Ok but step out of the shoes of a pilot, is it really any different than any other business?
If you're shopping for a plumber, do you just call the most expensive guy you can find because you want to support the plumbers of the world? No, you call the cheapest guy that you think will still get the work done.
If you're doing software development, and can do it cheaper overseas, do you continue to pay U.S. wages just because you feel like you should have code that's Made In America? No, you call your buddy in New Delhi and get things done cheaper.
This ain't personal, it just happens to affect us personally. It is, in the end, business. OUR job is to fight back against this by using our collective bargaining rights in order to prevent this stuff from happening. We HAVEN'T done that, but it's been OUR dereliction of duty, not management's.
I don't know. Some folks out there (myself included) very carefully weigh the pros and cons of what I pay for services. The airline industry does not seem to do that. And... apparently, they don't need to, because pilots keep on accepting concessions over and over and over again.
Side note in response to your earlier points in your post:
While we haven't ever shopped for a plumber (coincidentally, I will be removing and old toilet and installing a new one for the very first time when I get home tonight... yay!!!
), we have shopped for other services, and are currently shopping one right now. When we had our house tuckpointed (the process of removing some old mortar between bricks and replacing it with new mortar - we have a 90-year old full brick house in St. Louis), we interviewed 7 tuckpointers. We did not pick the cheapest because he was cheap. We also did not pick the most expensive because he must be charging the most for SOME reason. We evaluated each based on their merits and weighed the cost/benefit. Ended up with someone right in the middle. I envision the same thing will happen with the new bid process we are going through to strip, seal, and paint the wood around our windows.
I did stop buying furniture made in China, and almost all of the furniture we've purchased over the past 8 years has been made right here in the U.S. Did it cost more? Yep. But I know that I'll never need to replace it. In fact, it'll last far longer than I will. Probably longer than my kids will (should we have any).
The company I work for had the option to outsource all of its work overseas when they lost the guy that designed and wrote their current eCommerce platform. They weighed the cost/benefit, and decided to hire me. I wasn't the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but I was, and still am (I HOPE!) worth their investment. They've since hired on two more rockstar eCommerce developers. Their labor expenses are far higher than they would have been had they simply outsourced. But the hassle of that outsourcing, which I have been through at another company, made them make the decision to hire us. In fact, we are a dance clothing manufacturer. Know where we make most of our clothing? 20 feet away from me. 700 people on the factory floor, manufacturing clothing while earning a TRUE living wage AND benefits. Could they save BUCKETS of money by making all of our clothes overseas? Yep. But they do some of that already, and know that the hassle would not be worth it, and quality control would go to the dumps.
I know that in the case of the airlines, it is a super complex issue whose blame cannot be placed on any single issue. Deregulation, escalating and unpredictable fuel costs, consumers whose only interest is the absolute CHEAPEST way to get from point A to point B, no matter what (which drives me nuts... I would GLADLY pay for something between coach and first class... the divide between the two is ridiculous), etc. It just astounds me that pilots are expected to (and expect to) put up with such a ridiculous pile of pewp and debt load to make $25k a year. And then, several years and some notches of seniority later, if they are lucky, their regional or mainline 'of choice' doesn't get bought by another one, and they just end up on the bottom again. It's such a backwards industry and profession any more that it just makes my head spin sometimes.
I know that I am preaching to the choir. This issue gets hashed, rehashed, bitched about, panned, etc. over and over here and on other professional pilot boards. No new news. Just some personal bafflement, especially in light of the new ATP rules.