Regional airlines were recruiting desperately at Oshkosh (EAA AirVenture) this year. It occurred to me that the newish 1500-hour hour minimum imposed by Congress for airline pilots imposes an access barrier to this high-paying career. In Europe, for example, a young person of modest means can pay for 140 flight hours, plus some sim time, and begin his or her career in the right seat of a Boeing 737 (see previous post on a flight school in Ireland).
In the U.S., however, the aspiring airline pilot has to somehow tough it out through 1500 hours of starvation wage flying, which could take years. The American child whose parents are financially comfortable, on the other hand, can build 1500 hours in the family Cessna or Cirrus, can relocate to a busy flight school and work happily for $15-20/hour, etc.
Thus we have politicians claiming that they’re passionate about reducing inequality, but meanwhile they are writing regulations that ensure its persistence. Intensive regulation has always favored those with the most resources, e.g., big companies or rich individuals.