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November 04, 2008

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ML Harris

#1- The airline industry. Would reregulation help? The airlines are clearly not capable of running their industry in an unregulated manner, so perhaps some return to the 70's might be good... Back in the 70's, the primary competition among airlines was on service, since prices were regulated. While dereg has made alternative business models viable (Southwest, RyanAir, JetBlue) and some not viable (the premium only class airlines), perhaps there's a way to incorporate that into a regulated fee schedule.

2- Travel restrictions: Our Cuba policy is coming up on 50 years old, without a real revision. And, it's not working. It decreases happiness for all players (Cubans in Cuba, Americans who would go but who would also honor their government). It isn't forcing a revolution against the communists and it isn't forcing the communists to be anything but stronger. I'm not calling for a complete normalization of relations (that'd be too much too soon) but lifting the travel ban and reconsidering the trade embargo might go a long way.

3- Travel clearly promotes good things more than it feeds repressive governments. If you go somewhere, you talk to the people. You share ideas. They get a new perspective. It moves the culture a little and the culture moves you. You turn around and talk to your government and maybe vote differently. They turn around and have something new for their repressive government. I want folks to remember that it wasn't militarism that tore down "that wall." It was blue jeans, pop music and western culture. And for the most part, that's worked out pretty well.

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