Should airlines be regulated as a "public good"? Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Tom Belden says that's the debate raging in Washington as lawmakers second-guess the limits of deregulation. To free-market advocates who note airlines are private companies, Belden responds that the airports they rely upon are mostly government-owned, creating a system of interdependence between government and the private sector. "So let's call the American aviation system a public-private partnership designed for the good of everyone," Belden writes, justifying passenger-rights rules and other recent increases in regulation.
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