Army airlines: bad idea – El Sol de México

It can be said that there are three paradigms of national economies. The first is the one that came into total discredit with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. According to this model, the central and total planning of the economy went hand in hand with absolute ownership of capital by the State. After 70 years, this system was rejected by societies in Eastern Europe and Russia.

The second paradigm is the one that grants the State ownership of certain companies, leaving others to private initiative. This was what happened in Great Britain before Margaret Thatcher came to power, when the State, which had nationalized many companies, entered into a major financial crisis. They were the 70s.

In those same years, in Mexico it was thought that the State could manage companies successfully and they even went so far as to nationalize the banks.

The third paradigm is the one that privileges the private ownership of companies and the free market economy, reserving for the State the important tasks of public security, the administration of justice, political representation and, if anything, the general outline of the industrial and economic policy of a country.

Just as in the case of Great Britain, in Mexico the nationalizing paradigm failed and was replaced by one that promoted the market, as well as the private and social management of companies.

When the current government came to power with the rhetoric of “republican austerity”, the agreement to maintain the free trade agreement with the United States and the promise not to go into debt, many thought that it would be a government that, despite everything , would maintain the basic policies of the liberal economics paradigm.

It hasn’t been like that.

The launch and operation by the Mexican Government of an airline that the Army will manage is a double error. Firstly, as we have witnessed in the case of Argentina, it has not been possible to understand that the State is not the best instance to manage companies such as aeronautics. That has been the experience in most of the world. Countries such as Malaysia and India have been looking for buyers for their state-owned airlines, and some studies show that consumers complain more about the service provided by state-owned airlines than private ones.

Secondly, we should continue to be surprised by the fact that the Mexican army has become a businessman under the present Government. This entails not only the militarization of the country’s economic life, but also the growing power of the military forces, with the enormous risks that this represents.

The idea would be wrong even if, very unlikely, the army turned out to be a good administrator of “Mexicana de Aviación.”

The current situation is much more worrying than with the Echeverría and López Portillo governments, since they did not try to nationalize companies to hand them over to the army.

The situation is such that even supporters of greater state involvement in the economy should be concerned.

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