Short and Sweet... Washington Has To Quit Screwing With Our
News and Analysis by Jim Campbell, ANN E-I-C
Tell ya what folks, I was going to take a short break from the
series I was working for a few days... I was tiring of the
depressing task of writing about bad business practices and the
folks who were doing so much unnecessary damage to the aviation
world -- and then, God Help Us, our esteemed President takes
not one, but several, cheap shots at the business aviation
community -- again. So much for taking a break...
No matter what side of the political aisle you're on, its hard
to look at today's comments as anything else but cheap and foolish
politics. To be blunt, if you mess with the tools of business you
mess WITH business... and if you mess WITH business, you MESS WITH
jobs... and from what I hear, messing with jobs is just not a smart
move for anyone with political ambitions.
Washington (and not just the President) has been messing with
our business for way too long -- and getting away with
it! But, today was a watershed moment in determining
whether this Administration was truly coming to understood the
contributions this industry makes as well as the criticality
of our roles as movers of industry. And in this latest
test of political acumen, he failed.
Aviation brings in over $150 Billion to this nation every year.
It comprises over 1.2 million jobs. It is a consistently impressive
segment of all that we import abroad... and its effects on
virtually every other aspect of American and world business are
simply too profound and substantial to readily catalog. Messing
with that is a bit like teaching yourself do-it-yourself brain
surgery... the results are just plane stupid -- and messy.
You'll hear a lot more on this subject, from others, in the next
few days and while I'm pleased to see an initially aggressive
attitude from a few of the associations that used to roll over and
play dead with great regularity, it's simply not enough. If we're
getting pushed around and harmed by D.C. Dunderheads who have never
run a business, never had to make payroll, and never had to deal
with the day to day intricacies of keeping a business afloat (much
less an aviation business or a business that uses the services of
same), we have only ourselves to blame.
In the upcoming
Aviation Transformation Conference (scheduled for the first
week of March, 2012) ,one of the things I'm going to
personally advocate is a far more aggressive (and radically
different) role in countering the misinformation imparted by our
elected leaders, as well as the negative press uttered by those who
are rarely competent to report on this incredibly dynamic but
complex industry. We've long been unhappy with the less than
effective responses we've seen from many (but not all) associations
in countering the effects of recent Washington madness, but
now IS the time for our associations to start warring against the
ignorance of those who haven't a clue about the real issues
encountered by our industry. They, and we, must refuse to let
their incessant 'Bravo-Sierra' stand without aggressive,
realistic and effective responses. We need to be loud, consistent,
and keep up the pressure on those who would ground us, in one way
or another, before their efforts lead to permanent damage (and face
it, they're not far from it).
It is high time for the nation's aero-alphabet groups to earn
their keep with solid, creative, aggressive, organized and
effective counters to every attack we incur... and if they're not
up to the job, let's all join an Association(s) that is -- and
abandon those that aren't up to the job.
Washington needs to respect the role we play in this nation,
they need to understand that we're tired of their interference and
ignorance, and they need to start fearing the power we can muster
when the next election cycle comes around.
And then we have to start actually using that power...
We've played meek and mild for way too long... and its high time
that we let them know that we can play the 'heavy' if we need to...
though that time sure seems like... NOW. We must DEMAND and
PARTICIPATE in strong, creative, aggressive and persistent
responses from our associations and support those that demonstrate
the ability to deal with the threats we face... or face the end of
a unique and treasured American invention -- the aviation and