The Gulfstream 550 Photo by

The Gulfstream 550
Photo by

A Bloomberg News article published Dec. 6 in the Chicago Tribune, “Luxury jets pamper pets with pilaf, room to roam,” raised hackles at the trade group for makers of the ultra-pricey business perks.

People might get the idea that private jets are just another wretched excess of the billionaire class.

The National Business Aviation Association begs to disagree.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that companies using business aircraft outperform comparable companies that don’t use the aircraft,” harrumphed its president.

He’s right. The NBAA paid for those studies, and that’s what they showed.

“The vast majority of entrepreneurs and businesses using these aircraft are doing so to increase their productivity and efficiency,” he wrote.  “They are like offices in the sky…”

Really? Cookie-cutter cubicles, a coffee pot nobody ever cleans, a break-room fridge full of aging leftovers – no, not that kind of office. Those are only for human resources, not for the high-value innovators who need much more costly incentives to motivate them.

As Forbes magazine noted, “In order to charter a Gulfstream 550 for a single hour, you’d need to work 1,192 hours at the Federal minimum wage of $7.25.”

Such a cost might seem sky-high to the average American. But costs are offset by tax deductions for these efficiency enhancing devices, thus creating more shareholder value (a euphemism for profit, much of which goes to executives with huge chunks of company stock).

Thus, taxpayers subsidize the use of these mobile penthouses and the “value” they bestow. This is capitalism, in which income is redistributed upward to the wealthy, rather than downward to the needy, as in socialism.

But it’s not just designer dogs and CEOs who benefit. Everybody does! If you need more evidence about the critical importance of private luxury jets, those “Lifelines for America’s small- and medium-sized towns,” those “Life savers for people in need,” check out this website from the NBAA:

Keep a barf bag handy.