EA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 12557 posts, RR: 64 Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1136 times:
"OK" is actually a very relative term, here.
Would it be ok for the U.S. government to strong-arm Northwest out of buying Airbus planes? Absolutely not. They're a viable, strong company in a free-market economy and can do what they want.
What about USAirways, when they're desperate to get government-backed loans? Perhaps it's ok (if they needed mainline jets) to push for a Boeing order over an Airbus order, seeing as they're seeking loan guarantees, and that such an order would result in more jobs for American citizens (at both Boeing AND USAirways), and in more taxes for the government. There would definitely be an air of nationalism behind it, though.
How about a totally government-subsidized carrier, like Air France? (They're still gov't owned, if memory serves) It would definitely be appropriate for the French government to try and swing an Airbus deal over Boeing...but again, "Nationalism!" would be the cry.
So is it ok to bring politics into the equation? Yes. No. Maybe. It depends. THERE'S your answer.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
Mcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1125 times:
It's not desirable.
First, any competition between the two plane makers on the merits of their products goes out the window, and is replaced by competition based on who delivers the greatest benefits to the politicians. Politicians might be frequent fliers, but they get rewarded for being popular or admired, not for making smart, long-term decisions or delivering a good return on investment.
Second, it's a form of gambling with taxpayers' money. If a government pushes an airline to buy a certain type of airliner, you can bet there's taxpayers' money behind the scheme. Every so often, the government will end up betting on a turkey, possibly even against the airline's best interests: remember how the British government pushed BEA to buy the Trident when the airline preferred the 727?