TSA doesn’t get the job done, should we abolish it?

When essential service providers don’t have competitors to worry about, consumers become hopelessly dependent and often frustrated, wondering how much better life could be if they were offered the opportunity to choose.

The service offered by the monopoly also becomes extremely expensive and less efficient. After all, the sole service provider has nothing to worry about. Where are consumers going to get what they need? The monopoly can always afford to be ineffective but it can only continue to be a monopoly while government keeps competitors out of the game.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001 as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In 2002, the agency was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. The service that the TSA provides should be a simple yet vital one: operating security screenings at commercial airports in order to avoid the same type of terrible occurrence that devastated the country back in 2001.

But the problem is: TSA hasn’t proven to be any more efficient than private contractors were before the creation of the special bureau. Instead, the U.S. spends about $7.9 billion a year to maintain an agency that is widely known for poor screening performances, mismanagement, security failures and somewhat suspicious investments.

Different private contractors whose only goal was to ensure the passengers’ safety once managed the service that TSA now offers. What was their incentive to do a great job? Making sure everyone is safe. Why? Because they would be out of business if a plane were to be hijacked or bombed. But what happens if the TSA fails? Absolutely nothing.

There’s not an alternative.

By all accounts, the TSA is a hassle to travelers and highly inefficient, mostly because the agency can afford to be inefficient. They have nobody to compete with so, should we abolish it?

According to Cato’s Chris Edwards, the country would be better off if the monopoly over aviation security were to be dismantled and private contractors were allowed to compete again, by offering the most efficient, consumer-friendly and highly effective security service they can offer.

As a result of the competition, companies would develop innovative and groundbreaking technology, making the common American safer and the screening experience much less of a hassle.

After 9/11, the world changed. Are we willing to continue risking our lives because of bureaucracy and government inefficiency? Can we even afford maintaining an agency that simply does not get the job done?

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