If you can believe it, this legislation was designed 25 years ago as a protective measure for Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which is so "punctuality-retardant" that Southwest opts not to fly there, despite the restrictions at Love Field. After citing a number of studies that show just how important Southwest is to ensuring competitive fares in a market, Virginia gets to the real issue at hand:
The Wright Amendment offers an excellent test of Texas politicians, including the Bushies: Are they just crony capitalists? Or are they pro-market, pro-growth, and pro-consumer? For the past 25 years, the consistent answer has been "crony capitalists," more interested in protecting DFW Airport and American Airlines than in letting market competition serve the public (including a lot of Dallas businesses). A few politicians, including Rep. Pete Sessions, have come out for repeal. But, astoundingly, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller is defending the federal law that puts her own city at a competitive disadvantage. Or maybe it's not so astounding. It's Texas politics as usual.In one of my earliest posts, I explained why I think Southwest's business model is superior to that of the so-called major carriers. It bears repeating: Southwest's market value is about the same ($12.6 billion) as the total market value of every other domestic airline. Check it out for yourself.
And then join the movement to repeal the Wright Amendment. Free trade begins at home.