Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Privatizing Air Security

By the same token, these new procedures will not actually keep us safe if terrorists are so inclined. Just as the government's security protocols did not stop the underwear bomber, so too will these new procedures fail in their ostensible purpose. And when the next incident occurs, I am confident that Thiessen and others will applaud the next invasive step on the slippery slope toward a police and surveillance state.
In reaction to the growing public anger at the TSA and its "freedom fondles," some pundits are rushing to the bureaucracy's defense. An illustrative example is Marc Thiessen's call for Americans to give thanks to the "men and women of the TSA who give up time with their families during the holidays to keep us safe from terror."

As we'll see, Thiessen's defense of the TSA is internally contradictory. Moreover, his endorsement of a government monopoly (on the design of air security) ignores all of the economic arguments against such an arrangement. As I pointed out in an earlier column, the only way to strike a proper balance between the (possibly competing) goals of customer privacy and safety is to allow competition among airlines in a truly free market.

Read the rest here.

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