Airlines are for profit companies, not extensions of welfare programs. Tech-connected means connections are made via the internet and its impossible to provide airline service to all small towns, there are not enough planes and crews to provide such a service and it would be a drain on the airlines bottom line. Airlines are not as you say stewards of a social good, whats next, lay railroad track to every small hamlet throughout the country, provide cancer centers in every small town? People have come to expect too much in this country and thus every state and city is having serious financial problems, people scream about rising taxes, basic services being cut and yet they expect the money to come from somewhere to fly a handful of people who choose to live in an area that cannot allow airlines to operate with a profit. Air travel is not a necessity or a basic human right, as it stands now, the vast majority has access to air travel and the airlines are making a profit doing so. If air travel is that important to a person, do what you would do if you wanted better schools, better medical facilities, more options for entertainment, Move.
Entirely off base, as you usually are on this subject. Air travel is an essential part of the modern economy, and no, it is not properly limited to larger markets. Tech-connected also means needing human connection as part of business, not just internet connection. Airlines are exactly stewards of a social good. Railroads don't need to go to every small town because trucks can provide good connection for cargo of a similar kind.
There is no unreasonable cost expectation for airlines, governments, and communities together ensuring that smaller markets have couple of daily RJ's to a hub . Carriers make vast profits on the majority of their systems; federal, state, and local governments can put together support programs; and, there will just plain be people who use them. It's a collaborative effort. As I said, if Doug Parker's apparently forever and ever amen huge piles of money are just a tiny bit shorter, shareholders still make oodles of money, and the air travel system is run to serve the public, which is exactly what it should be.
The reason railroads don't go everywhere is that they cannot make money on such small stops. Years ago railroads served many small hamlets and that's why many railroads have gone under and apart from the northeast and a few other heavily populated areas, trains mostly carry cargo. Airlines don't have your mind set, many small cities over the past 10-20 years have been dropped. GON lost service, HVN is 30 miles away and PVD is 40 miles away. Driving 2-3 hours for a flight is not a hardship and as time goes by, more cities will be dropped as the average RJ rises in seating capacity. Its a natural progression in the airline business, the Saab's, Dash's, Beeches, Twin otters, EMB-110's, EMB-120's are gone and never coming back. An airline is just like any other business, they are there to make money and no money can be made on serving small towns with 5-8 passengers per flight. No airline seems to be following you business plan and why not, because it fails to learn from business 101, cut your loses and concentrate on where profits can be made. Social good entities are welfare departments, Goodwill stores, food banks, charities, etc, not stock held companies. In this world not everybody can get what others have due to location, median income, population, etc. Would you insist that large chain stores set up locations at every small town? Its just not the way business works, the demand has to be there first and the demand has to be enough to warrant the expenses of building new stores. Again, move to a small town, forget the things a city offers.
A couple of RJ's to a hub would be 100 seats minimum with ridership at maybe 10-25 passengers, not a wise use of resources, fuel, aircraft, crews and ground personnel. You have your idea of how an airline should run and I have mine, which one is closest to reality?