advector wrote:It bugs me that the automobile company CEOs' aircraft were called "private jets." They are public jets. They belong to the stockholders, and they are very good investments.
I don't know. They'll be public jets if the government takes an ownership interest in the automobile industry. For now they're private jets - owned by 400,000 stockholders, but still privately owned.
advector wrote:The stockholders are happy to own them and to make them available to the CEOs. The aircraft pay for themselves in spades.
Again, I think it kind of depends on your point of view. My old employer had a private jet, but that company was bought by a British company which didn't have a private jet. The Brits told the Yanks to get rid of the jet. But it took the Yanks the longest time to find an appropriate buyer. In the meantime, the Yank execs kept flying around in the jet. It's really hard to go back to the airlines after you've had a luxury ride at 40,000 feet. My current employer is much bigger, and all the execs fly commercial.
It kind of makes shareholders unhappy when the boss has a $20 million toy that costs about $10 million per year to feed. Jets make execs more efficient - that's for sure. But I think they have a hard time showing they're $30 million more efficient than flying first class in a HMT. Especially in big, deep and long-last economic downturns.
What burns me about the auto execs is that they're flying to Washington to ask for a bail out with OUR MONEY. It's not about the perks of being a big wig; it's about claiming you're almost broke, asking the US taxpayers for a handout and using a very expensive and not particularly necessary asset that makes you look and feel very friggin' cool to show up for the party. The whole think stinks and really makes me wonder whether they're really that bad off.
So the auto execs really should sell the jets and use the cash to fund the payroll for some assembly line workers who are about to be laid off. Then come up with a realistic game plan of how they'll be competitive in the future, reduce the pay of their top 50 people to $100,000 per year with no options, golden parachutes and other hidden payoffs, and maybe we'll talk bailout.