As the few remaining airlines in America slash routes to pay off debt, Longman and Khan believe that cities like Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Memphis, are being cut off from the rest of America and the world, and the effects can be dramatic. Some cities have lost more than half their air service in a few short years, they point out. And no matter how big, these communities are finding they are all but powerless to alter the decisions of these private corporations.
Describing how the effects are real and widespread, the duo demonstrate that leisure travelers face fewer choices and higher fares. But it is American business - which demands frequent and efficient service - that has been especially hard hit. As Longman and Khan report, Chiquita recently moved from Cincinnati to Charlotte precisely because it has become so difficult to fly executives in and out of Ohio.
Most surprising is the culprit. For years experts have blamed higher fuel prices. But Longman and Khan show the problem stems from the so-called "deregulation" of the industry more than 30 years ago. The time has come to recognize that this policy of "deregulation"--first promoted in the 1970s by Ralph Nader, Ted Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer--has failed, the article says.
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About this initiative
The Markets and Enterprise Project at the New America Foundation promotes political, industrial, economic, and environmental resilience. It does so by documenting and clarifying the dangers of extreme consolidation, and by fostering discussion of ways to reestablish America's political economy on a more stable and fair foundation.