TSA

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Wow – the new airport security is causing quite a stir! I may have questioned TSA before, but that was mild churlishness compared to what’s being said now.

Over at Marginal Revolution, they are relating it to child molestation.

Power Line sums it up this way:

The revolt against the TSA is a sign of the times. Popular frustration with the TSA dates back to its establishment during the Bush administration. It is another big government bureaucracy that performs ineptly and with gross inconvenience. It provides far more security theater than security.

The TSA is bound by a form of political correctness that has long rendered it a joke. With its newly implemented scanning and pat down procedures, however, the TSA has become something worse than a joke. It has become intrusive and humiliating to a degree that is difficult to accept.

They go on at some length.

Over at Cafe Hayek, Russ Roberts makes a more general point:

The right goal is that we should offer choices and restrict choices if those moves enhance the human enterprise, giving us more freedom to express ourselves, to create, to enjoy, to love, to be moved, to dance, to sing, to harmonize with others. And yes, to stay safe from evil people so we can do those things. But staying safe isn’t worth it if there is too much indignity or if it empowers people who do not care for me to do things that hurt me or that profit them at my expense.

And over at the Mises Economics Blog, they draw a darker lesson:

Another fact is coming out: the former Secretary of Homeland Security stands to gain by having travelers threatened to use the machines, which are made by his company. Who knew that law enforcement would be used to help make money for those associated with government?

Governments actually have a long history of using law enforcement for personal gain. A thousand years ago in England, law enforcement was largely private. Individuals would take their disputes to the equivalent of arbitrators and victims would be compensated by wrongdoers. But after the Norman invasion, kings realized that they could raise money through the legal system by declaring more and more things violations of the King’s Peace. They mandated that a portion of the restitution go to the king and it was not long until they required all “restitution” go to the king. Unsurprisingly this removed incentives for people to resolve disputes through the formerly private system.

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