Friday, November 19, 2010

Speculation on TSA motives

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.

9 comments:

bluesun said...

Every time I read the news I wonder where this country is going, and who's steering. Things like the Tea Party give me a bit of hope, but when the people who actually make policy are so...blind... I don't know if it is intentional or not, but like they say, if there was a vast conspiracy to cause the collapse of our country, they couldn't do it any better than the way it's going.

Jay G said...

This is something I've been saying since the news about the new, intrusive TSA regulations broke...

Welcome to wookiesuitville, Borepatch...

DirtCrashr said...

And also the even bigger United-Continental merger that Holder's DOJ approved in August. Gubb'mint likes to cozy-up with big things, not little ones - like people-sized is too small to chew-on.
I don't fly anywhere ever except to one place, and I cant drive there or I would - Hawaii. The Islands have become dependent on tourist revenue, but also on the daily flights of foodstuffs that keep the population fed, they are not currently self-sustaining. But also a quart of milk from Haleakala Dairy is $3 but a quart of Knudsen or Lucerene milk from Safeway is only like $1 so there's a cost-basis factor too.

LeverAction said...

Have you seen Will Grigg's essay on what's behind the new "security" measures? Pretty insightful reading.

Mr.B said...

So far, no one has answered this question: "If the threat is real then why are we not doing the more invasive search at those airports where the scanners are not yet implemented?"

It would seem to me that there should be invasive searches at eavery airport, not just the ones where the new scanners are alredy in place. Why aren't there?

Else this is at best a paper shield.

Or, as you have pointed out, there is another motive.

Wally said...

Like ATF now forcing dealers to comply with State Department regs to the tune of $2500/yr? Even if you don't export anything, or even if you only teach training ...

Sean D Sorrentino said...

"there's a train of thought that suggests this isn't a bug, it's the intended feature."

Umm... Duh! Why else would they have decided to treat people this way? They are trying to end the airline industry.

Our betters will always be able to charter a plane. The rest of us hoi polloi need to stay home, away from Martha's Vinyard, Aspen, and Paris.

How much easier will it be to ignore the rubes in flyover country when you are the only one that can fly over them?

Anonymous said...

I wonder.....

If more people decide not to fly and instead opt to drive to their travel destinations would the TSA feel the need to set up similar invasive checkpoints at state borders?

The number of airports in this country is limited so this market would be saturated in a finite period of time. But if state border checkpoints are established the market would be essentially unlimited (which would certainly be beneficial to the bottom line of Michael Chertoff and Rapiscan)

This scenario would also create the need for millions more federal employees. The current administration would point to this claiming "job creation". Big Brother would also have a mechanism in place for tracking and monitoring citizen's movements.

All to keep us "safe", of course...

Just wondering.....
tom

Graybeard said...

"Other regulatory agencies applying onerous rules" like the FCC ruling on Net Neutrality?

Interesting situation, that. It's a darling of lefties everywhere, and to my surprise in comments to an article (in Electronic Design - a trade magazine), the author and I were the only ones who were not reflexively in favor of it. You would think the readers of a trade magazine would have some idea of the costs of infrastructure build out and some idea of costs that must be recouped.