Archive for March 8th, 2019

Plane Smart, Not Plain Stupid: The Evil Ones Hurt Equality, The Environment With Private Jets… And They Love It!

March 8, 2019

I have mentioned this many times over the years, here and there. Now The Economist tied it all up together in a neat little essay, which uses many of the concepts I used over the years, such as “plutocrats”, “subsidies for the rich”, “Isle of Man” (a European tax haven, Pluto friends of mine use it…), So I will quote, in extenso, this magazine to which I subscribe.

The Economist: “PLANE STUPID. Private jets receive ludicrous tax breaks that hurt the environment. Scrap them

Print edition | Leaders, Mar 7th 2019

The blue jeans and t-shirts of the global elite are no more comfortable than those worn by the middle class. They drink the same coffee, watch the same films and carry the same smartphones. But a gulf yawns between the rich and the rest when they fly. Ordinary folk squeeze agonizingly and sleeplessly into cheap seats. The elite stretch out flat and slumber. And the truly wealthy avoid the hassles and indignities of crowded airports entirely, by taking private jets. This would be no one else’s business but for two things. First, private jets are horribly polluting. Second, they are often—and outrageously—subsidised.”

Plutocracy rules the world, all the security we need: girls and jets for Plutos!

Let me notice in passing as I have done in the past: the truly wealthy do not pay, overall, taxes. Instead, it’s the other way around.  The truly wealthy are subsidized by the governments they are entangled with. The hold individuals have on the state is very clear in Russia, for all to see… because Russian economic plutocracy was created, ex nihilo from the Soviet plutocracy in the 1990s, a pretty blatant event; Western plutocracy is a much more convoluted affair, and the hiding is much better.

For example descendants of French aristocrats are very powerful and networked in France, but, for obvious reasons, they have become experts at modelling the minds of the simple folks in such a way that those simpletons in their yellow jackets can’t detect how much they serve the descendants of their old masters, through a state carefully tweaked, just so…

The Economist pursues what few media have dared to even approach, the obvious subservience of so-called democracies to global plutocracy. Because global it is: EU plutocrats serve wealthy masters, not just in Europe, but globally. The case of private jets makes that clear. The Economist:

“Private aviation was hit hard by the global financial crisis, when both companies and individuals sought to pare expenses. But now private jets are booming again. This is partly because new booking services and shared-ownership schemes are cutting the cost of going private and luring busy executives away from first- and business-class seats on scheduled flights (see article). But the boom is also a result of tax breaks, which are even more generous than those lavished on ordinary airlines. In Europe firms and individuals can avoid paying value-added tax on imported private jets by routing purchases through the Isle of Man. This scheme has cut tax bills by £790m ($1bn) for imports of at least 200 aircraft into the European Union since 2011. America’s rules are loopier still. Donald Trump’s tax reform allowed individuals and companies to write off 100% of the cost of a new or used private jet against their federal taxes. For some plutocrats this has wiped out an entire year’s tax bill. For others, it has made buying a jet extraordinarily cheap.”

And this is The Economist pointing at the outrageous subsidizing of plutocracy by statocracy. So why is it that European Union legislative process gave a billion Euro rebate to IMPORTERS of private jets? Surely, it’s not to improve European industry: those jets are imported, not made in the EU. Nor does this subsidy benefit any class of Europeans, except plutocrats. This is a particularly clear case where legislators are caught giving hot blow jets to their beloved plutos, source of their comfy future.

The Economist then dares to develop a particular example of how the full mechanism of plutocracy amplifies the Dark Side… the fact that plutocracy is not about just about abuse of power, wealth, subsidies for the rich, or jets, but about becoming more evil. Pluto_Kratia is really Evil-Power. Using private jets render individuals evil, and The Economist has the numbers to prove it:

“The case for flying on a private jet is that it can save time for someone, such as a chief executive, whose time is extraordinarily valuable. Hence companies can offset the cost of these flights against their corporate-tax bills. In some countries the use of a private jet is a tax-free perk for executives. But a growing volume of research suggests that flying the boss privately is often a waste of money for shareholders. One analysis, by icf, a consultancy, found that the jets are often used to fly to places where corporate titans are more likely to have holiday homes than business meetings, such as fancy ski resorts. A study by David Yermack of nyu Stern School of Business found that returns to investors in firms that allow such flights are 4% lower per year than in other companies. Users of such planes are also more likely to commit fraud: a careless attitude to other people’s money sometimes shades into outright criminality, it seems.

In general user of evil mechanisms are also more likely to become ever more evil. This is not just a case of “qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf” (who steals an egg steals an ox). This is the case of who abuses a child, and gets away with it, is enticed to destroy the planet. Nothing to do with fear, quite the opposite. It’s the (all too human) will to destruction unleashed.

The more they get away with it, the more they do it, because destruction is what they are longing for. An example is Brexit. Plutocrats of all sorts paid (illegally) to prop the Brexit campaign, using everything from private jets to hypnotists and paid Labour officials. And murder was no problem, for them Plutos, naturally:

Actually Member of Parliament Jo Cox didn’t just “die”. She was murdered by a right wing extremist unemployed loser, driven mad by anti-European propaganda, one week before the Brexit vote. He targeted Cox, long a volunteer at Oxfam, a “passionate defender” of the European Union and immigration, because he saw her as “one of ‘the collaborators’ [and] a traitor” to white people.[1]

But back to We The People subsidized private planes, now that we have evoked People subsidized plutocratic media, and subsidized plutocratic abuse and arrogance (I am repeating myself, Plutos being all over opinion is formed). Says The Economist:

“The environmental effects of corporate jets are dire. A flight from London to Paris on a half-full jet produces ten times as much in carbon emissions per passenger as a scheduled flight, according to Terrapass, a carbon-offset firm. New supersonic business jets under development will make that a lot worse. On one estimate, their emissions will be five to seven times higher than for today’s models. Amazingly, these emissions are largely unregulated. Aviation is not covered by the Paris agreement to limit climate change, and most private jets are excluded from corsia, a carbon-offsetting scheme involving most airlines. All in all, private planes could produce 4% of American emissions by 2050 compared with 0.9% today.”

All air travel is bad for the environment. Business class is worse than economy class, because it burns more jet fuel per passenger. Private jets are more damaging by an order of magnitude. The tax breaks for cooking the planet in this way cannot be justified. They should all be scrapped. Carbon emissions should be taxed, not subsidised by the sleepless masses in steerage and the even less fortunate souls who never fly.

[This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “Plane stupid”]

Thus spoke The Economist! it’s nearly as if reading yours truly. Or when even the pro-plutocratic press has had enough…. of plutocracy.

All air travel is bad for the environment? Yes. And it’s going to get worse: within two decades, air travel, from growth of air traffic is supposed to become 25% of total CO2 emissions (a technological solution would be to go hydrogen, or hybrid… but either requires much more work.)

Private jet service offers many advantages to plutocrats: it’s much faster, there is no security, one can be driven to the door of the aircraft (thus a hijacked private jet can thus be flown into the White House… and then pundits and politicians will declare nobody could imagine that…). However, the more society offers to plutocrats, the more they want: greed is the specifically human oldest instinct. Greed means our ancestors were not satisfied living in the trees, they needed to conquer the savannah. Good. However, too much greed kills, it always has. And now it’s the planet which is getting killed.

The situation with private jets subsidies demonstrate how grotesquely bought our politicians are.  It’s not because Obama and his friend the Plutos fly private, that’s a good thing. There are plenty of private jets in Nigeria, a desperately poor country. It’s related: extreme poverty is caused by plutocracy: it’s the lake plutocrats love to reflect on. Clip their wings.

Hurting humanity is plain smart, and what doctor Planet Earth ordered. At least plain smart for the winners. However, that has to be done in moderation, and the alternative to mass destruction is to navigate out of excess before the former becomes necessary, or unavoidable. This way winners and losers can share destiny… in those times of unfolding mass extinction.

Patrice Ayme