is TSA cost effective?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Agit8r, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    "In 2008, the FAA's statistical value of a human life was raised to $5.8 Million. Nonetheless the budget for the Transportation Safety Administration would seem to assume (were the same criteria employed) that its actions saved 1344 lives this year and would save 1413 lives in 2011. Yet this would appear to be next to impossible, as the improvements in cockpit doors since the 2001 attacks would prevent that sort of outright takeover and use of a plane as a weapon from occurring again. The $7.8 billion TSA budget needed for the extravagant purchase of x-ray scanners and labor-intensive fondling of passengers fails to justify itself by FAA cost benefit criteria. Yet at the same time, regulations for the rest-periods for pilots (an issue that has cost more lives since 2001 than airline terrorism) only increased that rest-time by a single hour."

    Jacobin Reason: The War on Individuals

    Is this a matter of displaced priorities, or merely of irrational fears trumping rational ones?
     
  2. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    Dont Taz Me Bro USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The airports talking about replacing TSA with private security have cited costs as a reason. They claim TSA is too expense and not efficient enough.
     
  3. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    is it possible to bring down the cost to what it would be if those costs were to be imposed upon an airline by the FAA?
     
  4. Toome
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    Toome Active Member

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    This is an argument filled with revolving mirrors.

    The airlines already had the opportunity to fund their own airport security. In 2001, the average airport security screeners earned minimum wage or pennies above minimum wage. The technology airport security screeners used were obsolete. There was no uniform standard of screening performance; there was no true oversight by the federal government. The Department of Transportation conducted infrequent inspections that were oriented towards administrative procedures rather than screening performance. In other words, it didn't matter how well a screener performed; it didn't matter if the screener had high absenteeism; it didn't matter if the screener was a US citizen. However, if the files weren't straight, then there was hell to pay.

    I'm not saying that TSA is the solution, but it is a step towards the right direction. TSA screeners have to qualify for the job and they have to stay qualified. No other government agency tests their employees as frequently as the TSA. If a screener fails to qualify during an annual certification test, that screener is terminated for cause. In other government jobs, federal employees can fight this type of termination; TSOs cannot. It is a condition in their contract; it is part of the law passed by Congress.

    As for technology, look to Congress for that. TSA is powerless to introduce new technologies. Only Congress can fund any new technologies or improvements to existing technologies. As for the technology itself, the x-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors, hand held metal detectors, baggage screening x-rays and explosive detectors are all much needed steps towards the right direction that would not have been possible under pre-9/11 conditions. As a general rule, corporations are very stingy when it comes to spending any money towards security and tend to take the cheapest route possible.

    Procedures are the only problem I have with TSA. I think TSA has plenty of room for improvement in that area. I understand the concept of body scanning, but I believe TSA should exercise more common sense. The problem with the airlines is that they tend to sacrifice security for customer satisfaction. In other words, airlines tend to take the path of least resistance even when security procedures require more scrutiny. This was the type of security that was in place pre-9/11. TSA's decisions are more closely tied in with law enforcement and other federal agencies; although there certainly is room for improvement. Airline decisions were based on whether or not risking pissing off a paying customer. That makes for a serious weakness in security.

    The final aspect is cost. It's a smoke and mirrors argument. I predict that airlines won't flock to private security because doing so will cost them more. It is cheaper for the airlines to allow TSA to absorb all the costs. Otherwise, if the airlines go with private security, the private contractor screeners will have to meet the exact same hiring qualifications as TSA, will have to undergo the exact same training as TSA, will have to be paid a wage that is competitive with TSA wages, will have to re-qualify every year just like TSA, will have to implement the exact same screening procedures as TSA.

    Why would the airlines want to inherit this headache?
     
  5. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    "Why would the airlines want to inherit this headache?"

    of course they wouldn't. But if we were not providing them this corporate welfare package, and if we weren't subsidizing their aviation insurance, they would have to do so in order to minimize their operating costs
     
  6. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Yeah I remember how airport security was before 911.
    60 yr old guards making $8/hr.
    We can probably get immigrants to do the job cheaper.
     
  7. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    "We can probably get immigrants to do the job cheaper."

    from Yemen?
     
  8. shintao
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    shintao Take Down ~ Tap Out

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    I think the xray scanner that checks for foreign objects in the body could be improved to feed the data into a computer generated checker no human would have to review until an alarm was sounded if something unusual was found. The picture of xray would only have to ID the person to a seat number on the plane, not their name. It could have a reviewer in another area check the entire planes data before people board. BUT do everybody, not randon BS.

    And people with braces on legs, pins in hips, etc. should be screened by a human.

    I also don't think we are giving these people much credit or wages for the dangerous job they are performing. If a terrorist is caught, they are going to blow themselves up taking as many in the vacinity as possible, to strike fear into TSA agents.
     
  9. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    "If a terrorist is caught..."

    Has TSA ever caught a terrorist?
     
  10. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    "If a terrorist is caught..."

    Has TSA ever caught a terrorist?
     

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