Monday, January 12, 2015

Everything That's Wrong With Major American Business

JetBlue is going to a fee system that other airlines use
to torture us. Because Wall Street wants JetBlue to make
bigger profits for them. The American Way I guess.Add caption
A few weeks ago, Wall Street analysts said they were not all that crazy about JetBlue.

The problem? They are "overly brand conscious and customer focused."

JetBlue is making money hand over fist. But not to the extend of other airlines, and not to the extent of what fat cat shareholders want. They want more money to add to their billions.

To do that, they have to make flying for us minions as rough as possible. And as expensive as possible.

It's not good enough to be profitable and treat people like human beings, i.e. fairly. You must, MUST screw them as much as possible.

Apparently, it's the American Way.

The fee system that airlines have horribly imposed on us is designed expressly to given us the most unpleasant flying experience possible while maximizing profits to the extreme.
Here's how the New Yorker describes this evil system:

"If fees are great for airlines, what about for us? Does it make a difference if an airline collects its cash in fees as opposed to through ticket sales?

The airlines, and some economists, argue that the rise of the fee model is good for travellers. You only pay for what you want, and you can therefore save money, if you, for instance, don't mind sitting in the middle seats in the back, waiting in line to board, or bringing your own food.

That's why American Airlines calls its fees program 'Your Choice' and suggests that it makes the 'travel experiencce even more convenient, cost-effective, flexible and personalized.'

But the fee model comes with systematic costs that are not immediately obvious. Here's the thing: in order for fees to work there needs to be something worth paying to avoid. That necessitates, at some level, a strategy that can be described as 'calculated misery.'"

In other words, the more horrible the airlines make flying, the more they torture us, the more they insist on trying to make a 200 pound person like me sit in a seat designed for a 75-pounder, the more we will pay to accept escape from the torture and the more money they'll make.

Where will this trend end? "Hey, pay a $300 'no whipping' fee and we won't give you 100 lashes before you board."

I think airline executives would go for that, if aggravated assault wasn't still illegal. But don't worry. Congress will make it legal. If it contributes to corporate profits, which means they get more campaign money from the corporations.

This gets us back to JetBlue. That airline was trying to treat its customers with a basic level of respect. But nope, the Wall Street overlords will have none of that. Not of more profits can be squeezed out so they can buy that third beach house in the Hamptons.

Of course the free market types say if we don't like it, we can just go to the competition. But all of the so-called competition is under orders from Wall Street to commit exactly the same abuse on customers. So there really is no "competition."

As the New Yorker put it:

"When an airline like JetBlue is punished for merely trying to treat all of its passengers decently, something isn't right."

Look, I'm totally on board with one basic concept of capitalism.  Corporations must make profits. They provide a service we want, we pay for it, and they make money. Investors are happy, we're happy for getting the service we want, and live goes on wonderfully. Awesome! I love it!

What I don't love is the ethos that has taken over Corporate America. Instead of having us pay reasonable prices in exchange for goods and services, and have us coming back for more, the larger corporations by and large treat most of us with contempt.

That the 1% regards the rest of us as the enemythat has to be crushed, taken advantage of, left penniless and then discarded.

Of course, with that business model, how do they expect to make money once we're all spent?


No comments:

Post a Comment