Monday, November 03, 2008

Billy Joel may have got it right...It's all about soul

[For those of you directed here and looking for that great annecdote from the last post, it is under this one... and on with the news, sports and weather]

Quite a few years ago, Billy Joel on his album, 'Storm Front' had an amazing song on it called 'It's All About Soul', which was about how deep and meaningful his [current at the time] relationship was. Well Dear Readers, this can also be applied to what happened in Minneapolis last week. If only due to the fact that the soul of the region was just taken away, destroyed, decimated by what in the kindest of tersm for this space can only be called a hostile takeover of Northwest Airlines [many years ago, Northwest Orient] by the mouths of the south, the a-holes from Atlanta, Does't Ever Leave The Airport - Delta. And in the process took away the soul of Minneapolis-St. Paul. But it was not just the Twin Cities that was hit hard:

- other towns that just got the royal screw here are such places as St. Cloud, Brainerd, Duluth and Bemidji, the town that had the distinction of being the smallest city in the US to have jet service...but not anymore.

-Rochester which is the home to the Mayo Clinic, got hurt here pretty bad. Why?? Well they had once an hour service from MSP via regional jet or small-porch DC-9's courtesy of Northwest. Well that has now gone down to twice a day...if that. SO much for those poor folks who want to get to the clinic fast and cheap to have some of the best doctors on the planet cure their ailments.

-the businesses in the region such as: General Mills, Pillsbury, Honeywell, 3M, IDS and many others in the Fortune 500 that call the Twin Cities home have now been reduced to minor players. If there is no quick means for there to be business meetings [outside of telemeetings], this this will cost the region in many untold ways.

-and speaking of businesses, the Mall of America who bank on travel in and out of the airport which is no more than 1 mile norht of the MOA will be hurt. This includes as irony has it, a Northwest pilot who runs a Flight Sim/Toy shop on the first level of the mall. Yep I used to spend time in the place and if you were raised around aiporta and aircraft or even lived on the periphery of the industry, this was like passing on and going to that great big hangar in the sky. There may be a run on NWA memerobillia initially there and other places, but soon that may end up going the way of the dome home games for the Twins...

The biggest losers in this will be initially the 23,500 people in the region who work for Northwest and then with the multiplier effect, that number will be tripled. If you do not believe that number, consider everytime a new ballpark is built, some wiseapple economist comes out and intones in rather graphic detail that the 'multiplier effect will show that new jobs will be created as ancillary services and products related to the contstruction of the stadium'. Yes, thank you Dr.Elmer J. Fudd for that great economic analysis.

If you want to rip these folks a new one, here is the current web address for Northwest Airlines. Or just copy it...because another great company bites the dust.

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