February 2011 Issue

First Word: February 2011

"Government’s view of the economy," wrote the oft-missed Ronald Reagan, "could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." The last nugget of that quote, government subsidies, accurately encapsulates the alternative fuel industry and especially ethanol. Yet it was Reagan, that stalwart of small government and free enterprise, who signed bills extending loan guarantees for the then-nascent ethanol industry. What does this have to do with aviation? We may be about to do it again in the name of preventing aviation from fouling the air with carbon dioxide and turning the planet into a hot house that will melt the polar icecaps.

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