If you think about Atlanta Georgia, one of the reasons you may have know about it is the prime airport for Delta airlines. Ever since the late 1970’s the major airlines have been using a hub and spoke model – American Airlines uses Dallas; United uses Chicago and Delta uses Atlanta. This strategy had made these very busy airports even busier which translates in jobs at the airport and jobs inside the airport servicing the public. In Atlanta, Delta is the largest private sector employers with over 34,500 in corporate office and in the airport. In the airline business as we have seen, government support is critical and Delta has a long history of working with local, regional and national politicians.
After the Presidential and Senate elections in Georgia where Democrats won, the Republicans who traditionally controlled elected power decided to change the rules to ensure Republicans had every advantage and the Democrats would be disadvantaged. Normally parties think about their policies and why those policies did or did not sell with the voters, but if you control the voting process why not change it? In most states, it would have gone through and there would be concern but not a backlash.
This time around, the motivation for change was seen because the normal reason is to combat fraud, but an election which was counted 3 times and enough election fraud to change the result could not be found, it seems strange to rationalize voter fraud in an election. Because the rationalization was so bad, corporate executives including the biggest in Georgia – Delta, Home Depot and Coke all said the legislation has to change to seem to be fair. One might wonder why the long voting lines in Georgia exists for Democratic voters while Republicans have short lines?
In an article from the Associated Press the Republicans in the Georgia House, Senate and Governor has sent a backlash to Delta by cancelling a gas tax rebate. In the world of airlines, fuel costs are the reason why Boeing and Airbus come with new models which use less fuel. Fuel costs affect the bottom line because fuel costs is a variable and needs to be used. Prices on airline similar to auto fuel goes up and down.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, most companies internally try to reflect social concerns for employees and customers but try not to say politically unless it is okay to do so or society has changed. Companies which come out for a political party although it is hard not to write a check to help the parties. Companies giving hundreds of thousands of dollars typically want something more than an individual giving $100. The issue for politicians as in the case of Georgia is companies have options of where to invest – in the state giving them grief or another state which would welcome the company with open arms and many tax deferrals.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.