James thanks for the excellent article. Founder of a Silicon Valley startup here, and agree very deeply with the conclusions. Focusing on democracy means thinking about our collective and shaping a policy environment to encourage innovations in those directions. Traditional industries need policy change badly to help productive entrepreneurship take place. This is at the core of manufacturing leaving the US and it would be so good to see policy propping up innovation not just isolationism to address it.
I do hope you’ll consider using a different industry than airlines as the example though. It’s a classic one to choose as everyone hates their experience and there was the United debacle recently. However, the conclusion that they are so profitable is just wrong and seemed to undermine your otherwise excellent conclusions. The airline industry is famous for being not profitable. In the top of the article you cite, it says that they’ve had their best year since 2008 and still below average profitability of other industries. Airlines is a low margin business. You should pick US pharmaceuticals or traditional power equipment providers. Huge mergers also happening, and surprisingly large margins.