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January 15, 2008
Airline mergers cause turbulence
Most corporate mergers won’t affect you much, but big airline mergers mean big “headaches” for passengers, says Scott McCartney in The Wall Street Journal. Delta’s likely merger with United or Northwest will be good for the airlines, helping them “better survive high oil prices and recession.” But travelers face higher fares, reduced service, and “grumpier” employees. The “biggest peril for consumers is poorer service,” however. Along with more lost baggage and ticketing problems, this means trouble for your frequent flier miles. There are a few upsides to mergers, but one of them isn’t increased opportunities to “score free seats and upgrades.”
The Nano conundrum
India’s $2,500 Nano car poses a “moral conundrum” for well-intentioned people, says Anne Applebaum in The Washington Post. “Possibly the most significant new car of the decade,” the Nano makes car ownership a real possibility for “Indians entering the middle class.” But the “laudable, currently fashionable” goal of improving poorer lives stands in direct conflict with the “equally laudable, equally fashionable” goal of improving the environment. Millions of Nanos means an “exponential rise” in pollution, but “in many countries, the desire not to be poor is stronger than the desire to breathe clean air.” And “it will be a long time before Nano drivers” can afford a Prius.
of The Week magazine.