Delta v. Lt Gov. Cagle: Verbal Shots Fired
If you are not aware of the “verbal shot fired” at Delta Airlines by Lt. Gov. Cagle, well here is a quick overview:
Delta announced their intent to rescind discounts given to NRA members in response to the #ParklandMassacre.
Following said announcement, Lt. Gov. Cagle took to Twitter and said “Do it buddy and we will rescind all your favorable tax benefits for being in Atlanta, GA” (paraphrase). Thus far Delta has not issued a rebuttal.
This got the Team thinking, “How do you feel about Cagle’s response to a business decision made by a Private Entity?” The general consensus was – Lt. Gov. Cagle clearly overstepped his boundaries. However, I believe the general consensus is merely low hanging fruit and the real matter is deeper.
Delta Airlines has been headquartered in Atlanta, GA since 1941. Throughout the years, Delta Airlines has grown to become the largest airline by passengers carried and the second largest in terms of revenue. As a result, Georgia has been the primary benefactor of this growth.
Let’s fast forward to this week’s events. Lt. Gov. Cagle’s rebuke of the Airline’s NRA decision clearly shows that Georgia Politicians have taken for granted the economic impact Delta has on Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia. Additionally, it highlights how modern business has completely blurred the lines of the capitalistic principles that once governed the business environment. I for one have constantly stated that private business has become to cozy with politics.
Before I continue, this is a good opportunity to share two definitions:
Capitalism – an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state
Free Market – an economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses
Think about that for a moment. Does Lt. Gov. Cagle’s threat sound like the definition of Capitalism or Free Market?
I get it, the United States’ economy is some sort of acceptable hybrid of these definitions despite the fact many promote a literal context of the above. Regardless of that, a verbal threat to completely rescind an already agreed upon deal? A threat because a private business made a business decision. I mean President Trump has made this form of “inflict your will leadership” popular in the U.S.. A tactic we might say that almost resulted in the near decimation of several cornerstone American franchises.
How should Delta Airlines move forward? Should they even do anything at all in response to these comments? I’m sure if one were to do an anonymous poll of Georgia Conservative Lawmakers, it would not surprise anyone if the majority of the party felt the same as Lt. Gov. Cagle.
Leaving partisan politics out since here at TheBrokeLab we could care less about them. I think this could be a great opportunity for Delta to vet a move of their corporate headquarters. Yes, a decision to move will come with cost, but why not consider it? Why not consider moving to another hub city where the business can function absent of forced political influence? Why not move their economic influence to another place where it will be welcomed and impactful? I mean – WHY NOT!
For those who think this is an outlandish idea, in the current business environment, anything can be modeled and positively promoted if the result is “shareholder value.” Delta’s dealings in Georgia will be contentious from this point forward – there is no doubting that idea. It’s to early to determine what the reverberations from Lt. Gov. Cagle’s tweet will result. However, this threat of action should cause concern for Delta shareholders.
The only known is there will be some sort of fallout in this war of words. Delta has a tremendous opportunity to before them. If the company ever wanted to pull up from their Georgia base and move elsewhere, the Georgia Government has provided such an opportunity. Only time will tell to see how this will play out. However, we can agree – “Delta it’s your move.”
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