Great comments above, especially FirstFlightMike. I might quibble a bit about the disconnect between him and Robert Goyer regarding POTUS as the "highest profile bizjet user." They are both right in a way. Air Force One is a military aircraft carrying a head of state in service of the country. However, Mr. Goyer's point is that the President's use of it, and the benefits efficiencies and productivity it provides, are a perfect and highly visible illustration of the value of general aviation when properly used. The President couldn't do his job if he had to travel any other way. The dual role of aircraft as perquisites notwithstanding, much, if not most, of business related GA in the US is utilitarian, especially by small and medium sized businesses, professionals and individuals.
I'm remember when many average citizens could afford to buy a share of a fairly recent (not 50-year-old) GA aircraft, and reasonable numbers of moderately successful people could afford a new piston single. That entry level supported the sale of "piston singles by the many-thousands each year." Maybe it's not too late to find a way back to that situation.
"Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they’re paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those “wages” are other companies’ revenue."
The economic health of GA lies along a path where middle class people can once again afford to buy piston singles by the many-thousands each year. A fair number will eventually buy biz jets, but it's folly for GA to focus so much energy on protecting the jet buyers of GA while the formerly high-volume low end of the market dies.
FirstFlightMike is right on the ball. US aviation enthusiasts are responsible to drive our own concerns and seek alternatives to fossil fuels and show the rest of the consumers what we can achieve. Too many sit and rely on others and elected officials to give us what we want. Will Mr Goyer consider hydrogen or discount it. Yes its safer then aviation fuel in an accident but is your perception of it clouding your view? A New Zealand company has solved the controlling the use of thixotrope in rocket technology, your next commercial space flight? The US is putting through a bill to stamp out carbon tax on international flights to Europe. Can we get behind this and extend it to GA aviation nationally?
I am looking forward to my next trip in a corporate bizjet, hopefully a Dreamliner.
Excellent comments by FirstFlyMike. Well done!
Mr Goyer, I am a fan of Flying and of your writing in the general, but reading this blog post leaves me shaking my head. Respectfully, I believe you and others in aviation with these opinions, are misguided, even though your goals for a healthy and vibrant GA marketplace are above reproach.
The way that I see it, the heart of the problem is that you believe “…that rich guys who fly bizjets are the heart and soul of America, the job creators that power the economy”. Forgive me for being blunt, but that is nothing but republican ideology that isn’t support by economic reality or the math.
It’s the MIDDLE CLASS that powers the economy, and that is driven largely by small businesses who create and sustain more new jobs than large businesses. This has proven true decade after decade, through good economic times and poor. The economy has suffered over the past 3 decades because our regulatory and fiscal policies have steadfastly rewarded and protected the wealthy and slowly impoverishing the middle class.
Giving yet more tax breaks to wealthy corporations and individuals, whether they be for so-called ‘business jets’ or for any other thing only the wealthy would buy, only hurts the economy and GA in the long run.
And for the record, while you may find your comment about POTUS being the ‘highest profile bizjet user’ as pithy, I think it’s silly. Air Force One is an aircraft that carries a head of state and is no more a ‘bizjet’ than an F-15C Strike Eagle or a C-17 cargo hauler. These are military aircraft in the service of the citizens of this country. Period.
You and others in the industry repeat that canard about how so-called bizjets are pure tools of industry, making executives more effective and efficient. While I admit happily that private aircraft does indeed deliver those benefits, I will also point out that if the benefits were as overwhelming as you represent, businesses would not have sold off their fleets after the embarrassing, but fleeting, stupidity of the auto industry CEOs. If the numbers were able to prove that those jets were more business tool than perq, the company would have ignored any silliness in the press.
Truth be tld, bizjets are more perq than tool for more companies, and we all know it.
It’s time that average citizens of this country get the attention and encouragement of our economic policies. The 1% have had their way with us and we can’t take too much more of their misguided economic ideology.
Yes, I am a CEO and founder of a small business, and we are a Service Disabled Veteran Owned company to boot. We care, love, and serve this country deeply.
One more thing Mattwemb... Mr. Goyer's blog struck me as strange because the first half was essentially a rant against the reelection of President Obama, and the second half about fossil fuels. Two unrelated conversations smooshed together.
I felt the first part deserved a response.
Mr. Goyer, respectively, YOU sir, are part of the problem. You sound like a spoiled, little rich brat ranting because you didn't get your way. You only care about the wealthy.
I'm sick of Flying and the AOPA and their partisan rantings lately. It's not helping. You are out of touch flying around in planes most of us can't afford and you have no clue what most working pilots are dealing with.
You're driving your base readers like me away by going too far injecting your personal politics into it. I have been subscribed for decades and only recently have considered not renewing.
Based on the comments I see here so far, you are probably going to purge lots more readers very soon. Good luck living in your bubble...until it bursts.
Wow, the comments on the article seem as if they didn't actually read it.
The statement about fossil fuels being the only fuel that we have available is not advocacy or bias. It's simply stating the fact. Those of us who prefer freedom over totalitarianism completely embrace replacing fossil fuels with something better. We are simply realists though, who are anxiously awaiting an alternative that is actually better. Give me a fuel that is as cheap & clean or better on any parameter & I'll jump on it. So would anyone else. It's not supposed to be a blind cult issue.
This whole concept that being supportive the more prosperous is in some way at the expense of the less prosperous is, of course, totally specious as well. When someone runs a business well or invents something new, that is great! When someone gets their first job or a raise or promotion, great! There should be no such thing as "class warfare" such as displayed in these comments. Jealously is a natural tendency that we need to suppress, but that some politicians take advantage of. It has no place here or anywhere else. It's just sad.
Keep that in mind when at the airport. Why shouldn't someone be proud of their new high dollar airplane? They aren't rubbing it in your face. They stretched their budget and fantasized for years over the purchase and are finally able to do it. Just like the gal pulling up in the new-to-her C172 or beat up Cub or RV-7. They are all cool. Embrace them all. Just like you would want to be embraced. Leave the jealousy where you left your morning BM.
man, the weather sucks today - must be Obama's fault.
My dog is sick, too....must be Obama's fault.
Get over yourself, Goyer, most of us are sick of your whining about Obama. Roger up and stop complaining.
No doubt that every one of us has a role in the economy, and you point is well taken. But it's the middle class that have the dominant economic impact, delivers the greatest percentage of GDP productivity, and consumes the most product.
It is a fallacy that the wealthy create the most jobs... 74% of new jobs created are created by small businesses owned by the middle class.
I think this is all important to GA because the class warfare being waged on the middle class has decimated our ability to buy GA aircraft and maintain the associated jobs. I think that FLYING and AOPA focus far too much attention and resources that benefit jet buyers and owners and I believe that is a direct reflection of a bias toward and for the wealthy.
We shouldn't be moving past the us vs them mentality because as Warren Buffet said... “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
GA would be much healthier if the top 2-3% of the population hadn't received all of the economic gains over the past 30 years.