The Economic Perils of Chaos Aloft

Disruptions in air service would bring problems aplenty for business

When 13,000 of the 17,500 American air-traffic controllers walked off their jobs last week, they put at risk far more than their own paychecks and jobs. The strike was also a karate chop at not just a key component of the American transportation system, the largest, costliest and most complex network on earth, but also, and ultimately, a blow aimed at the entire U.S. economy.

Moving both people and cargo regularly and reliably is one of the basic building blocks of any modern industrial...

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