Helicopter Landing Pads…

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Helicopter Landing Pads…

 I know you’re tired of talking about parking. I am too!  So let’s talk about helicopter landing pads. You own a helicopter, right?

There are a lot of different costs associated with helicopter landing pads; cost to the individual, cost to the places providing landing pads, and cost to society as a whole.  Let’s pretend you’re a university professor that’s lucky enough to own a helicopter.

You decide to fly your helicopter to work, and you’re up there circling around looking for a helicopter landing pad. You have to keep circling, because you can’t find one.  But, hey, you can afford the gas.  So you circle and circle, and finally give up and fly back home and take the
bus to work.  You then spend the rest of the day posting angry emails about the lack of helicopter landing pads, and how angry you are that you had to waste your time riding a bus.

The next day to go to fill up your helicopter, and find out that the rising demand for fuel has driven the cost up. Not enough to keep you from flying, but certainly up enough to keep some of your co-workers from flying into work. 

Frustrated with you’re inability to find a landing pad on campus, you pay a local farmer to allow you to land in his field.  Problem solved right?

The next day, you go to the market and find that the price of food is up, because the supply of food is down.  It’s up so high you can’t afford food, rent on your landing space, and helicopter fuel. Something’s got to give, so you cut back on fuel cost by forming a helicopter pool.  Geez, what a pain in the behind!  Calling all you friends, and even people you only know by name, trying to arrange and coordinate a helicopter pool. 

So you get into work and you find out that the university is caving in to your protest. They are going to provide you with free access to a helicopter landing pad.  Whoo Hoo! A free benefit from the university!  The university uses eminent domain to take the farmers land and builds a landing pad.

Now you can fly your helicopter to work anytime you want!  Of course, only the people rich enough to afford a helicopter and fuel get to enjoy this benefit.  If they can’t afford a helicopter, they get nothing.  Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

The next day, you fly your helicopter to work and land on the pad.  Boy that sure saved you a lot of time!  You check your email and find that, due to increased capitol cost, the university is cutting salaries.  Not just the salaries of the people that fly helicopters, but the salaries of
everyone.

No big deal to you, you can still make you helicopter payments. So you fly into work the next day and start writing about how evil the university is for cutting the salaries of people that can’t even afford a helicopter!

Then you notice that your health insurance premiums are going up.  It seems that there has been an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for asthma.   Health officials think it’s linked to increased air pollution.

So you spend the day complaining about how evil the university is for increasing premiums on people that can’t even afford a helicopter!  Then you fly your helicopter home.

So, fuel costs are up, food cost are up, salaries are down, and there’s a thick layer of smog over the campus, and some of the lower paid employees of the university can’t afford to pay their bills. But look at the bright side.

At least you don’t have to waste your time riding a bus or putting together a helicopter pool.  And you get to use the helicopter landing pad for free!

-Kevin Werner, WKU, with a Special thanks to Donald Shoup, via the CPark-L List server

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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