The whole TSA situation makes no sense, and has gotten me wondering what's driving this. After all, this looks to be disastrous to the Airlines, as people decide to drive, rather than fly. The Airlines have been bleeding red ink for years, and the only way out is full flights - bums in seats. Fewer bums means reduced marginal revenue per flight, which means Chapter 11.
So why would the TSA introduce abusive, humiliating new screening procedures just as we go into the heaviest travel season of the year? If your mind is as nasty and suspicious as mine, there's a train of thought that suggests this isn't a bug, it's the intended feature.
The Obama administration has demonstrated an unprecedented appetite for power and control over the private sector. Health care, banking, automotive - all have been in major ways nationalized by the government. The government has then used its power to reward favored allies - compare the treatment of Chrysler bondholders (who possessed valid legal contracts) with the treatment of the UAW.
Now consider that the newly merged Delta-Northwest just fought off a unionization effort.
If you believe that the government desires to extend its tentacles into ever more control over the private sector, then causing the private sector bottom line pain isn't a bug, it's the primary tool for the bureaucrat. The message is Obey. When companies line up and do the bureaucrat's bidding, the screws will be loosened.
Is there a way to test this hypothesis? Yes. If this is true, we would expect to see other regulatory agencies applying onerous rules that devastate the bottom lines of other companies. Case in point, the EPA regulating Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Message to the Electric Power industry: Obey.
I'd like to be wrong about this. I'm not at all sure that I am.