Thursday, February 12, 2009

A shocking confession

I have a shocking confession.

I'm not who I pretend to be. Hypocrite that I am, I rail against excessive and ostentatious displays of wealth and consumption, sneer at those enjoying the fruits of their success, and yes, even suggest they ought to pay more in taxes.

And yet (I can barely bring myself to say it) I have flown on a private business jet!

Twice! (Once there and then back again)

I feel so dirty even saying it.

Never mind that the inside of this bird was not much bigger than my 12 year old Saturn station wagon, or that I was crammed in there with five other people -- it was a private business jet!

Never mind the fact that 86% of those aboard business aircraft are not big wigs, but people like me: technical resources or specialists going to meetings or to solve problems in the field. That seems lost on grandstanding politicians of both parties, playing to the cameras.

My business comrades flew on the company jet because it was actually cheaper to pack us into that than it was to buy all of us round trip tickets. By having the flexibility of traveling on own schedule we also added a good three hours to our work day. And despite what certain bone-headed members of congress may think, flying first class commercial is a lot more comfortable.

The manufacture of small jets means work for a significant number of Americans. Thanks to the black eye being given to this industry, tens of thousands of hard-working people are losing their jobs. This is supposed to help?

So, do the auto execs and other over-paid captains of industry and Wall Street deserve censure?

You bet. But not for the mode of transportation they chose. It's actually one of the few smart things they did.

Shame on Washington for making this bogus issue into something it's not. And forcing me to have to agree with the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

Talk about feeling dirty.

Full disclosure -- my employer has its fingers in the aerospace industry.


vampE said...

Shocking - that an employer in the aerospace industry should have a private plane.

Dont' worry. You are untouched from the dirty Bourgeois, unless you drank the complementary champagne.

Also, How does one have "fingers" in the aerospace industry?

Dr Ralph said...

We drank beer, and we had to stop at the convenience store on the way to the airport to get it.

My point is this: going on about business jets is bullshit grandstanding. This time it's my side doing the grandstanding, but it's still bullshit. I'm sure the WS is loving this.

On reflection, "fingers" is a trifle understated. My employer has it's big fat corporate ass smack dab in the middle of the aerospace industry.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I'm not really shocked, since i'm sure they had to put you in a strait jacket, and pull you on board with 10 mules and a chain hoist.

My opinion on the jets, parties, bonuses, and other perks of the bailout firms? Once you start taking money from Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam should be able to dictate what you do with the money.

The biggest downside is that Uncle Sam doesn't have time to tell you exactly and precisely what to do with the money.

Therefore, the anti-corporate jet whiners should either be silent, or start voting differently.

One has fingers in the aerospace industry much like one never mind. (A rare moment of self-restraint just occurred.)

Dr Ralph said...

WS - considering the size of the plane, it wasn't a chain and hoist that was needed to get me on board; it was a shoehorn. The beer was all the motivation I needed.

And I absolutely agree, once you start taking money from the Uncle, he should be able to lay down some conditions. Less perks for the jerks.