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Rebuttal to all the whiners who say corporate jets are evil! And more!

April 9, 2009
Gulfstream G650 - fastest corporate jet!

Gulfstream G650 - fastest corporate jet!

Both of you who are devoted readers of my little blog know that some days I am truly inspired, but most days my writing is merely pedestrian at best. Here’s a quote from a Letter to the Editor that appeared in the March 30, 2009 edition of Aviation Week and Space Technology. The letter was written by Captain Brian T. Wilson of Atlanta:

“As a shareholder in a number of Fortune 500 companies I know that if they post $ 1 billion in revenue, then hire a management team that doubles that figure without losing profit margin, that means my income from those shares increases…I have no problem with some companies owning corporate jets. A responsibly used corporate jet becomes, to use a military term, a ‘force multiplier’ in that it makes the management team far more productive. Much of the anger about ‘fat cat executives and their toys’ comes from ignorance and wealth envy.”

I agree. It’s not unusual for lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to bill at $ 500 or more per hour…how much is the time of a CEO or other top executive worth? Should they really be standing around at a security line, or waiting for delayed commercial flights?

Of course, it’s also a colossal waste of their time to have the US Congress force them to come to “hearings” just so they can be beaten up on TV by congresscritters who want to score points of their own. The whole thing about the US automaker CEOs using corporate jets to get to Washington being a “poor PR decision” is a bunch of crap…and that idea was promoted by Washington folks and media people who want to capitalize on ignorance and wealth envy.

Anyone over the age of 30 with a bit of sense knows that the most valuable thing we possess is time. We can’t make it, and we need to make the most of every minute we have. I don’t like wasting time in airports, but I have no choice…I guess I could drive, instead, and waste more time. Maybe we all should travel by horseback, since our time is not important. Why are their commercial aircraft? Because people will pay for the ability to not waste time traveling.

Air Force One

Air Force One

How many media people traveled to Europe with the President last week? Did they all go by ship, or by commercial aircraft at least? Of course not. According to this blog by a Reuters photographer, 13 members of the press travel on Air Force One. Why? Is there any reason why any reporters should travel on the President’s plane? And yet, to accommodate their time needs and that of the President, they travel with him.

So some folks are, by virtue of their jobs, “more equal than others.” So a Reuters reporter should travel with the President – on our dime – but the CEO of General Motors can’t use his own company’s jet? Last I looked the US Government is in significantly more debt than General Motors.

Oh, I forgot – they print the money! And Obama says it will be OK! Sorry! (/irony mode off, for the time being)

I sometimes seriously believe the human race is going mad.

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