From the NY Times:
A turboprop Pilatus PC-12 carrying Melissa Thomas, her daughter, her daughter’s friend and a pile of lacrosse equipment took off for their home in Connecticut, following the girls’ three-week stay at Camp All-Star in nearby Kents Hill, Me. Shortly after, a Cessna Citation Excel arrived, and a mother, a father and their 13-year-old daughter emerged carrying a pink sleeping bag and two large duffel bags, all headed to Camp Vega in Fayette.
“Love it, love it, love it,” Mr. LePage said of the private-plane traffic generated by summer camps. “I wish they’d stay a week while they’re here. This is a big business.”
For decades, parents in the Northeast who sent their children to summer camp faced the same arduous logistics of traveling long distances to remote towns in Maine, New Hampshire and upstate New York to pick up their children or to attend parents’ visiting day.
Now, even as the economy limps along, more of the nation’s wealthier families are cutting out the car ride and chartering planes to fly to summer camps. One private jet broker, Todd Rome of Blue Star Jets, said his summer-camp business had jumped 30 percent over the last year.
This weekend, a popular choice for visiting day at camps, private planes jammed the runways at small rural airports.
Meanwhile, a Harvard study says 45,000 Americans die a year because they cannot afford health insurance. Remember that detail when you read these stories about the wealthy living it up, in this case, flying kids to camp. Or hear that we can’t tax rich people because they spend the money in such productive ways. It’s disgusting. Not least because we, as a society, are not supposed to believe this money would be better spent providing health insurance, food for the elderly and those who cannot take care of themselves. This money would be better spent reducing property taxes by paying for police, fire, and teachers. Nope, the right of rich people to fly private planes to summer camp trumps our right to live at least a simple, healthy life.
Oh, if you’re interested, the Pilatus plane alone costs about a million dollars used. That’s not counting pay for the pilot. Charter planes still cost a lot of money, too. And if you click through the links, you’ll not see any black or brown or Asian faces in the camp photos. Yet another example, perhaps, that the rich are cocooning themselves from having to deal with real people, the 99% who are not rich like them.
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