TSA's Sleight of Hand ExposedSubmitted by McWilly on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 13:42
By now most informed Americans have at least heard a rumor or skimmed a headline that claims the TSA is removing the controversial Backscatter X-Ray machines from major airports across the United States. On the surface this sounds like good news, but as we discover with most government programs, the devil is in the details.
The TSA is in fact moving some Backscatter X-Ray machines out of large, busy airports to smaller, less frequently traveled airports. They claim they are not moving the machines as a result of safety concerns voiced by the public. Instead, the TSA has stated that the driving reasons are to reduce traveler’s wait time at security check points and to provide a less invasive alternative to the current X-Ray machines. This statement highlights the utter incompetence on display when the government creates a monopoly to dominate an industry.
The TSA could learn a lot about the failures of central planning by studying their own brief history. Obviously, the invasive process, which produced embarrassing images of the individuals while being screened, and the slow operation of the X-Ray machines was not a result of the market meeting demand. The machines were placed in airports by “authorities” on high in the name of national security. Rather than changing their screening process to expedite the security process, the TSA chose to move millions of dollars of equipment across the country. The federal government, without realizing it, has provided an excellent case study of why central government planning does not work. This is a classic example of the mis-allocation of resources created when the market is not allowed to dictate supply and demand or the products and services that are necessary.