When I read this morning of politicians pushing back against airlines abandoning regional airports, it seemed like a lesson in behavioral economics: We are psychologically affected more by losses than by gains; and more by fear of failure than the satisfaction of success.
In our economy, an avoidant reaction often wastes money. I view this as our preference for narrowly addressing symptoms rather than solutions or – better yet – underlying causes. Tax breaks, subsidies and other techniques to prevent closure of the 250 out of 450 U.S. commercial airports that account for only three (3) percent of passenger demand are one example. The extra money we spend on the TSA full-screening of everyone instead of implementing a robust secure-traveler program is another. There are many more.