Wait Just One Minute

When the local government in Fountain Hills, Arizona, reviewed a bunch of bids and awarded a garbage contract to one company for 25,000 residences in a county of over 4 million, and I was ok with it and laughed at the insane teabagger response, multiple libertarians sneered at me and screamed “LIBERALS FAVOR STATE-SANCTIONED MONOPOLIES” and other such idiocy. Never mind that it was not a monopoly in any way, shape, or form, and was so god damned stupid it didn’t warrant a serious response.

Now libertarians want to turn over airline security to private industry. Fine. Just how would this work? Would we have competitive bids and then award a contract creating a “STATE-SANCTIONED SECURITY MONOPOLY,” or would multiple security firms each get to line up in the airport hangars, and the consumer would get to choose which private firm gets to handle his privates? Who would license the security firms? Would we keep the TSA to inspect the new private security firms? Or would we have to create a new agency to inspect them?

These fantasy ideologies with ever-shifting rationales and rigid attachment to principles over reality are so hard to game out when you actually want to get shit done.






51 replies
  1. 1
    Mr Furious says:

    Would we keep the TSA to inspect the new private security firms?

    Nonsense! The security firms that let all the terrorists on board resulting in mass casualties will quickly go out of business.

    The genius of the free market, etc.

  2. 2
    jayackroyd says:

    In a free market, security firms would arise who would offer clearance services, (just like UL!) certifying passengers as safe to fly. Firms that certified bombers as safe to fly would rapidly go out of business, as airlines would refuse recognize their certifications as, so the market would soon create a competitive solution, just the pre FDA market for drugs, that resulted in the most efficient possible set of firms providing screening services.

    If only the government would butt out, then this problem would solve itself!

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    I’ve run out of hand lotion. I’ll be back in a jiff.
    Don’t start without me!!

  4. 4
    Poopyman says:

    These fantasy ideologies with ever-shifting rationales and rigid attachment to principles over reality are so hard to game out when you actually want to get shit done.

    Exactly! People with some actual experience in how govt contracting actually works realize this privatization fetish is pure wanking fantasy. Without a satisfying conclusion, I might add.

  5. 5
    CJ says:

    Remember, the free market can never fail. Only we can fail the free market.

  6. 6
    Nimm says:

    What a coincidence…there was an angry letter in the local paper today about our own local trash pickup:

    “We recently received a letter stating the city strongly is considering taking control of garbage collection so only one company would be available to collect city resident’s trash. Although they say this will save us money by having one company on a collective agreement, I doubt it will in the long run. It will create a dependency on one collector and a monopoly on the city residents. I like to negotiate my own trash pickup and anything else for my dwelling. It’s none of the city’s business through whom I get my trash service. This is another example of our liberties being stripped from us. Can you name more liberties than laws? I can’t. At the inception of our republic, the founders focused on the limitations to the government — not the people. This has changed drastically with all our rules and regulations (think of the body scanners). Death is less important than our personal liberties, and we need to have a better understanding in our nation why that is so. Educate yourselves and your children and take back our government. It’s the people who have control — not the government. “For the people, by the people.”

    The freedom to pick between the trash pickup that costs $18 per month, and the one that costs $17 per month, is more important than life itself.

  7. 7
    david mizner says:

    should turn it over to the Catholic Church, the gliberterians would be happy, as would the opponents of Church-State separation, and the priests…fulfill a lot of fantasies all at once.

  8. 8
    azlib says:

    I learned a long time ago from a “recovering” libertarian that the favorite sport on libertarian lists is to see who can out libertarian the other. The libertarian circular firing squad is a lot tighter than the liberal circular firing squad. Libertarian philosophy does not have to make sense, since it will never get implemented in the real world. It is mostly a big circle jerk among a bunch of really politically naive people.

    Oh, and a lot of them live off one government supported program or another. The degree of hypocrisy in that crowd is astonishing.

  9. 9
    p.a. says:

    after enough successful terrorist attacks and/or concomitant innocent civilian ‘incidents’ by the various contractors, a large enough data set will exist (assuming public access to the data), for the (surviving) public to make informed decisions about which airports to use, and which to avoid. easy-peasy.

    libertarianism rulz

    (reposted from ‘Faith Based…’ thread)

  10. 10
    Mudge says:

    A critical problem of free markets in a case like this is defining the bid req

  11. 11
    different church-lady says:

    I offer the same solution as I did to the garbage crisis: everyone just feels their own damn self up before boarding their own damn aircraft.

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I want to go through the Hustler Security Company line.

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    Just how would this work?

    yes, i think each passenger would be able to select his own screening agency.

  14. 14
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Mudge:
    What is the critical problem of free markets in a case like this?

  15. 15
    Citizen Alan says:

    Careful, Cole. If you keep pointing out the abject stupidity of Kain’s last post, it might hurt his feelings to the point he threatens to quit again.

  16. 16
    Mudge says:

    That was strange..sorry..

    What I meant to say was who defines bid requirements, who enforces them, is it a low bid contract, how often do you re-bid and must TSA train every time?

    It would seem that the TSA duties would benefit by institutional experience and may be best performed by a government agency.

  17. 17
    suzanne says:

    My guilt at having once dated/banged a libertarian is once again coming to the fore.

    Ugh. I could shower with bleach and steel wool, and still never feel clean.

  18. 18
    Dave says:

    The important thing is we’re having these discussions.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nimm:

    We recently received a letter stating the city strongly is considering taking control of garbage collection

    Sorry but I couldn’t get past the “the city strongly is” part.
    Just hilariously bad.

  20. 20
    suzanne says:

    @Dennis SGMM: The fundamental problem is that their profit, their very reason for existing, is increased by endangering my life.

    No amount of rahrah free market hand-wringing can get us around that elemental problem.

  21. 21
    Ross Hershberger says:

    And which screening company would get all of the terrorists’ business? Looks like an opportunity for a niche business.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @azlib:

    It is mostly a big circle jerk

    Speaking of which, I’m back with more lotion!
    Maybe Radley Balko will post an angry retort to Cole’s post.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    It would be much easier if we were simply to acknowledge that Islam is masculine religion, ban Muslims from airports and/or the country, abolish the TSA, and turn security over to the airlines.

    The truth is that this government likes Muslims because that faith provides a perfect excuse to over-reach.

  25. 25
    Fuck! A Duck says:

    Um, John? I have the operator on the phone and she says they’ve traced the call and it’s coming from inside your house blog!

    Get out! Get out now!

  26. 26
    Paris says:

    would multiple security firms each get to line up in the airport hangars

    Problem solved. I’m getting in the line with the hot chick patting people down. Cole is a genius.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    I don’t see how private firms will be any better at this than government employees have been. Has there ever been an instance of a successful combination of safety and the profit motive? I can’t think of one.

    The real answer is better education of government employees, and then paying them what they and their jobs are worth.

  28. 28
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Mr Furious:

    Nonsense! The security firms that let all the terrorists on board resulting in mass casualties will quickly go out of business.

    Exactly. It would work the same way in food inspection; as various private companies competed in the field, those that failed to stop outbreaks of food poisoning would simply go out of business as the consumer searched for the effective firms instead. The thousands of peasants who would die in the process would be martyrs for the glory of the free market. They would immediately enter Objectivist Heaven, where they would be privileged to service the needs of all the Galtian Titans who have sadly passed on for lack of peasant organs, blood, tissue, etc., with which to prolong their lives. What a glorious paradise this country could be if it only followed the common sense step of letting the peasant die so as to guinea pig the system for our societal overlords.

  29. 29
    enplaned says:

    There’s a structural problem with the TSA, which is that it regulates itself.

    A better solution would be for the TSA to be a small elite agency tasked with constantly testing security at airports. Security itself would be up to the airports itself — however they wanted to do it, so long as they were able to keep the TSA from penetrating security. The TSA would constantly and covertly attempt to break thru, using whatever means it wants (terrorists don’t play fair, neither would the TSA).

  30. 30
    Fuck! A Duck says:

    Oh, fuck-a-duck, there’s already another TSA thread. You guys are collectively like a 15 yr old boy, unloading without warning and repeatedly.

  31. 31
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Paris:

    Problem solved. I’m getting in the line with the hot chick patting people down. Cole is a genius.

    Remember, folks, look for the “Happy Endings Airport Security Checkpoint!” You may not survive the flight, but we guarantee you’ll die with a smile on your face!

  32. 32

    Well if we legalize prostitution at the same time, we could each arrange our own strip search with a happy ending before we get on the plane with no special training necessary!

  33. 33
  34. 34
    suzanne says:

    Ironically, the ad at the top of this page is for an organization called “Opt-Out Alliance” and currently reads “Don’t Fear The TSA!”.

  35. 35
    Dennis SGMM says:

    By all means, let’s create a vastly increased private security industry. Yes, there is a teeny-tiny chance that some of the money we pay for it may be used to influence our all-too-easily influenced pols but, hey, safety at any price – right?

    By the time those people get finished with those turds in Congress you’ll have to get a pat down before you start your car.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Remember, folks, look for the “Happy Endings Airport Security Checkpoint!” You may not survive the flight, but we guarantee you’ll die with a smile on your face!

    Actually I think this method would resolve the issue of airline security once and for all.
    Because after the happy ending I wouldn’t want to fly anywhere, and would probably just go back home for a nap.
    Safe and secure, just as the invisible hand intended all along.

  37. 37
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Just make sure you wrap it up before you head to the airport. Nobody ever knows where the Invisible Hand has been.

  38. 38
    Mike Kay (Team America) says:

    rigid attachment to principles over reality are so hard to game out when you actually want to get shit done.

    this is just flame bait for the firebaggers.

  39. 39
    ricky says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Over reach? Or reach around?

  40. 40
    Tsulagi says:

    @Paris:

    Problem solved. I’m getting in the line with the hot chick patting people down.

    That was my first thought. Plus maybe wear a metal cock ring for the process to try to trigger/score an enhanced pat down.

  41. 41
    bcinaz says:

    This sounds great – free market security solutions. It worked perfectly in Iraq.

  42. 42
    ricky says:

    @azlib:

    Does a “recovering libertarian” cure the problem with a twelve jerk program?

  43. 43
    shecky says:

    John, uh, that frothy spittle is building up on the side of your mouth again.

  44. 44
    ricky says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Back with lotion? I thought you said you went out for the Jif!

    http://www.google.com/imgres?i.....#038;ty=69

  45. 45
    Svensker says:

    I think there must be a state sponsored monopoly on frikkin TSA THREADS AROUND HERE! ! !

    How am I supposed to avoid working when you’re boring me?

  46. 46
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @suzanne:

    My guilt at having once dated/banged a libertarian is once again coming to the fore.

    At least you had the freedom to make a rational and informed choice for yourself instead of having The State decide which political philosophies made for good nookie.

    Besides, your guilt cannot compare to the shame I bear for going into business with one. I’m still (literally!) paying for that mistake…

  47. 47
    Paris says:

    @Mr Furious: Just like what happened on 9/11/01.

  48. 48
    ervington says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6CkltzGAxY

    privatization of security parody by frye and laurie suggests how privatization might actually work.

  49. 49
    kip says:

    @Mr Furious:
    Personally, I like the idea of free-market security people allowing all the terrorists on the same plane.

    Oh wait a moment. Didn’t I actually see Denzel Washington make that movie?

  50. 50
    Carnacki says:

    @kip: Spoiler alert:

    Don Cheadle in Traitor and it was a bus.

  51. 51
    DougW says:

    Woo Hoo! Can I go through the Mr Leather Line?

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