The TSA’s methods (invasive body scans, invasive body gropes) would seem to discourage air travel among the group of people who have actually stopped would-be terrorists after TSA failed to do so: uppity, alert airline passengers who won’t stand for your terrorist bullshit.
If you believe that uppity, alert airplane passengers reduce the likelihood of a terrorist incident like the ones attempted by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Richard Reid, and you also believe those same passengers will arrange their lives such that air travel won’t be as frequent, then is the ever-so-slight gain in security provided by body scanners and handsy probing really worth it?
Hard to measure, but perhaps worth considering.
Ryan Young and I have an op-ed in IBD today on regulating tax preparers. Short version: Don’t do it.
“Sooner or later, government will want to raise funds without imposing taxes. It will want to spend money it does not have. So I hesitate to join those who are predicting two percent inflation for the next 20 years. The temptation for government to lay its hands on that money is going to be very hard to resist. The fundamental problem is that you shouldn’t have an institution such as the Federal Reserve, which depends for its success on the abilities of its chairman. My first preference would be to abolish the Federal Reserve, but that’s not going to happen.” – Milton Friedman (h/t Professor Lawrence H. White)