Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Businesses have to play politics.

Many choose to play both sides, because you never know which way the political cookie's crumbs might fall.

Should you have decided to disappear into a remote jungle to avoid all talk of politics over the last week, you may not know that Delta Air Lines (along with United) severed its ties with gun industry lobby group, the National Rifle Association, last week.

This, in turn, caused Republicans in Georgia -- Delta's home state -- to make sure that the airline wouldn't get a $40 million tax break on jet fuel purchases.

This relationship with the NRA must have been extremely lucrative for its members, you must sigh.

They must have flocked, you'd have thought, to take advantage of the 5 percent discount. 

After all, the NRA boasts of an alleged 5 million members. 

The data tells a fascinating story.

A Delta spokesman told me that the number of NRA members who ever -- and I mean ever -- took advantage of the discount was 1,300,000.

Wait, that's not quite right. It was actually 13.

Delta wouldn't be drawn on how this compares to other groups who get the same discount.

My elementary math currently appears to show a cost to Delta of $3 million for every one of them.

The airline, naturally, believes this is a point of principle. 

Its CEO Ed Bastian issued a statement that read, in part: "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature."

When you hear of a business getting involved in one sort of political dispute or another, it's easy to forget how it got involved and what the true numbers at stake really are.

Sometimes, they can be baffling.

Published on: Mar 2, 2018