Friday, November 19, 2010

A funny and not-so-funny look at the TSA.

While the video is amusing, remember the reality of the TSA is pretty disgusting. This is what happens when a government agency has to deal with a problem—it overreacts and exaggerates threats while acting like a bull in a china shop.

One of the great dangers of government is that it often solves problems by creating situations that are worse. I have previously shown that the scanners they use to take pornographic photos of passengers emit sufficient radiation to cause more deaths per year than they could save if they reduced terrorist attacks to zero.

But there is a second way in which government policy kills people. To the degree that the TSA makes flying unattractive people look for other alternative methods to travel. And all of them are LESS safe than flying leading to more accidental deaths.

Consider a flight from LA to San Diego. It is a two hour drive. The flight itself takes 45 minutes. So flying, under the best of circumstances means you arrive 75 minutes faster. But government bureaucracy means you are supposed to check in one hour early. And if you are checking luggage you might need to come even earlier. You have to take into account the TSA acting to delay every single passenger. You can show up one hour early and perhaps make the flight, but to be safe you might want to be there at least 90 minutes to 120 minute prior to the flight. At this point flying will take you much longer to get to San Diego than driving.

Only government could make cars air travel slower than driving. And when that happens people start to drive more. But car accidents kill three times as many people per mile traveled than does flying. One out of every 7,700 people will be killed in a car accident. But flying deaths are only 1 out of every 2 million people. The TSA, in order to "save lives" is pushing people into modes of travel that kill more people every year than all the terrorists deaths in America combined.

So the scanners alone will kill more people per year than terrorists. And by pushing frustrated travelers into cars, instead of planes, Janet Napolitano and her travel Gestapo are actually killing more people per year than terrorists. The TSA, because it has no clear picture of what it is doing, is more dangerous that terrorists to intend to kill people. Just because Janet and her thugs have "good intentions" doesn't mean they are making us safer. Their voodoo safety is highly dangerous and deadly.

The TSA is NOT your friend.

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