David R. Henderson  

TSA: Thieves Sacking Americans

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The Ethos of Arthur Brooks... A Question of Principle?...

Read David Friedman's latest blog post and the comments on it for his story about TSA. it turns out that there really is a noticeable difference between government workers in protected jobs and private firms hired to do the government's dirty business.

UPDATE: For those who don't know what commenter John David Galt is referring to re Amy Alkon, see here.


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COMMENTS (10 to date)
John David Galt writes:

Vandalism is nothing. Amy Alkon called them out for rape.

The real lesson here is the same as it is in all police states: we have no rights and will continue not to have any until we take them back.

So unless an unlikely civil war comes, we'll all simply have to wait until the TSA picks on a police officer or soldier who's willing to fight force with force and able to make it stick.

Joe Cushing writes:

I wonder if it would be possible to get rid of the TSA without a revolution. It seems government agencies are impossible to close.

David R. Henderson writes:

@Joe Cushing,
Not impossible but very difficult. The ICC and CAB are gone after economists systematically criticized them starting in the 1960s and increasingly in the 1970s. Many agencies were eliminated after WWII. I bet there were others.

Joe Cushing writes:

I didn't know that. Thanks for the history lesson and a tiny glimmer of hope. I really think the future of American Exceptionalism depends on us eliminating agencies. If we become like Europe, then we won't be exceptional. We are almost there already.

BZ writes:

Joe/Dr. Henderson:

I hate to rain on the parade, but the mention of the agencies eliminated after WWII (hurray!) made me immediately think of Dr. Higgs book on the ratchet effect. .. meaning the stuff they eliminate is always less than the stuff that hangs around until it is deemed an irreplaceable facet of American existence.

Just saying. :)

David R. Henderson writes:

@BZ and Joe,
One other that was eliminated for a few years: the Selective Service System.

Ted Levy writes:

And yet at the same time there has been massive growth in government regulation, power, and prison population. So it's hard to take these occasional victories as evidence of anything save occasional victories...

Joe Cushing writes:

We once got rid of the central bank.

David R. Henderson writes:

@Ted Levy,
And yet at the same time there has been massive growth in government regulation, power, and prison population. So it's hard to take these occasional victories as evidence of anything save occasional victories...
They’re evidence of occasional victories, which means they’re evidence against Joe’s original statement.
@Joe,
Good one on the central bank. That was major. Also, I suspect there were a number of government agencies at the state level in the South before the Civil War that were eliminated when slavery was eliminated.

Matt C writes:

This is very distressing, especially the sexual abuse story (which rings true to me).

While it seems possible that TSA could get reined in, I certainly wouldn't bet on it. If anything, this is the leading edge of worse behavior from other agencies.

This is bad. David, do you ever think about going back up north?

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