King Francis: Airline Security

FranceofFrance I’m on vacation this week, taking the little Curmudgeons to Disney World.   So I am lightening the blog load by posting some somewhat off-topic items that I wrote in advance.   Since I may literally be in Fantasyland when you read this, I am taking as my theme one of my favorite fantasies, that I am King of America and can rearrange things as I see fit.  Today, the topic is airline security.

I hereby decree that for the next six months all airlines will divide their flights randomly into two types, safe and unsafe.  All airports will be similarly divided.  Passengers will have the option of booking travel on either side, the half with long lines to have your toothpaste confiscated and socks inspected, or the dangerous side, which will recreate the security precautions of the late 1970s.

After the six month period, the security regime with more business will become the new standard going forward.  I don’t think there is much question as to which level of security will win.   I am sure we can find something useful for the unemployed TSA inspectors to do.

If you missed it, there was a great article in The Atlantic last year about the “security theatre” going on at our airports, to great expense and inconvenience.  (I even used it as an analogy in this clever post.)  What we are doing now is both largely ineffectual and yet still hugely disproportionate to the threat of terrorism.  Why do we do it?  I think that’s a complicated bit of group psychology, but part of it is that a lot of us assume that although we personally would prefer not to have this level of security, everybody else is happier with it.

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