On Feb. 26, Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle vetoed a $40 million tax break to major airline Delta. The reason? Delta had canceled a partnership with the NRA that provided discounted flights to some members after pressure from gun control advocates in the wake of the Parkland massacre, a move that left Cagle feeling as though Delta had personally attacked Second Amendment supporters. He sent out the following tweet in response to Delta’s decision:
This story initially seemed trivial to me, but I realized something as I continued to scroll down my news feed. This story was probably the most important one of the day, for a few different reasons.
Reason One: How much economic benefit could an extra $40 million have provided?
This tax break, instituted on the jet fuel sales tax, would save Delta about $40 million annually. Ask yourself this question: how much cheaper would your flight tickets be if Delta had an extra $40 million a year? How much wealth would be created in the form of higher wages, bonuses, more investment in innovation and expansion, and other returns generated by the extra capital? This is a classic case of the creative potential of a free market being restrained by bumbling bureaucrats.
Georgia Democrats, showing a surprising grasp of basic economics, noted that “Republican leaders said Delta tax cuts created jobs that were good for business,” said Henson, a Democrat from Tucker. “But Republican fear of the NRA is evidently more important than the Georgia business climate, jobs or the well-being of Georgia citizens.”
They are absolutely right. Instead of sticking to principle and letting the free market work, Mr. Cagle took it as a prerogative to punish Delta for offending Second Amendment supporters. We will never know how much wealth and economic activity were sacrificed for the ego of a Republican pawn.
Mr. Cagle does not know much economic benefit he sacrificed in order to make himself and other Republicans feel better. Nobody does. The sad part is, he doesn’t care. Because if the base ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. And you better believe the base is happy.
Reason Two: Republicans are showing they are no better than Democrats.
People on the Right are falling into the exact same behavioral pattern as people on the Left. Conservatives want to punish Delta for “attacking” them and their Second Amendment rights – yet if conservatives love the Consitution so much, wouldn’t they respect Delta’s right to free speech and freedom of association?
Delta is a private entity, in a private agreement with the NRA. Their decision in no way infringes on anyone’s Second Amendment rights, personally attacks conservatives, or promotes gun control. They have the right to do as they please, so long as they follow the law and do not infringe on anyone’s rights – which in this case, they have not.
Republicans have every right to speak out and verbally abuse Delta for their slanderous deed. But the point where words become actions, and baseless punishments are levied by government officials, is the point where capitalism dies and authoritarianism reigns. It’s the point where the conservatives supporting Cagle’s abuse of power become no better than the progressive lovers of tyranny over whom they claim moral superiority.
Folks on the Left are the ones who support the silencing of opposing views, forcing people to think like them, and punishing those who disagree. The Left lives and dies by this line of thinking, but conservatives are supposed to be able to think logically and reject this type of primitive tyranny. But in today’s America, the Left and the Right are more similar than either side would ever admit. This story is a great example of that.
Reason Three: This absolute abuse of power shows just how far we are from a free market in America.
The fact that the Lt. Governor has the power to veto such a huge tax break shows just how much power these bureaucrats have. I mentioned in my podcast last week that if James Madison, Ben Franklin, and other Founding Fathers had been reading this story with me, they would not have recognized this as the country they built. They probably would have tried to start a revolution against they tyranny of the state!
In a free market, the ability to match supply to demand and create the best quality product at the lowest price is the true indicator of success. It’s truly the most moral and most fair system ever devised by humanity.
America does not have a free market. Instead, we have a system whereby major corporations like Delta can be punished on the whim of a low level state officer if they “offend” that officer. I can only imagine that if Delta had not pulled out of their NRA partnership, some Democratic Senators would have banded together to punish them for allying with such an “evil” organization.
Businesses are punished every day by politicians who contribute absolutely nothing to society, other than finding new ways to tax you, fine you, and take some portion of what you have created for yourself. Ayn Rand notes this in her book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal: “They [businessmen] are penalized not for their faults, but for their virtues, not for their incompetence, but for their ability, not for their failures, but for their successes, and the greater the achievement – the greater the penalty”.
This is exactly what we see happening to Delta right now, and $40 million is a disproportionately huge punishment when compared to the “crime.”
When politicians pick winners and losers in a free market, they create distortions. Distortions create inequality of opportunity, which leads to less wealth creation and a lower standard of living. Yet capitalism takes the blame for the failures of government.
Casey Cagle has chosen his loser. Delta, by attempting to make a positive marketing move, got on the wrong side of this brainwashed politician. They will feel the punishment of their blasphemous decision, and Republicans all over the country will get to feel righteous for “standing up” for the Second Amendment.
Reason Four: This story can be spun to the Left and to the Right, and both will please the base.
Headline if this story comes from CNN: NRA-BACKED REPUBLICAN CASEY CAGLE PUNISHES DELTA FOR SUPPORTING PARKLAND SURVIVORS.
Headline if this story comes from Fox: CASEY CAGLE PUNISHES PRO-GUN CONTROL DELTA FOR ATTACKING CONSERVATIVES AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
Neither of these titles are true, but they will both have the base salivating. We wonder why we have a problem with “fake news” these days.
As Ayn Rand says, contradictions do not exist. If there seems to be one, check your premises. In this case, Republicans appear to be contradicting themselves by supposedly standing for free markets, yet using force to punish Delta for choosing to end a private, voluntary agreement with another private entity. The premise then can only be that Republicans do not actually care about free markets.
This is why more often than not, Republicans are no better than Democrats. Both are authoritarian in nature, they just differ on which issues they choose to support.
Overall, this story is a clear indicator of how far our country is from freedom and liberty. It showcases the methods that both the Left and the Right use to spin stories to fit their narrative, and it’s a great opportunity for teaching people how to see through the web of fake news.
Perhaps most importantly, nobody in mainstream media will tell you these things. That’s why you must learn to recognize it yourself.
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