Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Some Light Reading for Our Second Guilded Age


Coming soon to C-suite office bookshelves and rich dads’ Father’s Day lists: Jet Dreams (Baseturn, $120 US), an illustrated tribute to owner-flown jets and their illustrious owners. Author Jessica Ambats features forty “plucky” CEOs who have acquired Embraers, decommissioned fighter planes, and other luxury aircraft and learned how to pilot them. In some cases, when they or the author wanted to take dramatic multi-aircraft photos, the owners graciously allowed ex-fighter jocks to fly their dream vehicles, confining themselves to riding shotgun.

This one's for you, Junior Birdman.

Ambats adduces several reasons why chief executive officers might want to buy and fly jets, including childhood wish-fulfillment, bonding with millionaire dads, undertaking charitable works for cougars, and getting away from it all. Thorsten Veblen, I dare say, could have identified several more, but then he couldn’t even have afforded a piddling Cirrus Vision SF50, the cheapest private jet on the market.


Incidentally, for the cost of that Cirrus (about $2,500,000 US), one could buy a pretty nice house in these here parts - 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, lakeside view, perhaps a private boat slip. Or one could pick up nine or ten gently-used Cessna 172 Skyhawks and fly forty friends and relatives to their favorite sportsball game. Or one could take 50-60,000 people out to dinner at Olive Garden (reservations recommended). The more pragmatic millionaire could simply buy something more personally useful, like a Congressman.

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