The stupid law that prevents foreigners from buying U.S. airlines.
Relentless, even excessive, competition has been a defining characteristic of American business culture—and one of our great gifts to the world. Another defining trait is the ability of the United States to attract and assimilate immigrants from all corners of the world, especially Europe. How ironic that when European investors, yearning to breathe free, show up at our ticket counters with fat wads of cash in their pocket, the government tells them there are no seats available at any price.
Correction, Jan. 3, 2007:This article originally referred to the Transportation Safety Administration. In fact, the agency is the Transportation Security Administration. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Daniel Gross is the Moneybox columnist for Slate and the business columnist for Newsweek. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter. His latest book, Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation, has just been published in paperback.
Photograph of airplane on Slate's home page by David De Lossy/Getty Images.