San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Thursday, June 2, 2016

How To Fix Long Security Lines At The Airport

I don't know about your part of the country but there has been a lot of talk in the media around Denver about the problem of long airport securities lines this summer.  Apparently there were a couple of days this past spring during which the security lines became so long a large percentage of the sheep standing in those lines were unable to get to their aircraft on time, thus missing their flights and ruining their days.  As is to be expected, everyone and his dog has a suggested solution to the problem.  I own a dog but he has not told me what he thinks should be done.  He is a 100 pound Doberman, sweet as a Dunkin Donut, and I suspect I could go to the front of the line if I showed up at the airport with him wearing a spiked collar (the dog, not me).   I have noticed that people with blogs about dogs get a lot more page views than I do.  With that in mind here are a couple of shots of my dog.  Here he is as a puppy, just prior to attacking Curious George:

Here is his leg after attacking a porcupine:

Here he is waltzing through alpine flowers:

And here he is guarding our campsite:

Be sure and tell your friends about my blog and the wonderful dog shots you can find here.
Larry Ellingson wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post in which he expressed his opinion on how to solve the problem of long airport security lines.  Allow me to quote some of it here:  "There has been a lot of chatter about privatizing airport security in hopes of speeding up the screening process.  Private companies are in business to make money and since the TSA does not make a product or sell a particular service the only way a company can make any money is through managing labor costs.  That happens when worker's wages are lower than what the outsourcing party, the federal government, is willing to pay....The only way to speed up lines at airports is to hire more people and have more security lanes open.  That requires people, and those people come at a cost.  Privatizing airport security will only expose the public to longer lines and potential security gaps in the screening process."  Man is Larry confused. 
Larry begins with the usual socialist diatribe against profits.  That tells us several things about Larry but nothing about the problem of long airport security lines.  Larry is a socialist who believes the lower 51% of the income population is entitled to a free ride when federal government "services" are involved.  Larry hates the free market and sees it as a hindrance to efficient airport operations.  Larry believes profits are immoral despite the fact a company can only make a profit when it serves the consumers by selling them goods and services for prices they are willing to pay.  Larry clearly understands very little about economics.
Larry is right about one thing when he writes, "the TSA does not make a product or sell a particular service."  That being the case, why is the TSA in the airports of this land?  That is not a trick question.  If the TSA really provides no goods or services to anyone at the airport, why are they there?  I know what the TSA would say.  The federal bureaucrats who infest the TSA believe they are providing an invaluable service to the citizens of this fearful country who decide to visit an airport.  They believe they are providing personal security services.  The fact that no TSA agent has ever actually protected the security of any specific airline customer in the entire history of the TSA does not deter them from believing that their security services are vital to the consumer and the entire airline business.
Larry then goes on to argue that a profit seeking company should never be permitted to operate airport security lines because they could never make a profit doing so.  Larry openly admits that the free market price for the labor services provided by airport security screeners is lower than what the federal government is paying those bozos for groping and harassing private citizens.  In other words, the consumers, who always set free market prices for everything,  value the employees of the TSA far less than the federal government is willingly paying them.  That being the case, I must ask once again, why are they there?
Larry concludes that the solution to the problem of overpaid and ineffective security line screeners is for the federal government to raise taxes and hire more of them!  Only a socialist could come to that conclusion.  Larry enthusiastically endorses the idea of forcing the top 49% of the income population to pay more in taxes to finance the activities of the overpaid and ineffective TSA.  As he says, "those people come at a cost."  I wonder if he expects to pay any of that cost?  I am most certainly not willing to pay any of it and I would not pay any of it were I not coerced by my government into doing so.
Larry takes a final pot-shot at the free market when he writes, "Privatizing airport security will only expose the public to longer lines and potential security gaps in the screening process."  Apparently Larry has not read any of the studies that show the "security" provided by the TSA is as tight as a sieve.  Security gaps, so feared by Larry, are abundant.  I am afraid Larry is wrong on this one.  The solution to every economic problem, including the TSA, is the free market.  Let me explain.
The TSA should be abolished immediately.  All employees of that bloated and inefficient bureau should be sacked.  All the machines associated with airport security provided by TSA should be removed from all SDA airports and taken to a gigantic dump where they can be blown to smithereens by all the bombs they have successfully discovered over the years.  Don't expect much of an explosion.  If the individual airlines operating at the airports want some sort of security screening process they are free to do it.  If they do not want to screen passengers they are free to do that as well.  As always, the consumers will reign supreme.  Whatever the consumers want is what the airlines will eventually deliver, if they wish to make a profit and stay in business.  I envision a future in which some airlines would provide security services for the fearful among us and others would be totally open, and cheaper, for the thrifty among us.  Regardless, the consumers would have choices, the airlines would earn profits and the federal government would be gone as a coercive presence at airports.  Oh yes, the problem of long lines at airport security checkpoints would also disappear overnight. 


  1. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and for the most part agree with you but I am not sure that I completely concur with your solution. I agree with all of your points except giving the airlines a choice to either screen passengers or not; the airlines should provide this service but I believe this should be mandatory. I think that the airlines have a responsibility to keep their passengers and other innocent people safe. Using the rationale of not screening passengers to drive cost down is no better than the airlines eliminating scheduled maintenance on the aircrafts or keeping personnel proficient in their duties in order to drive ticket prices down.

    By the way...GREAT DOG PICS!

  2. Mr JB:
    That names sounds very familiar....
    Thanks for the kind words about the blog, I appreciate it.
    I understand your reticence to adopt a completely open and free boarding process for my hypothetical airline, and perhaps no such thing would actually evolve in the free market as I suspect most people would embrace your view on the matter. What I had envisioned was something out of the old west where the airline would allow all passengers to open carry and anyone attempting to take over or do harm to the aircraft would die in a hail of bullets. Think of Lucas McCain and the Rifleman and you would have my type of airline to fly with!