Who should pay for the benefits of airport security?


#1
1. Is airport security necessary?
2. Who benefits from airport security?
3. Who should perform security screening?
4. Who should pay for airport security?

My opinion:

  1. Is airport security necessary?
    Yes. A direct act of terrorism can cause loss of life and damage to property. A perceived threat of terrorism can reduce trade (the movement of people and goods) and consequently economic activity.

  2. Who benefits from airport security?
    Beyond direct beneficiaries of users (i.e. airlines and their passengers), the benefits extend to all people (residents and visitors) in any country; an act of terrorism in the air can cause damage and harm to people and property on the ground. The preservation of economic activity is a national interest, therefore everyone benefits.

  3. Who should perform security screening?
    Federal employees should perform screening because airport security should be viewed as a public service (similar to law enforcement, medical services, military) due to its benefits enjoyed by all people.

  4. Who should pay for airport security?
    All people should pay for airport security through general taxation because the benefits are enjoyed by those who do not directly use air travel. User fees unfairly cause burden on one sector of the economy to the benefit of all others.


#2
  1. Is airport security necessary?

Not when it’s a fraud and a false sense of security. Besides, if someone is interested in a direct act of terrorism, do you honestly think they won’t have infiltrated the security force? 9/11 used box cutters… I carry a gerber on me almost all the time with a larger blade… do you think a gerber would have been considered a security risk by anyone? Box cutters clearly weren’t, but comic books already had the idea of planes as missiles before it…

  1. Who benefits from airport security?

The people who get paid to do it. (sort of) The companies that make the technology that’s used (a bunch of) and the contractors who run it (an even more bunch of)

  1. Who should perform security screening?

Honestly, we’re all better off not being screened and people not dropping our sense of awareness then we are having barely graduated high school half-wits doing it…

  1. Who should pay for airport security?

Ultimately, it will always be the passenger through some sort of higher price, either a fee, a hidden cost underneath the ticket price or a tax they pay out of their paycheck. It’s not free and everyone will seek to externalize the costs. I prefer direclty on the prices myself. Use of the “we all benefit” is a time honored tradition used as a means for government to help itself to your money…for some reason, they keep finding more things we benefit from…


#3

This video seems pretty relevant. The video itself focuses designed the perfect airport security but also has an element on the effectiveness of airport security. Apparently the TSA spends over 600 million USD per life saved and the added travel time due to security checks are actually more deadly because people will drive instead of flying (and have an accident).

Unfortunately it is difficult to put an actual effectiveness rating on airport security because of the deterrent that it generates but in the end, I fear that it is just necessary in this age.

Now, whether or not airport security is a scheme from the government to steal your money, I somehow doubt that.


#4

Apparently the TSA spends over 600 million USD per life saved and the added travel time due to security checks are actually more deadly because people will drive instead of flying (and have an accident)

Oops… so we think we’re safe, but we’re actually not… that’s been the TSAs mantra since they stopped constantly testing their security measures and the TSA constantly failing. Can’t have all that bad press, there’s money to be made in airport security. It should be noted the guy who was in charge of Homeland Security for a chunk of this nonsense is now employed by the company making the spin around scanners…