If You Think Government Will Fix United Airlines, Think Again

United Airlines told federal regulators in 2014 all ticketed passengers were guaranteed seats on flights, International Business Times reports. The airline is under intense scrutiny for forcibly removing a passenger from an overbooked flight by dragging him off the plane on Tuesday. People captured the incident on their phones and shared it on their social media sites, causing an uproar.

Everyone assumes the throttling of the United Airlines passenger by airline employees is due to lack of government regulation. But government already oversaw this problem, as long ago as 2014, and it still happened.

Incredibly, people now look to government regulation to make sure it never happens again. Go figure!

The infuriating thing about this whole episode, for many people, is the arrogance. The all-but-spoken attitude emanating from United Airlines is: “We could be courteous — but we don’t have to be.” Interestingly, this is the very attitude you get from any government-controlled industry. This is the prevalent attitude in any Communist or highly socialized country where all or most businesses are nationalized and run by the government.

When government monopolizes a field, like public education or — increasingly — health care, then you get this sort of attitude. For the most part, we don’t experience this kind of attitude with airlines. When something this awful and outrageous happens, it makes headlines because it’s not an everyday thing. Yes, flying can be frustrating and stressful. It always will be. Airlines have their work cut out for them in getting people safely to their destinations in a somewhat competitive atmosphere while still making a profit. But when someone makes you a promise and then breaks it, after you’ve spent a lot of money with them and then treats you like this on top of it, you’re kidding yourself if you think that increasing government monopolization, regulation or any other form of government authority will resolve the problem. If government  control were the answer, it would have already delivered in 2014, if not sooner.

The only thing that will resolve this problem are the remaining features of a free market. United Airlines has competition. Increasingly, people will move away from United and toward other airlines. United’s stock has already reduced in value, according to some reports. United may succeed at repairing its reputation or it may eventually go bankrupt. It’s really no different than after a crash. Although far less tragic, this incident has been, for United Airlines, the p.r. equivalent of a plane crash where the airline was at fault.

People foolishly think government is the answer to the United Airlines fiasco. And yet the very same government they’re counting on to fix it now — by tying the hands of all airlines through creating regulations the other airlines don’t need — was unable to prevent this incident from happening, even while claiming it did back in 2014. Ignorant people think their government will protect them from this ever happening again, but it’s actually only a free and openly competing market that will save them. Otherwise, Communist countries where government regulates, controls and owns everything would be smashing successes. The fact that customers may take their business elsewhere and United Airlines will have to fight for its survival will be the only cure for that company’s arrogance displayed in this incident.

Keep in mind that we’re about only one election away from a totally single-payer medical system. If you think United Airlines is arrogant, wait until every single doctor and hospital works for the government. And just imagine what single-payer airlines would look like. You think United Airlines is bad? When it comes to happy customers, it’s only private, for-profit entities that create them. Government has never generated a happy customer, and never will. Bear that in mind before you run to government to fix United by turning all airlines into one big happy, monopolistic family.

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