11.4.13

MORE RENT-SEEKING BY ARCHER-DANIELS?

That's Decatur's Archer Daniels Midland, notorious as a participant in an expensive conspiracy to fix the price of chicken feed, quite happy to suckle at the public teat to produce ethanol, also quite happy to benefit from the Essential Air Service subsidy rather than develop ethanol-fueled corporate jets?
On any given day at O'Hare International Airport's bustling Terminal 3 -- amid the jumbo jets and superliners taxiing in and out of the gates -- there’s a tiny nine-seat Cessna Caravan waiting to board passengers headed to Decatur, Ill.

It’s paid for with federal money: More than $2.6 million a year in tax dollars this year alone.
The news report suggests that a Decatur resident can get to a nearby airport [or to Amtrak at Lincoln or Urbana] more quickly than many Chicagoans can get to O'Hare or Midway.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), an international food-processing corporation with its headquarters in Decatur, wrote a letter to the U.S. DOT saying it "enthusiastically supports" the subsidized air routes to and from Decatur.

"ADM employees utilize and enjoy traveling with Air Choice One thanks to their Chicago O’Hare and Lambert St. Louis connections which make it significantly easier for catching connecting flights," an ADM official wrote to the head of the EAS program.
Did you ever expect the beneficiary of public largesse to concede that the program in question is a boondoggle?

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