One of the most thought provoking yet simple solutions to the pilot shortage is something I read buried in the comments of a post sometime ago. Instead of mandatory retirement for pilots (many of whom lost their pensions and need to work), why not give them the option to move into the right seat? There would be a whole lot of experience on that flight deck. Experience is always a good thing and for that reason alone the 1500 hour ATP rule is positive, but of course the ATP economic reality is catastrophic.
While a common argument from aviation leaders is to let the market work its magic, I don’t necessarily agree that market forces alone will fix this issue. Arguably, much of our problem was created by the opposite, deregulation. Market forces have put the industry in a position where passengers have been conditioned to bottom dollar fares and CEOs have been conditioned to absurd bonus structures and golden parachutes. This is not only an economic imbalance, but a psychological and sociological imbalance that butts heads with millennial ideology.