Lots of press lately about the proposed merger. Here in the Great White North, lawmakers and the governor are more or less quietly waving the sword of the state's $445 million bribe (oops, loan) to Northwest in an effort to "guide" the merger activities. People are justifiably worried about thousands of jobs and flights.
Now I'd agree that losing thousands of jobs would be painful for the state, but I'd have to argue that it could be one of the best things that could happen.
For starters, when Delta execs tell people that our jobs were lost in part due to our tax structure, maybe, just maybe, liberal high tax politicians would take notice and stop clamoring to raise taxes.
Going further, if Northwest abandoned the routes it bought with our tax dollars, other carriers would step in to operate them more profitably. Southwest and others have wanted to do this for a while.
Third, ending the disastrous experiment of funding Northwest with tax dollars would force airport authorities to concentrate on our state's real advantage; we're at sea level, and fairly far north. If you want a good starting point for a great circle route from most of the country to Europe or Asia, we are it. Fully loaded 747s can take off here (they can't at altitude, as in Denver), and it's not as far to go here than it is to fly to many other international airports.
Finally, if they were forced by contract to pay back that $445 million, they'd reduce the perceived "need" to raise taxes. Maybe we could built a few roads and bridges with that money. Even bike paths are a better deal than bribing Northwest to stay here.
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