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Sorry, The Sky Is Actually Falling: Week 4

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Every week, I do a quick summary of interesting news in the skies which I believe readers benefit from knowing. This week, there’s only one story to highlight: the sky is falling.

Lots of interesting things happened in aviation trends this week, and I had a whole list prepared as usual, but we can discuss those at leisure, another time, on a day when we don’t face an immediate existential threat to the aviation and travel industries, and to humanity at large.

On behalf of those now finding themselves stranded in hell, and separted from their families, I would appeal to the compassion of world leaders, but those concepts are now out of vogue in the seats of power. So let me only point out the economic and social chaos this mad-dash to jingoism and isolationism can engender.

Terrorism has been a terrible ongoing threat to the world at large. This is undeniable.

Governments must protect citizens from the rise of extremism. But governments cannot adopt the same brutal and short-sighted practices of extremists to do so. These policies will not stop terrorists. They will engender more.

What the world needs now is reason, the thought-out and measured application of policies and laws which ensure greater global security, greater global stability, and prosperity for all. We seem to have misplaced reason this week, and I fear there is more madness to follow.

If there has ever been a time for aviation and travel to take decisive action to prevent greater harm to human kind and to its own best interest, it is now.

If the aviation industry fails to direct their financial power at a reversal of policies which can lead to socio-economic chaos, the repercussions will be grave. The damage will be lasting.

We must defend freedom of movement.

From a capitalist perspective, freedom of movement is essential to progress. A well-read capitalist will know that this was a basic tenet of Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations.’ He also encouraged the wealthy to care for the poor out of Christian charity, but failing that out of self-interest, to prevent revolution and social instability.

As new policies restricting freedom of movement, free trade, and human charity risk the safety, security and prosperity of democratic nations, I leave you with the thoughts of Adam Smith:

“What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.”

The man of system…is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it… He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it.

“As a rich man is likely to be a better customer to the industrious people in his neighbourhood than a poor, so is likewise a rich nation. [Trade restrictions,] by aiming at the impoverishment of all our neighbours, tend to render that very commerce insignificant and contemptible.”

[Without trade restrictions] the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man…is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest in his own way…. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty [for which] no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society.

“If [justice] is removed, the great, the immense fabric of human society, that fabric which to raise and support seems in this world if I may say so has the peculiar and darling care of Nature, must in a moment crumble into atoms.”

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