Freedom of Choice?

Another sign that we are in trouble economically.

This morning, word from Pittsburgh International that they plan to cut back on nearly 8-percent on the flights coming out of the airport this fall. This is of course due to the rising cost of jet fuel and the uncertainty in the airline industry.

You know my feelings about the airlines and flying in general. I would much rather have root canal surgery and scratch my own eyes out that fly these days. Airline travel has become a form of torture for me and the fun of flight is gone in my eyes. However, at least I have the option of whether I want to fly and when I want to take to the friendly skies. That option is quickly disappearing.

The lack of choice isn’t just limited to the airlines. The cost of gas is keeping people closer to home. Even those long trips away for the weekend are becoming the subject of second-thoughts. Imagine, the country which was once defined by its journeys on the open road suddenly stuck at home, financially unable to leave the metropolitan area.

I did speak with a real estate agent yesterday who offered a slight spin on this stay-at-home trend. He says that, in many ways, it’s making people reconsider the whole idea of neighborhood and community. He’s selling home sites on the South Side and says the people that call him want to be close: close to work, close to shops and close to home. They want to walk more places and be able to walk home. In essence, they really don’t want to have to drive everywhere.

While this new sense of neighborhood is nice and all, I’m still worried about the limiting of our choices. Who would have thought gas would be thing that would slow down our ability to expand our horizons.

Just a thought. 

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