply won’t be able to take in all the destruction.

    • I remember an experiment from school. Make some sugar water and drop in some yeast. The some time later, take a drop of water, put it on a slide & count the cells you see. Repeat that observation at regular intervals.

      Yeast multiply by fission or budding. At first, the yeast doubles its population regularly. (exponential growth) but after a while the rate drops off.

      Why? Certainly not because the yeast saw what was happening at started taking birth control. But rather because the food ran out and they polluted their environment.

      The question is whether humans are smarter than yeast. The answer is still up in the air.

  3. What I like about Ted is that he almost always manages to boost my flagging optimism – in this case that US «democracy» always gets its priorities right and people know on just which issues to take to the streets. Thanks, Ted – I suspect that you too are looking forward to 20 January 2017….

    Henri

  4. To CrazyH,

    I did NOT advocate continuing population growth. I said dealing with population growth, ONLY, can’t possibly affect climate change before it’s too late.

    You may not have said “genocide” but what you did say was sloppy enough to be misinterpreted as such, especially given your reluctance to, at least initially, include consumption as part of the equation – the only part that can be dealt with immediately.

    • That’s right, Falco – I did not say genocide, and there is nothing in my original post which can be misinterpreted as such. If you believe there is, then by all means quote the passage that lead you to that conclusion.

      While you’re looking for quotes to back your inane accusations, please supply one that shows I was “reluctant to include consumption in the equation.” I didn’t mention consumption, that’s true. Nor did I mention acid rain, habitat destruction, anti-vaxers or Elvis impersonators.

      If you want to argue about something, I’m game, but you’ll to have to find something we disagree on. But right now, you’re putting words in my mouth. In which case you’re actually arguing with yourself. Let me know who wins.

      • Has to be this. Made me think genocide too:

        “If we cut our numbers by 99% we would we would still have a large enough gene pool to sustain the species without destroying the Earth in the process.”

        How else do we immediately see such drastic change? A hypothetical but a pointless one. We don’t “need” 7 billion people any more than we need 70 million. I didn’t think you were advocating genocide but you did seem to allude to it.

      • > Made me think genocide too … I didn’t think you were advocating genocide.

        Priceless, just priceless.

        > you did seem to allude to it.

        Quote, please?

        > How else do we immediately see such drastic change?

        Quit breeding, duh? Let’s say people wised up (they won’t but let’s say they did for purposes of discussion) and *voluntarily* cut back the birth rate. We could halve the population in a single generation instead of doubling it. In 70 or so years, we could achieve whatever population we wanted. That’s ‘immediate’ on a global timescale, and it might even save the species.

        How else? War, famine, disease – these things are pretty much inevitable. I’m certainly not advocating them, just pointing out that’s how nature limits populations when they get out of control.

      • I know you must be intelligent, but sometimes you don’t seem too bright. You really don’t see how saying “If we cut our numbers by 99%…” would make people think of genocide? And that making that association is different than believing you support it?

        Most of the problems you have brought due to misallocation of resources. Not a lack of them. And many places are *overcrowded* which is different that overpopulated. Sure many problems would be smaller with lower world population but that is not enough to be called overpopulation.

        This is a short but good article.

        Now when you talk about protecting natural ecosystems and endangered species, I’m right there with you, but again this has nothing to do with the definition of overpopulation. Population growth is slowing dramatically and in the interim, earth can support a few billion more at least.

      • This is a “graph”

        It’s not my fault that you can’t extrapolate from indisputable facts. Nor it is my fault that mass murder is the first solution that occurs to you.

        It is, however, my problem that I have to share this planet with morons who will deny the obvious.

      • Humanity has had many population booms before, CH. they don’t all end in catastrophe. Nor do those of other species. Growth levels off naturally. Again, the kind of thing I’d expect you to know.

  5. “The only plausible mechanism to eliminate 99% of the world’s population in a time frame relevant to stabilizing climate (not reversing it) change would be total nuclear holocaust. It’s not clear how that gets to 99% and manages not to achieve 100%. And, if it did, why would anyone want to be among ‘the new 1%.’”

    For the last hundred years at least, the plan has always been biologically-perpetrated dieback. The plan goes back no less than three hundred years. First, the incitement of a fast-track population explosion that traverses from a global population of 500 milliion to over 7 billion, which also necessitates a truly unimaginable infrastructure expansion. The current goal will be to restore the Hpopulation to not more than 100 million survivors. It will never again surpass 500 million.

    Now, nuclear war is a bad path. nuclear war DESTROYS the atmosphere. Because of the half-life, nuclear contamination is not effectively manageable. But now? Chemically incited bio-agents is where it’s at! The dieback diseases will be 99.9% effective. For the prepper-class, there will be cleanup crews sent out to terminate all illegal survivors. Who’s processing your community water supply?

    We’re getting much closer now to when the first of three major dieback events occur. And yes, you will know it when it really starts.

    DanD

    • Neutron bombs would kill only people exposed to the blast and residual radiation would be low enough and soon enough for survivors to move back after the big kill. That’s why they were made illegal and that’s why they are still being made by predator sociopaths.

      Common people are ridiculed for having bomb shelters as preppers. But the biggest and most dedicated preppers are the military and political classes. If nuclear war is so unlikely then why is Obama pushing a trillion dollar rebuild for “thinkable” scaleable yield nukes? That’s a lot of money to spend on prepping for something not likely to happen.

      And GMO’d bio-weapons become usable when vaccines for never-before-seen diseases are developed for use by only the chosen few.

      So preparations for a colony on Mars are being made. Here’s the news: only the smallest number will ever make it to Mars, if any at all. But all that shelter development for the harsh Martian climate will come in handy for the earthbound few if climate change shows up sooner and more brutal than now expected.

      Have a nice day!

      • The problem of any nuclear weapon is that it kills all living things within its radius. Bad planning. Yeah, they may also be used to eliminate certain groups, but the backbone of the dieback will be biologicals that have been GMEngineered to wipe out highly specific populations on a variably precise scale … and perhaps even individuals.

        Go ahead, eat that GMO corn, and then discover that if exposed to some particular substance that’s normally benign, your brain-vessels burst in around six months or less. Have you had your daily dose of Fluoride yet?

        As far as corporate preppers? Right now, whole hermetically-sealed cities are operational throughout the world. After the dieoff, the (legal) survivors will spend the next couple of thousand years or so gathering up all the abandoned infrastructure and already-refined materials for their prospectively expanding dominion, and “perfect-world” construction, for the next ten/hundred thousand years or so.

        The dystopia will become flawless.

        DanD

      • I’ll answer you in two posts, this is the first. The following is what anthropomorphically created circumstances have so far produced on Earth:

        Overfishinghttp://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/explore/pristine-seas/critical-issues-overfishing/

        Ocean of Acid Blamed for Earth’s ‘Great Dying’
        http://www.livescience.com/50440-ocean-acidification-killer-permian-extinction.html

        Oceans in Peril: Primed for Mass Extinction?
        http://www.livescience.com/6788-oceans-peril-primed-mass-extinction.html

        The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct
        http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-last-time-our-oceans-got-this-acidic-it-drove-earths-greatest-extinction

        ‘Horrific’: Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Now the Size of Connecticut
        http://naturalsociety.com/gulf-dead-zone-now-size-connecticut/

        Fukushima: the Extinction-Level Event that no one is Talking About
        https://dougmichaeltruth.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/fukushima-the-extinction-level-event-that-no-one-is-talking-about/

        The World Impact Of The Bee Die-Off
        http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/05/bee-die-off

        It’s an accelerated MASS dieoff in progress.

        DanD

      • De nada, JH.

        Meantime, it seems that a post I thought I produced apparently didn’t stick. In that post I suggested that, instead of letting a greater, mass-dieoff occur, TPTB are going to short circuit that more massive devastation with a more species-specific cull.

        Take out 9/10ths of humanity and control the population growth thereafter, invariably what has been damaged will repair more quickly. It’s the difference between a massive dieoff, and a more selective one. Which way do you see it going?

        DanD

      • Dan,

        The Fukishima incident is most alarming, but I’ll preface by saying again that I do not believe the earth is overpopulated as that definitionally would mean we had exceeded carrying capacity.

        TPTB are obsessed with population control no question. I’m still not convinced humans will naturally face a mass die off event, but the elite have every reason in the world to plan one. I focus more of my attention on what I am convinced will be the next world crisis–currency collapse and financial meltdown. This is actually fortunate in a couple ways. First it gives opportunity to commoners such as myself to profit massively. Second the elites will no longer have the means to create a die off.

      • Global warming; acid rain; ocean acidification; extinction; deforestation – the signs are all around you.

        Take deforestation – why would we need to raze the rain forests if the population was in balance with its environment? How is it that most of the above symptoms have just cropped up in the last couple of centuries?

        In my great grandfather’s time, you could homestead – walk out into the wilderness, claim your 160 acres and farm it. Where in the US can you find 160 unclaimed acres today? Now we are replacing farmland with housing developments and strip malls.

        You live in one of the richest, most sparsely populated countries on the planet, by the time your home town goes under it will be too late. You need to get out of your bubble and look at the world around you. Take a tour, visit Bangladesh, New Delhi, Hong Kong and Singapore.

        > TPTB are obsessed with population control no question

        Wait … WHAT?! In China, perhaps, although “obsessed” is still far too strong a word. Please supply references from “the west” to back up this ludicrous statement. TPTB are ignoring the problem, which means that your news sources ignore the problem, and so you assume it doesn’t exist. I thought conservatives didn’t trust the government, yet here you are drinking the kool aid with the rest of the sheeple.

    • Can anyone explain to me how we ended up going from discussing airline seating arrangements to mass genocide?

      I don’t think anybody is saying that expanding to 7.4 billion people was a safe move, however, if most of us consume on the level of Bangladesh rather than the U.S., including cutting back on our meat consumption and style of transportation then this would address the problem substantially. And without the need for hypothetically killing of billions…

      • People will kill before they will accept immiseration as a lifestyle choice.

        See post-Treaty-of-Versailles Germany.

      • Simple. Leftists are largely obsessed with climate change and overpopulation and moral posturing; therefore, if there is some possible vague connection, they will take advantage.

      • Andreas:

        You ask: “Can anyone explain to me how we ended up going from discussing airline seating arrangements to mass genocide?”

        The progression:

        1) In a previous post you wondered: “Do you see any other way?” in relation to reduced (transportation) consumption to deal with climate change.

        2) The response of Crazy H to your query was: “Yes, and that is ‘address the real problem’ – planes aren’t the problem, people are. Specifically overpopulation.

        If we cut our numbers by 99% we would we would still have a large enough gene pool to sustain the species without destroying the Earth in the process. We could all drive SUVs, live in McMansions, and leave the lights on all night.”

        3) I suggested this was an idiotic, unattainable and genocidal approach. Further, NO solution would be forthcoming as long as we retained our pathological and suicidal “always consume more attitude,” regardless of population.

        4) DanD, apparently enamored with alleged, centuries-old plans to depopulate the earth (Malthus hangover?) went directly to neutron bombs and genetically engineered biological “bombs.”

        5) Then, of course, no thread would be complete without Jack H heaping all blame onto “leftists.”

      • > I suggested this was an idiotic, unattainable and genocidal approach.

        There’s one problem, here Falco – I never suggested genocide. I merely pointed up the problem you suggested genocide as the solution.

        We are at or near the carrying capacity of the Earth. Global warming is but one symptom. Let’s say we all cut our carbon footprint by 50% – okay, in thirty to forty years we’ll have doubled our population again and will be right back where we are today.

        We could raze the few remaining forested lands, kill off whatever species we don’t eat, bulldoze the mountain ranges & turn it all into farmlands; outlaw single-family dwellings in favor of huge monoblock cities where everyone gets a 200 sq. foot apartment and live packed together like caged chickens in an egg factory. We might effectively double the carrying capacity of the planet – and in thirty to forty years we will outgrow that.

        IF we all pulled together, educated each other on the problems, and quit holding up breeding as an ideal everyone should adhere to, we might – might stave off the coming crash. I sincerely doubt we will. Not only is it politically infeasible, but completely changing our infrastructure is economically infeasible.

        I see global meltdown as inevitable. Maybe humans will survive. Maybe they’ll learn enough not to make the same mistakes. Or they’ll do it all over again.

        Suggested reading: “The Mote in God’s Eye” by Niven and Pournelle.

      • I thought you would enjoy that falco. But I’m not to blame that they’re so often to blame. If they don’t want to be blamed they should stop being to blame. Savvy?

      • You cannot ‘plan’ a population as you are suggesting, CH. World population has increased about 1 billion every 15 years for some time. That’s not ‘doubling every generation.’ Population growth is already slowing. The UN estimates that by 2050 it will only be between 9 and 10 billion. (Select ‘world’ from the drop down box.)

        And who exactly is supposed to learn not to breed? The First World is already on the fast track to extinction courtesy largely of social liberalism. Are you going to teach all the Third Worlders to stop breeding?

      • @falco

        yes, I feared as much – but thanks for laying it out so succinctly.

        Are there therapists specializing in group therapy for internet discussion boards? I feel there should be 😉

  6. I am amazed how much the discussion about air travel looks at immediate comfort over long term consequences.

    The current system 1) let’s people fly extremely cheaply – i.e. someone else is paying the bill (literally no tax on fuel, extreme carbon emissions, low wages for steward(esse)s and even pilots…) and 2) you’ll get more space if you’re willing to pay disproportionally more.

    More space per passenger means fewer passengers, therefore higher emissions per passenger. I’m flying quite often (which means I have blood on my hands, there is no way of escaping this conclusion) and would actually welcome a category with far reduced space for that reason.

    Why are we imagining an alternative system that let’s people fly around extremely cheaply with lots of personal space? Do we hate our grandchildren that much?

    If we’re starting to redesign the economics of flying, that must mean drastically increased prices (cutting unfair subsidies, reflecting emissions), so that trains come out 10x as cheap (at least), giving an incentive to travel by train or bus (right now I literally pay extra to travel by train). Trains and buses (even shared cars) are massively more efficient modes of transport, especially over short distances.

    So either we let only the very rich fly (as in the good old days) or identify the “deserving” (i.e. you need to apply for a flight and state reasons, shudder), ration flight, something like that. Do you see any other way? Apart from allocating income much more fairly, in which case we could keep a pricing system…

    • > Do you see any other way?

      Yes, and that is “address the real problem” – planes aren’t the problem, people are. Specifically overpopulation.

      If we cut our numbers by 99% we would we would still have a large enough gene pool to sustain the species without destroying the Earth in the process. We could all drive SUVs, live in McMansions, and leave the lights on all night.

      It’s not like we have much say in the matter – eventually the planetary ecosystem will come back into balance. Our only choice is whether we do it voluntarily.

      Mother Nature always bats last.

      • Darwin wrote that a breeding pair of birds needs to produce seven clutches of four eggs each in order to reproduce another single breeding pair to maintain a steady population.

        High mortality rates are the norm in nature.

        Either we reduce our rate of reproduction by living up to our questionably appropriated name—sapiens—or nature will do it for us.

      • As luck would have it, TPTB are doing their best to increase Homo Sap’s mortality rate.

      • The Malthusians can always push the surplus* population closer to the edge.

        *Those that don’t find a way to provide a service to the 1% that will both provide profits to the 1% and a meager income for themselves.

      • So reduced consumption is simply NOT a solution to be considered while we wait for the “voluntary” 99% drop in population?

        The existence of attitude that “I deserve SUVs, cheap air travel, McMansions, etc., etc.” has led directly complete disregard for the central over population problem.

        The persistence of the attitude will prevent any effective, voluntary, disaster-avoiding measures for population reduction.

        Or, the species will NEVER survive, as long as otherwise physically possible, with the current “consume more everyday” mindset.

        It’s not clear what scenario will do away with “the 99%” and still have available the same menu of items to consume that we have now.

        The only plausible mechanism to eliminate 99% of the world’s population in a time frame relevant to stabilizing climate (not reversing it) change would be total nuclear holocaust. It’s not clear how that gets to 99% and manages not to achieve 100%. And, if it did, why would anyone want to be among “the new 1%.”

        The majority of presidential candidates are real threats to precipitate said holocaust – for different “reasons,” of course.

      • Falco – I’m not at all certain how you got that out of my post.

        We can do all those things, and yes, we should. But we also have to realize that they are not solutions, merely stopgap measures. The danger comes in believing that they are, indeed, solutions.

      • The planet needs to be on palliative care.

        Beating our overburdened mother will only lead to a quicker and more certain collapse.

        As things stand now, only predator sociopaths have what it takes to drive populations down to more long term survivable numbers by such as wars, starvation, work camps, denial of health care, enforced sterilization, poisoned water, etc.

        As for now, I’m opposed on principle to ceding to them only so they can luxuriate over the corpses of the too many that will include many of the 99% .

      • Overpopulation is a leftwing myth. It is the counterpart of the religious end of world myth. Prophesized for hundreds of years, we watch as again and again the doomsday dates roll on by without incident. Never takes long though for the hoopla to begin anew.

      • @Jack – I’ll give you a million dollars in exchange for a bag of pennies.

        How many pennies you ask – easy. Take a chess board, and put one penny on the first square. Two pennies on the next, four on the next, etc. All the way around the board.

      • CH, world population growth is not exponential. It has been growing at an ever *decreasing* rate.

      • I’m impressed – I didn’t think you’d understand the analogy. But then, if you understand it then surely you understand that the rate of growth is irrelevant – unlimited growth is impossible given finite resources.

        As a self-proclaimed expert on economics, you know that the economy has to grow in order for capitalism to work. By the same token, you are familiar with the law of diminishing returns.

        All life on earth is dependent upon energy from the sun. We can calculate how much energy that is. We know how many calories it takes to sustain human life. We know how efficiently plants transform solar energy into calories. We know that every time we build a house, we reduce the acreage available for plants to produce calories to sustain human life.

        Do the math if you are truly capable. Those who have conclude that the Earth is capable of sustaining 6 to 10 billion humans.

        The human population is capable of doubling every generation. When I was younger the commonly accepted time span was thirty-two years. Let’s say it’s forty years now – okay, in forty years the Earth will be incapable of sustaining human life.

        I won’t be around then. Will you?

      • Classical capitalist economists did not believe capitalism required economic growth. They predicted growth would have to end but that capitalism would survive. It’s welfare states that require growth. And Keynesianism. You should know by now I think modern economists are quacks for the most part. Economics is a philosophy. Not a hard science like they pretend with their phony numbers. They can’t predict squat and their theories cannot be disproven.

      • Your ignorance could fill a book. In fact, it has already filled hundreds of books. You might try reading one before making a fool of yourself in public.

        Again.

      • Jack, Jack, Jack , Jack

        My comment was not made in a vacuum – although it was made in exasperation.

        You want to discuss economics. You’ve called yourself an ‘expert’ on a number of occasions. Yet every time you open your mouth on the subject you make it painfully obvious that you have never once taken a class or read a book on economics.

        You have repeatedly demonstrated that you do not understand the basic principles. You misuse well-defined terms. It took me months just to get you to parrot the textbook definitions of capitalism, socialism & communism; yet your comments on the topic show you still don’t understand them..

        It’s not a matter of whether I agree with your opinions, it’s that you lack the rudimentary knowledge necessary to form those opinions in the first place.

        There is no shame in ignorance, there are many subjects on which I have no knowledge whatsoever. But if I were to publicly proclaim strong opinions on those subjects. then those who do know about them would have every right to call me a fool.

      • I’d think I’d remember calling myself an expert especially since I go out of my way *not* to use that word for myself. Asserting expertise seems pointless. It should be demonstrated though I also don’t claim to have done that. I’d demand links if I cared.

        I’ve also never claimed to be more well read than you. You are over twice my age after all.

        What you still don’t seem to understand is that definitions and institutions can be and often are politicized. People have different interpretations. Proponents and opponents have different perspectives.

    • “Do you see any other way?”

      We could allow the free market to do it’s work instead of always arrogantly believing we can engineer better solutions ourselves. You even hint yourself that obviously flying should be cost prohibitive naturally.

      • @ Jack

        right, so could you tell us then how the “free market” would weigh the possible harm done to future generations against my current value of catching a cheap flight.

        Also, it’s one thing to say that there are subsidies that make the playing field unfair – quite another to imply that there would be a way to have transport systems in capitalism in the absence of state subsidies and regulations.

        Can you point to a single historical example of a functioning road, rail, or airtravel systems on a large scale organized by private companies rather than the state?

        I’m interested in alternative, hypothetical systems as much as the next guy but you make it sound like this libertarian system were ready to roll of the assembly line… Do we even have a rough outline of a “free market” system that would handle externalities, i.e. polluting the planet for future generations and profoundly disrupting ecological networks?

      • > Do we even have a rough outline of a “free market” system that would handle externalities, i.e. polluting the planet for future generations and profoundly disrupting ecological networks?

        We have an example right here and now. The profit margin of the 1% outweighs any insignificant trivialities like the long-term survival prospects of the planet, let alone our species. 😀

      • Andreas,

        A free market is just individuals making their economic choices with little interference. People don’t always make their choices rationally but even if they did, price or speed would not be the only considerations. I refuse to deal with the TSA for example. People can and do make decisions as consumers based upon environmental concerns. Each individual would weigh the possible harm done to future generations against his current value of catching a cheap flight. You seem concerned enough, so why not yourself take the train more even if it is more costly? And didn’t we already agree that a freer system would likely increase the cost of flight just as you desire?

        I’m incredulous here. Are you suggesting that without government people can’t organize a transportation system? Where do you get such an idea?

        A good part of the beauty and brilliance of a libertarian system, as you put it, is its simplicity. There’s very little to hash out. Just allow everyone to make their own economic decisions so long as they aren’t engaging in violence or fraud. Unlike many libertarians, I’d be amenable to some environmental controls, but I’ve seen how ineffective our regulators are. They always end up in the pocket of the powerful. Locally, they harass small business owners without the clout to get away with even very minor infractions while their big polluting competitors benefit from their suppressed competition.

        Then of course all the red tape creates no wealth itself but rather can only consume it. All for, at best, dubious marginal benefit. Most of the time the regulation is a net negative. How often does it accomplish its purported goals? By what mechanism do we keep regulators from selling their power?

        Finally, depending on the topic, many on the Left characterize themselves alternately as rational realists with science and history on their side, or as idealists who dare to dream of what could be but has never been. Why the are you so skeptical of an opposing ideology that may not have good historical examples?

        Admittedly, I have much to learn, and will look into your question, but the very fact that I am unsure of what to point to, certain as I am of existing examples, underscores how marginalized libertarian interpretation of history really is.

        Thanks for the valuable questions.

  7. ‘This is a Government of the people by the people and for the people no longer. It is a Government of Corporation by Corporation and for Corporation.’
    Rutherford B Hayes (19th President) 1877-1881

    … and you thought this was a new thing.

    I’m 6’2″ & my legs are starting to have circulation problems, for me this bill was about health care.

    • Hayes was certainly right in that quote, but remember he sent Federal troops to suppress striking railroad workers, and he killed reconstruction.

      • Well, he didn’t actually say that gov’t for the corporation was a bad thing…

        😀

  8. In addition to murdering innocent people “over there” (out of sight) in stupid wars, almost 10% of domestic US gun deaths are caused by police. That’s about 8 per day.
    tinyurl.com/zb57pm5

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