Friday, March 17, 2006

Feds Aren't the Answer for Air Security

A few days ago, two filthy democrats penned a letter in a Capitol Hill newspaper titled "Bringing back the bad old days of pre-Sept. 11 airport security." They happened to be two days ahead of the news that airport screeners are performing worse than ever.

Their premise was the normal Marxist crap: this industry shouldn't be left to "the lowest bidder." The writers have a valid point that pre-9/11 screeners failed to take away box cutters from a group of passengers. But their contention is ridiculous when the "well-trained, professional, highly-qualified" (I can't tell if the authors intended heavy sarcasm) federal employees perform worse. Post 9/11.

The FBI recently tried to smuggle homemade explosives through security at 21 airports. They even went in the computers and triggered some of the mock passengers for extra inspection. And, yes, the screeners cleared the would-be jihadis for boarding in all 21 cases. The agents were carrying enough explosives to blow up a car trunk, more than enough to bring down a plane or blast through a cockpit door.

I'm not advocating even more stringent ridiculous security measures. And I think chances are slim that terrorist hijackers will ever agin be successful using the same tactics.

All I know is that the worst idea to meaningfully improve airport security is to create a new federal bureaucracy to solve the problems. But that's exactly the only answer that congressional Democrats have.

I really do believe that some Democrats want improve security. I'd like to think that they understand hijacked/exploding airplanes are bad. I cannot understand what makes them come to the silly conclusions about how to improve the situation.

Private companies may have failed on September 11, 2001, and other tragic and near-tragic incidents, but it's hard to see how this is the result of private enterprise. Those questions they used to ask ("Did you pack your bgs?", "Have any strangers asked you to carry anything for them?") were FAA regulations. Maybe we wouldn't even need airport security if the government could simply take over Boeing and teach them how to make invincible planes...

I don't think that democrats understand that a federal bureaucracy operates on standards and regulations written by young lawyers, dragged through lengthy public comment periods, and applied without exceptions. I understand that you can find plenty of red tape and dumb managers in the private sector, but I have to believe it's nothing compared to the federal government.

I don't think democrats understand that there is a much smaller incentive to innovate and produce. The government is a forced monopoly and can't be fired. Employees who screw up big-time can be canned, but there's not way to change the general operation. They're not rewarded when things go well and thrown out when things go poorly. What prompts managers to invest in better equipment or motivate the line workers?

The government should probably have a role in testing the screeners, and if the FBI can get bombs or guns through then the company in charge of security should lose their contract. I can't think of a good reason why this would be less desirable than public employees.

It makes so much sense that it hurts; sadly, nobody has ever accused democrats of thinking too logically.

No comments: