Thursday, September 10, 2009

My View



Some random thoughts from a warped and fevered mind...






Cabotage. No, it's not blowing up your neighbor's cabbage patch. If you haven't heard of that word, hockey fans, you soon will. Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country. And, warped View, your point is...? The Airline Pilots Association, the pilot's union in the U.S., has petitioned the Department of Transportation to prohibit Air Canada, the main charter airline for Canadian hockey teams, from the practice of cabotage. Simply put, the APA claims that Air Canada is flying in violation of federal DOT rules which state that a foreign charter may fly to one city inside the U.S. only. The charter is then to fly back out of the country and not to another U.S. destination. This prohibition against cabotage by a foreign charter was relaxed under the Bush administration. The current administration has chosen to strictly enforce the rule. As a result of this, Air Canada has sued the U.S. Department of Transportation, but at the moment will be unable to fly Canadian hockey teams from one U.S. city to another for a game. Should the ruling stand, air travel for Canadian teams will be exponentially complicated, and I would expect a similar action by the Canadian Transportation Authority toward U.S. charters flying in to Canada. This has obviously added strain to the relationship between the U.S. and Canada, completely fouls up team travel arrangements, and frankly, is just plain silly.




I think it's bad luck to be superstitious.




Regarding the last point about cabotage and the dispute over flying hockey teams from Canada around the U.S.- can you imagine how difficult a four game swing across the Central Division will be for a team like, say, Edmonton if they have to fly back into Canada after each game? Not only are the physical demands on the players increased, but each team has an enormous increase in friction costs. What are friction costs? Warning: economic content ahead. Friction costs are the costs that are incidental to the production of a product or the rendering of a service. These may be things like sales commissions or taxes, for example. The friction costs that the team will incur are the greater travel expenses for the extra miles flown- insurance, fuel, and flight crews, to name a few. And what happens, dear reader, when the producer of a product or the provider of a service incur greater costs? Those costs are passed along to the end user. That's you and me. This could have significant bearing on team profitability and in turn, the price we pay for our tickets. Keep your eye on this dispute.




I have always wanted to be the last man on earth just to see if all those women were lying to me.




I had an anonymous comment from a post in last week's "My View" that said they could no longer read my blog because of my political view on nationalized healthcare. A couple of thoughts about this. I am decidedly against nationalized healthcare. I do not believe for a moment that outcomes will improve, that the system will be efficient, or that the costs will be reasonable. That's my opinion. There are others that are equally convinced that this is an absolute necessity, and that is fine with me. I can respect the opposing viewpoint, and if I really listen, can glean some knowledge from it. The problem that we continue to face as a nation is that we are losing our ability to dialogue honestly and effectively with each other about these intractable problems. Instead of staking out a position for political purposes or to grab power, we should be working together to come up with viable solutions. I do not want to see someone suffer for lack of adequate access to healthcare or insurance coverage. I also do not want to see our economy wrecked by the heavy fist of government control. Disagree with me all you want, but talk to me about what you believe. We may both learn something.




I am planning to be more spontaneous in the future.




And that, my friends, is my view.












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