Well, they say there is a pilot shortage out there too. Which is a lie. The airlines simply have a shortage of pilots willing to donate $100k of personally financed funds in training and experience to work for a near minimum wage job.
Bottom line: why spend 100k-150k on your own training/opportunity costs, all to make $15k to $20k a year for a few years, maybe get a copilot position after that for 35k, maybe a pilot situation after 5 years of experience (which will take 6-8 years in reality, due to furloughs), and watch as retirement and other benefits rapidly disappear as you approach mid-career?
Folks who are mid career have it great compared to what folks getting into it can look forward to, and their predecessors had it oodles better then.
Flying for fun and occasional business is expensive. But it is also not much more expensive than it was 30 years ago (perhaps 20% more in constant dollars). The cold hard truth is that people don't make as much in constant dollars now, and that expense went out the window for the vast majority of the middle class long ago.
In constant dollars, the initial cost of buying a plane is quite a bit lower than it was 30 years ago (mostly because the fleet ages year for year because hardly any airplanes are made any more). The cost of maintenance has gone up due to age, even as shop costs for aviation have gone down. Parts have gone up. Fuel (at around $5.50 a gallon) is roughly 20% more expensive in constant dollars. Flight training is roughly 35% more expensive in constant dollars (due to trends in increasing the average time a person is asked to train before soloing and taking exams).
On the other hand, there is a vast world of unique experiences out there one simply cannot have unless one flies themselves around. There are fewer people who can prioritize/afford it in the middle class. In a world where median engineering or technical fields would pay $175k a year in constant dollars since the mid-60's, when reality is more like 85-100k, there will be adjustments.
In the mean time, I'm happily trading extra years of working life for being able to fly to mountain wilderness airstrips to camp and fish in solitude, desert airstrips to explore remote canyons, ski areas to take advantage of powder days without turning into an expensive, multi-day trip, and see my parents as they grow old more often (for less than flying a commercial flight). It costs...yes...and I am fortunate to be able to have one hobby I love that I can sacrifice for. I wouldn't trade these things as a younger person for an early retirement any day.