Sunday, May 24, 2020

American Airlines About to Go Bust? Fine With Me.

I’ve never been a fan of government bailouts, saving the asses of investors or this warped sales-pitch we accept about too big to fail.

My dad had a couple of sayings I’ve never forgotten. One was that (in his view) behind every great fortune, there’s a crime. The second, and perhaps more pertinent to this conversation, was that if you owe the bank $10,000 they own you, but if you owe them $10 million, you own the bank.

The lessons here are naked for all to see: great wealth is not only immune from the laws of the land, but protected by its gods of government from financial loss.

American Airlines is a crap carrier that’s squeezed its passengers in seat space, baggage and other ‘special charges,’ snotty service and tossed in arrogant public relations as an afterthought.

Rather than investing their recent and substantial profits from lower fuel costs in cash reserves or improving the flying experience (a bar so low it could be stumbled across), it threw the cash at stock buybacks, pumping the share price and enriching its investors.

Meanwhile, it went to the banks and drank deeply at their well, accruing a mind-boggling (I much prefer the term to gobsmacking) $25 billion in debt.

How does management, an almost laughable term under these circumstances, ever hope to pay that off, with fuel at record lows and passengers already lashed to the oars, their backs bleeding?

The answer is, they don’t.

CEO Doug Parker, paid $12 million annually for the pillage and raping of a perfectly good airline, expects the government to bail him out. And they likely will. It’s all they really know how to do anymore, having ravaged their waistlines as well as their morals feasting at the hog-slop we have come to accept as the Congress of the United States of America.

In this era of socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of we poor and ignorant citizens, bailouts are the name of the game.

You big-shots go ahead and roll the dice at this Monopoly Board we call American business and we citizen-suckers will provide the Get Out of Jail Free cards. It’s okay.

If you fuck up, we’ll clean up behind you, straighten your necktie, settle your nerves with a scotch and soda and fund you for another run at the casinos of Wall Street. We just can’t bear to see you unhappy.

We’re sorry you broke the banks again, but daddy was right, you own them and they own us. 36 million of us have lost our jobs, we’re about to lose our cars, our credit-cards and our homes, but we understand why we need to save your sorry asses and go back to our place at the oars.

It’s the new American Way. It’s how we Make America Great Again and we know it’s our job to suck it up and join the homeless. We’re ready to crown Jeff Bezos as the world’s first trillionaire and if that means Amazon paying shit wages and avoiding their taxes, we’re up for it.

Washington is right. Unions and fair wages and freedom from want and hunger are all socialist bargains with the devil and we’re sorry we ever brought them up. It’s our social contract for forty million of us not to have health insurance, joblessness to be at 20% and 60% of our nation to be one small disaster away from bankruptcy.

We’re sorry we complained.

Please forgive us.

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