Every once in a while we get a stark example of how markets are simply much more efficient than government. The latest example: While Congress is being slammed for planning to spend $550 million for a handful of new jets, including $66 million a piece for three Gulfstream G550s with a sticker price of $49 million, Southwest Airlines has bid $170 million for over 80% of Frontier Airlines and all of commuter airline Lynx. Congress could still get in on the action though, as Southwest is only after Frontier’s routes – the 40 Airbus jets will be retired over the next year and replaced with Southwest’s signature 737’s.
Sometimes politicians lack of historical perspective is astounding. I mentioned before that it surprised me to see “law and order” GOP politicians jumping on the “Tea Party” bandwagon with no regard for what could logically be expected to come next. Now Democrat politicians are showing their own historical myopia by complaining that the tea partiers organized action at town hall meetings reflects a lack of sincerity and is somehow un-American. The original Tea Partiers were an organized bunch too – Committees of Correspondence, Continental Congress, defeating the British Empire – and yet no one since has doubted their sincerity. And, of course, they set the standard for American patriotism.