Skip to comments.TSA Tyranny: Starting and Ending with Money
Posted on 06/20/2011 8:33:47 PM PDT by B4Ranch
Are you enraged by an agency that thinks it can play god by unconstitutionally subjecting citizens to appear naked before its bureaucrats? There is great cause for hope if we will understand and leverage the power of economics to fight TSA tyranny. Economics has long borne the ignoble moniker, the dismal science, but economic principles lend insight into the source, effects, and solutions to the TSAs overreach.
The Source of TSA Tyranny: Follow the Money
Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has promoted the TSAs voyeur machines and lobbied on behalf of private business interests within the government-industrial complex. One client of Chertoff Group is backscatter machine manufacturer Rapiscan. Roger Cohen writes: Rapiscan: Say the name slowly. It conjures up a sinister science fiction. When a government has a right to invade the bodies of its citizens, security has trumped freedom.
The ostensible excuse for these machines is securing our country to protect our freedom (even when this means stealing Fourth Amendment constitutional liberties because, in bureaucrat-speak, they have to do it). Yet we should not be blind to the money motive. Rapiscan is only the tip of the iceberg of public and private beneficiaries of government money, and Obamas stimulus has been used to fund the TSA voyeur project.
In short, the source of TSA tyranny is not benevolent well-wishing from bureaucrats who would keep us safe. Simply follow the money, and find a public-private partnership that benefits a team of bureaucrats, consultant lobbyists, and businesses.
Economic insight also lends perspective to the nature of a bureaucracy like the TSA. Gary North writes:
Most employees in a bureaucracy want to decrease the number of tasks they are required to perform. Like all of us, they want more for less. Adding a step is not in their self-interest.
On the other hand, it is in the self-interest of their supervisor. Now we come to another law of bureaucracy, an extension of Parkinsons famous law: Work expands so as to fill the time allotted for its completion. Professor Parkinson had another law, less known but more rigorous: promotions take place when a bureaucrat increases the number of employees subordinate to him. Parkinson worked out the numbers in the 1950s. It was no joke. There is a large body of academic articles devoted to this rule.
Top bureaucrats have built-in incentives to implement ridiculous and inefficient rules. Unlike a private business that grows and remains profitable by efficiently providing valued products in a competitive marketplace, the TSA provides a loathsome service in order to enhance the power, budget, and paycheck of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
The Effects of TSA Tyranny: Follow the Unintended and Longer-Term Consequences
It is easy to look at the short-term effects of a policy and the benefits that can accrue to a small group within society. Once again, bureaucrats and select private businesses clearly benefit from TSA tyranny. However, as Henry Hazlitt so wisely opined, The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
As a result of TSA-mandated inefficiency, we will likely see longer and slower lines at airports, less air travel in protest of the groping and voyeurism, and use of alternative means of travel, including automobiles on increasingly crowded roads (which means more potential accidents). Fewer paying travelers will be available to fill seatsa highly negative consequence to the airline industry. There are also long-term health concerns associated with the radiation from the scanners.
Expect the TSA to continue stirring up fear so that we, its supposed subjects, will accept more invasions of our economic and personal liberties, including TSA Admininstrator Pistoles stated agenda to seize control of train and subway security. Given the institutional and economic incentives already referenced (enhancing inefficient bureaucracy and lining the pockets of lobbyists and businesses), expect an increasing push for scanners in front of schools, malls, stadiums, bus stations, and so forth.
Roger Cohen writes: Give a bureaucrat a big stick and a big budget, allow said bureaucrat to trade in the limitless currency of human anxiety, and the masses will soon be intimidated by the Department of Fear.
When this comes, dont say you werent warned. This agenda is not a conspiracy theory, but is grounded in the structure of our present reality. Bureaucrats, lobbyists, and private businesses are rewarded by growing the power and scope of inefficient, expensive, and invasive technologies such as the backscatter scanners. Groping is then used as punishment for rebellious subjects who opt out. The freedom-loving citizen is the ultimate barrier to the steady stream of power and money.
The Solution to TSA Tyranny: Economic Pressure Can Help Us Free the Market
We should stop pretending that we are free or secure. We will only be free to the extent that we deliberately choose to bear the risks and rewards of personal responsibility, rather than pining for one of the states bureaucrats to view us naked or grope us. The solution is to de-bureaucratize the security industry and turn it over to the truly free market. In short, we should seek for nothing less than the abolition of the unconstitutional TSA.
Some have suggested the short-term solution of boycotting airlines. Although this solution might be fine as far as it goes, one problem is that TSA tyranny will not stop with air travel. In the unlikely scenario that citizens opt-out of air travel to the extent that the industry shrivels and dies (or aggressively stands up to the TSA), Administrator Pistole will team up with the likes of Rapiscan to push for scanners at subway, bus, and train stations. Tyranny knows no limits.
One strategy we can use to fight this abuse is to heap ridicule upon bureaucratic stupidity. Gary North writes: We should enjoy what is happening to the TSA. We should send along [Youtube] videos to those we interact with. We must use the tools at our disposal to remind people that the government is intrusive, the government is stupid, and the government does not back down.
We can fight and win the battle where it first began. Strangle the bureaucratic funding pipeline and stop rewarding private contractors like Rapiscan who collude with the state to destroy our liberty. We need the new Congress to courageously outlaw and cutoff the TSAs unconstitutional initiatives. Congressman Ron Pauls bill would be a good start.
The free market will give us effective and efficient solutions to the problem of airport security. Steven Horowitz writes, Aside from the very obvious fact that the airlines have the most to lose if a plane gets blown up, which provides them with strong incentives to get it right, the airlines would not want to create a security system that discourages people from purchasing their product. What profit-seeking entity would want to enrage its potential customers with intrusive methods such as nude scanners and intimate body searches?
What are we waiting for? As freedom-loving citizens, we can build momentum and effect change if we are sufficiently articulate, persistent, and bothersome to the establishment. Economic insight sheds light on the source, effects, and solutions to TSA tyranny.
So get informed, get angry, and get busy!
Same is true in the “Green” world too...ie sustainability, smart growth, etc....lawyers, crony capitalism, consultants....all making a buck...
“Don’t TSA me, bro!”
d. e. f. u. n. d.
My husband calls the TSA screeners terrorists.
In the last two months they have become extremely
hostile and punitive. He’s a white guy who is
consistently flagged (profiled) for abuse by
minority TSA agents.
I’m beside you in this fight. The Feds and their contractors have gone too far targeting Americans like a foreign terrorist enemy within our own Nation.
They should have stuck with the huting down the terror prone Islamists. Instead they decided to spread their market share by making all Americans into potential terrorists and all crime into terrorism.
Cut them off at the knees! No mercy.
I have a car and I know how to use it.
They have taken our laws and used them against us.... the majority. We are getting our rights and freedoms infringed on. Profiling for the muslims? Uh uh, thats a no no.
All of them should be deported just on the basis of Sharia being directly at war with our constitution. Most just don’t know it. The enemy openly walks amongst us,,, shit,,,, we have a caliphate community organizer in the White House!
At the Oakland Airport, on my way to Hawaii, I had taken my sandals off to go through security. After passing through I said, as an aside to the woman in front of me, that I thought it was disgusting to walk through security barefoot. A TSA agent said “There’s a solution, you know, just put socks in your carry-on.” First of all, I wasn’t talking to the TSA agent, second of all, it’s still disgusting which I said, she then said to me “No one dragged you kicking and screaming to the airport, did they?” She was right, we paid thousands of dollars and six months of planning for a family trip to Hawaii...not wanting to make a scene on my way out of town, I left the security checkpoint.
It’s unbelievable that every single flying customer is assumed to be guilty and must submit themselves to unsanitary conditions for the “privilege” of paying thousands of $$$ to fly??? The brilliant gov’t solution is to carry socks that were used to walk through the disgusting area in your carry-on?????
The previous flight I took, they had a befuddled old lady get up out of her wheelchair to stand in front of the scanner.
It’s just un-frikkin-believable what we are willing to subject ourselves to......don’t get me started!
We should stop pretending that we are free or secure.
Write a letter to your state and federal reps, then send copies to the airline you flew on.
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