Tuesday, March 13, 2012

13 March 1933 “Fly the Friendly Skies?”

deltaairlineposter Today a quick post about airlines. Yes, here in the 1930’s, we do have air travel. It is a new concept certainly, but boosted greatly by the Great War (That is WWI as we have only had one war so far here in the 1930s!)30splane

What I found out and was rather shocked by is that airlines, since their inceptions, have always been subsidized by tax payers. I did not realize this. They have never, except a few years, made any actual profits.

In the 1970’s there was a deregulation of the airlines in an attempt to rectify this circumstance, but oddly enough, it only lead to even more government money going to support it.

I was shocked how much money we all pay to the airlines through our taxes. Here are some of the statistics:

“From the first days of flight up until the 1970s, taxpayers, through the federal government, provided more than $155 billion in direct support for the aviation industry. Even after deregulation, federal and local governments have continued to provide infrastructure support, tax exemptions and low-cost financing. For example, the government has provided $4.64 billion in taxpayer funds for cash grants and $1.65 billion in loan guarantees in case the airline loan defaults.

After September 11, the industry received approximately $8 billion in federal assistance that continued even after most airlines returned to profitability. Furthermore, the federal pension reform legislation that was passed in 2004 and 2006 provided relief to the airlines valued at more than $3 billion. (Yes even after they began making profit, the government money still continued to it and still does to this day)

Since 2002, in California alone, the airlines received approximately $487 million in state and local subsidies that included tax exemptions and low-interest bond financing. For example, the airlines are exempt from state sales taxes on jet fuel purchases for some flights. This exemption for international flights cost the state and local governments more than $800 million from fiscal year 2005 to 2009. Despite this, the airlines still expanded the exemption for out-of-state domestic flights.

In days past, the airline industry provided jobs for the middle-class. It allowed the workers to provide for families, receive healthcare and a good retirement benefit. However, since 9/11, the airlines have turned to contracting policies, which drive down wages and benefits.

When current airline workers earn less than the living wage and are unable to afford healthcare or aren’t even offered healthcare, they rely on government assistance programs. As taxpayers, we bear that cost as well.”

I continue to be amazed at how vast the reality of what we are told about improving economy and things trying to be done to help the world to what is actually going on. In addition to this, the jobs and pay of the airlines are truly below living standards. I had a friend who even in the 80’s lived a comfortable middle class life from her Father’s job (mother with no job) working for the airlines, and he wasn’t a pilot. Such opportunities are very rare today.

One could almost be less angry with such government support if it at least continued to provide a good work base for American’s to have a comfortable life working a decent job for a fair wage. But, I digress.

This 20 minute film is rather fun and is from the 1930’s. It shows the sort of advertising we would see at the pictures for the new business of air travel. Fun images and fashion as well.

I again must beg forgiveness in my posts frequency. But, Hubby and I are going to be officially listing our house for sale this week. I have been working like crazy painting, rearranging, building and working with a friend to do odds and ends. So, with my already busy schedule I have had that added to it, so have not had as much time for my posts. I have not wanted to mention it prior to this as we were still trying to make concrete decisions about our future, a tough thing to do in these troubled times.

As soon as we are officially set up and listed, I can again return to focus on my posts and blog. I can’t wait for that. I also hope we are able to sell our lovely little home for a fair price in this uncertain market. Wish us luck!

Happy Homemaking.

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