Skip to comments.The Wright Brothers Didn't need Federal Approval to Fly - Cronyism in the Air
Posted on 06/06/2012 10:14:45 AM PDT by wewillnotcomply
This is an excerpt of a new article explaining how federal regulations of the airline industry lead to cronyism, and how de-regulation was a success.
By Billy Culleton
Without needing federal approval, on December 17, 1903, two bicycle mechanics from Ohio made history by flying the first powered aircraft over the beaches of Kitty Hawk, marking the start of modern aviation. In the decades following the Wright Brothers breakthrough, commercial airline carriers emerged across the United States, saving people from the hassles of boarding dirty rail road cars and avoiding deadly automobile accidents. Recognizing the increased popularity in air travel, the federal government quickly established the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in 1938 to set safety standards, flight routes, fare prices and guarantees for capital returns on flights with returns as high as twelve percent on flights that were fifty-five percent full. Major carriers, referred to as trunk lines, succeeded in driving out market entry by holding monopolies over routes like New York-Los Angeles or Miami-Chicago. While airports tried to charm the CAB into approving new services and routes, airlines were busy transferring regulator approved higher fares to customers, liberating carriers from worrying about reducing operational costs. Labor union members, who often protested managers wealth, enjoyed higher wages courtesy of CABs usage of operating ratios that compensated airlines for wage increases. Although the airline industry experienced rapid growth during the mid-twentieth century, the regulated market incentivized airlines to please regulators, crippling their ability to respond to the demands of their customers...
Full article here.
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(Excerpt) Read more at cronychronicles.org ...
In the meantime Prof. Langley at the Smithsonian would have received millions in government loans because of his connections to the White House, never succeeded in producing a successful flying machine but paid himself a large bonus before his flying machine company went bankrupt.
Makes me think of that movie, The Great Waldo Pepper.
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