Privatize Airport Security

I have just returned from San Francisco where Ed Bugos and I presented at the Hard Assets show.  We had an excellent turnout and we'd like to thank everyone for coming out.  It was a pleasure to meet many other dollar vigilantes, all of whom are really interesting and nice people.

I headed to the airport today to make my way to Phoenix to visit some family on my way back to Acapulco later this week and I, of course, wasn't looking forward to my visit to the airport.

Luckily, for me, they didn't have the backscatter machines at the San Francisco airport which also meant that I didn't have to “opt out” of the process and then get groped by a TSA agent.  I was prepared though.  If they had wanted to check my private area I was going to demand a female TSA agent, solely on the grounds that I am not a homosexual and prefer that only women touch me there!

On a more serious note, however, I hope Americans realize at some point that having the government do anything is a bad idea and that having the government in charge of security at airports is worse than bad – for a number of reasons.

First, as everyone knows, the government is terrible at everything it does.  Just like any centrally planned, government run system, there are no profit motives to make them be as streamlined as possible and because of that, unlike a private system, the government does not feel the need to fire incompetent workers like a private company does.

Secondly, the airlines themselves should be in charge of their own security.  The reason is obvious: the airlines, more than anyone else, have the greatest interest in keeping their planes secure.  If United Airlines had been the victim of 2 or 3 major security problems while other airlines had none, then many travelers would switch from United Airlines to other airlines which would either cause United to go bankrupt or to make big changes to their security system to make travelers feel comfortable flying with them.

In this way airlines could compete over security.  One airline, as example, could advertise that they are more focused on security than all the other airlines.  They could even have their own backscatter x-ray machines and do all the groping, take off your shoes and belt, and all the other things the government stipulated in the US today.  And this airline, no doubt, would attract the most worried of travelers.  And that is fine.  At least then we would have a choice.  I, for example, would choose “Take Your Chances Airline”… I wouldn't even want a metal detector or any sort of screening.  In fact, I'd be fine with them allowing people to take firearms and other weapons on the flight.  Because I'd be one of them and if anyone did try anything, I'd just kill them.  I always like being in charge of my own security!

But for those who have young children the really insidious part of these new TSA procedures, where they even pat down young children is that it tells your young children this: that even if the parent does not consent, anyone from the government has the right and ability to take the child and sexually touch them.  For this reason alone people need to fight to stop this.

In the meantime, here is a hilarious video from Saturday Night Live on the TSA “experience” (