The federal government screws up so many things it is truly amazing. I have been ranting and raving about the U.S. Postal Service on here over and over and over. Now it is time to move on to some other areas where the federal government is involved when they have no business being. (Read below how the Soviets were very impressed when Reagan put the Air Traffic Controllers union in their place. They looked at each other and said that their days were numbered if Reagan was that direct with them.)
Posted by Chris Edwards
The Washington Post today describes the latest near-miss disaster at National Airport, apparently the result of screw-ups by our government-run air traffic control (ATC) system. The Post notes that this near-accident is one of many troubling incidents in recent years:
…the near-collision was another among several thousand recorded errors by air traffic controllers nationwide in recent years. National has been the site of some of the most notable incidents, including one revealed last year in which the lone controller supervisor on duty was asleep and didn’t respond when regional controllers sought to hand off planes to National for the final approach.
News of the sleeping controller at National last year led to the revelation that controllers on overnight shifts at several other airports were napping on the job.
Is our ATC system is so troubled because it is
- a government bureaucracy,
- a monopoly that doesn’t face competitive pressures to improve quality, or
- a union-dominated organization?
I don’t know the answer; maybe it’s all three. But news stories like the one today usually don’t mention the role of the unions, and newspaper readers may just conclude that the fault is simply one of a bumbling Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bureaucracy.
However, I coincidentally received a letter in the mail today from an anonymous FAA official who points to some of the problems caused by the militant National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). He or she says that the “NATCA union holds the FAA management hostage and little is done to correct the problems … The NATCA union is too powerful and management is too intimidated to do their jobs.”
The letter writer may or may not have all his or her facts straight–the letter is here [PDF] so you can judge for yourself. However, I do think that the media could do a better job probing the role of unionization in the FAA’s substandard performance. People remember Ronald Reagan’s battle with the air traffic controllers, but that was just a blip in a much longer story. Unions have been creating problems for the ATC system since the 1960s, as I mention in this essay.
This is the last portion from an excellent article by Peggy Noonan ”Ronald Reagan at 100,” (Wall Street Journal, Feb 3, 2011).
His most underestimated political achievement? In the spring of 1981 the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization called an illegal strike. It was early in Reagan’s presidency. He’d been a union president. He didn’t want to come across as an anti-union Republican. And Patco had been one of the few unions to support him in 1980. But the strike was illegal. He would not accept it. He gave them a grace period, two days, to come back. If they didn’t, they’d be fired. They didn’t believe him. Most didn’t come back. So he fired them. It broke the union. Federal workers got the system back up. The Soviet Union, and others, were watching. They thought: This guy means business. It had deeply positive implications for U.S. foreign policy. But here’s the thing: Reagan didn’t know that would happen, didn’t know the bounty he’d reap. He was just trying to do what was right.
President and Nancy Reagan with Ray Charles after acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Dallas, Texas. 8/23/84.
Uploaded by YAFTV on Aug 19, 2009 Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman discusses the principles of Ronald Reagan during this talk for students at Young America’s Foundation’s 25th annual National Conservative Student Conference MILTON FRIEDMAN ON RONALD REAGAN In Friday’s WSJ, Milton Friedman reflectedon Ronald Reagan’s legacy. (The link should work for a few more [...]
Ronald Reagan was my favorite president. Read this excellent article on his accomplishments from the Heritage Foundation: What Were Ronald Reagan’s Achievements? Julia Shaw February 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm February 6 is Ronald Reagan’s birthday. While the right has long looked to Reagan as the standard-bearer of conservative leadership, over the past few years, even [...]
Unfortunately Hollywood has their own agenda many times. Great article from the Heritage Foundation. Morning Bell: The Real ‘Iron Lady’ Theodore Bromund January 11, 2012 at 9:24 am Streep referred to the challenge of portraying Lady Thatcher as “daunting and exciting,” and as requiring “as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real [...]
Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 16, 2010 http://blog.heritage.org/2010/12/16/new-video-pork-filled-spending-bill-just-… Despite promises from President Obama last year and again last month that he opposed reckless omnibus spending bills and earmarks, the White House and members of Congress are now supporting a reckless $1.1 trillion spending bill reportedly stuffed with roughly 6,500 earmarks. ________________________ Below you see an [...]
I have a son named Wilson Daniel Hatcher and he is named after two of the most respected men I have ever read about : Daniel from the Old Testament and Ronald Wilson Reagan. One of the thrills of my life was getting to hear President Reagan speak in the beginning of November of [...]
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My favorite president is Ronald Wilson Reagan. President Reagan with Nancy Reagan, William Wilson, Betty Wilson, Walter Annenberg, Leonore Annenberg, Earle Jorgensen, Marion Jorgensen, Harriet Deutsch and Armand Deutschat at a private birthday party in honor of President Reagan’s 75th Birthday in the White House Residence. 2/7/86. Milton Friedman’s book “Free to Choose” did influence [...]
Government Spending Doesn’t Create Jobs Uploaded by catoinstitutevideo on Sep 7, 2011 Share this on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/qnjkn9 Tweet it: http://tiny.cc/o9v9t In the debate of job creation and how best to pursue it as a policy goal, one point is forgotten: Government doesn’t create jobs. Government only diverts resources from one use to another, which doesn’t [...]
I really wish that President Obama would have not had the federal government buy up General Motors. We need to keep the federal government out of the private market as much as possible. This goes for the post office too. It should be in private hands. Senators voted recently to hold off closing some post [...]
President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. When you [...]
When you look at how good the private enterprise does with deliveries and then compare it to how bad the federal government does with the same duties it is laughable. The answer to the federal post office problem is to encourage private entrepreneurs to fill the gap and provide competition for the post office in [...]
Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below: Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at email@example.com and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future. On May 11, 2011, I emailed to [...]
The Arkansas Times rightly jumped on Republicans for whining about the local post office branches that were closing. (It is sad to me that Republican Presidential Candidates are not very brave about offering any spending cuts.) The real answer is privatizing the post office. Here is a good article from the Cato Institute: The USPS [...]
We need to close U.S.Post Office There is only one option in my view. We can not keep on losing money every year like the U.S.Postal Service (7 billion this year). Closing Post Offices PrintThe U.S. Postal Service just posted a $3.1 billion loss for the third quarter and the outlook for the rest [...]