How Government Cronies Made Air Travel Miserable

I remember a time when taking a trip on a plane was a fun experience. A privilege to experience, even!

Flash forward to today, and it’s an entirely different story… If you’ve taken a flight lately, you know exactly what I mean.

Between a months-long onslaught of canceled flights, seemingly constant delays, a sea of lost luggage, and so-called “customer service” that’s become a parody of itself… traveling by air ain’t what it used to be.

And while it’s tempting to chalk up all these issues to the boogeymen of greedy capitalists and profiteering airline executives, you’d be misdirecting most of your blame.

To really understand, we have to rewind to March of 2020.

Picture this: America is in a state of panic as a virus — supposedly from a Chinese wet market — sweeps the globe. Billions of people are urged (and forced…) to stay inside at all costs. Before long, businesses large and small find themselves in dire straits.

Never one to let a good crisis go to waste, the United States government decides to pass the first of many “stimulus” bills in response.

This resulted in one of the most significant wealth transfers in American history. It was called the CARES Act, and it cost $2.2 trillion: for you math people, that’s enough to give every family in America over $50,000.

But because the CARES Act wasn’t about “caring” for families or small businesses at all, most of that cheddar went to some of the most powerful and bloated companies in the world: airlines, defense contractors, cruise companies, hotels, and more.

In the end, billions upon billions of dollars went to some of the largest and most propped-up companies in the nation. In total, airlines received $58 billion from that first stimulus bill alone… Not to mention a bunch more billions in the years since.

And what did we get in return for our massive tax investment in air travel? Complete and utter dysfunction.

Rather than weathering Covid by trimming the proverbial fat, reducing operations, and adapting like other businesses, airlines kept on ticking thanks to their welfare check from Uncle Sam.

This isn’t even the first time we’ve seen a bailout totally backfire: just look at the bank bailouts and financial crisis of the 2000s.

Politicians foolishly believed that our government was capable of stopping the inevitable outcomes of poor business decisions. In the end, all they did was cost more money and cause more grief for everyday people like you and me.

If there’s one thing about big government, it’s that it never really seems to learn its lesson, especially when it comes to cronyism. Turns out, it’s hard to say no to your friends… And lobbyists, and Super PACS, and party interests.

The reality is, we can’t snap our fingers and immediately fix the corruption and folly that’s rotting our Federal government today.

But I believe that if we teach the next generation to see through political smoke screens and elect leaders based on principle, they might be able to avoid the costly mistakes we’ve made in our time.

That challenge is what inspires me to write books for kids about that don’t skimp on the truth regarding economics, politics, and liberty with our Tuttle Twins series.

When it comes to teaching your child about the nuances of crony government, a great starting place is The Tuttle Twins and the Messed Up Market.

This story is fun, engaging, and not at all like an economics textbook… But I guarantee it will help your family grasp the dangers of bailouts. Pick up a copy today, and see how much fun good ideas can be.

It might be too late for you and I to fix the airline industry (unless you happen to be Elon Musk). But if we team up, we might just be able to prevent the next avoidable crisis of cronyism…

Until next time,


Want More?

The Tuttle Twins children’s book series is read by hundreds of thousands of families across the country, and nearly a million books (in a dozen languages!) are teaching children like yours about the ideas of a free society.

Textbooks don’t teach this; schools don’t mention it.

It’s up to you—and our books can help. Check out the Tuttle Twins books to see if they’re a fit for your family!