Getting Paid by Gov't. for NOT Flying Passengers
We're all familiar with various government agricultural policies over the years that have paid farmers not to farm, with the goal being to reduce the supply of crops like corn and soybeans and thereby support higher commodity farm prices. According to a 2006 Washington Post article,
"Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops from 2000- 2006 to individuals who do no farming at all."
For some great humor, see this tongue-in-cheek letter to the Secretary of Agriculture titled "Getting Paid for Not Raising Hogs" that starts like this:
"My neighbor received a check for $10,000 from the Government for not raising hogs, and I want to go into the "not-raising-hogs" business. What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise?"
Now comes a story from the Associated Press of a new government scheme that might be called "Getting Paid for Not Flying Any Passengers":
Federal statistics reviewed by The Associated Press show that in 2010, just 227 passengers flew out of Ely while the airline got $1.8 million in subsidies. The travelers paid $70 to $90 for a one-way ticket. The cost to taxpayers for each ticket: $4,107. Ely is one of 153 rural communities where airlines get subsidies through the $200 million Essential Air Service program, and one of 13 that critics say should be eliminated from it."
HT: Andy Foster
Update: I can see a new letter to the government that would start like this:
Great Lake Airlines received checks for $1.8 million from the Government last year for not flying a lot of passengers, and I want to go into the "not-flying-passengers" business. What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of airplane not to fly passengers on......