The recession’s silver lining in the blue skies
The economic downturn might just alleviate some of the “misery of the middle-class flier,” says Daniel Gross in Slate. U.S. commercial aviation expanded so much during the recent boom that it “burst at its seams,” with the increasing number of airliners and corporate jets clogging our “overtaxed aviation infrastructure.” Luckily, “the insanely high price of jet fuel,” the decrease in corporate spending, and the tightening in consumer spending have accomplished what “policy wonks” couldn’t: fewer planes are now competing for coveted runway slots. That should mean shorter security lines and more on-time flights.
The trouble with the weak dollar
For years, G-7 nations have “welcomed a falling greenback,” says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, but they have finally awakened “from their long slumber.” The weakening U.S. dollar, it turns out, isn’t a “benign” solution to “the U.S. trade deficit and the non-problem of ’global imbalances.’” Instead it is causing global inflation and soaring prices for oil, corn, and other commodities. Currencies aren’t like other commodities—their supply is set by a “cartel of central banks.” The G-7 finance ministers signaled their willingness to help, but the main problem is the U.S. “Fed’s weak-dollar policy.” We can’t “inflate our way” out of our credit mess, and our attempts to do so are only hurting us.