Thursday, May 26, 2016

Climateer Line of the Day: 'Au Contraire Young Man' Edition

A (apparently) young reader commenting at FT Alphaville took Izabella Kaminska to task for the phrase "unviable for private interests." and used an unfortunate example to hammer home his point:

...There's never been any big concern that the U.S. airline market is "unviable for private interests."
Unfortunate because an insurance guy from Omaha Nebraska has already plowed this ground:
...Move on to failures of airlines. Here’s a list of 129 airlines that in the past 20 years filed for bankruptcy. Continental was smart enough to make that list twice. As of 1992, in fact--though the picture would have improved since then--the money that had been made since the dawn of aviation by all of this country’s airline companies was zero.

Absolutely zero.

I like to think that if I’d been at Kitty Hawk in 1903 when Orville Wright took off, I would have been farsighted enough, and public-spirited enough--I owed this to future capitalists--to shoot him down. I mean, Karl Marx couldn’t have done as much damage to capitalists as Orville did.
-Warren E. Buffett, Fortune Magazine, November 22, 1999 
and repeated on the 2003 centenary of that first flight