Monday, January 04, 2010

Market Solutions

So after the underpants bomber we have had a whole bunch of new security procedures imposed at airports. A lot of this appears to be “Security Theater”, that is the appearance of doing something, without actually doing anything useful. One can also find various reflections on what can be done, from the sensible to the absurd. (After all, even ignoring the civil rights issues and implications for foreign policy, by any measure strip searching all Muslims would involve an awful lot of security people busy strip searching a lot of Muslims who are no threat at all. Those security personnel could be put to much better use doing something else.)

But it occurred to me today that in spite of the conservative love for market solutions to everything, the obvious market solution for those concerned about another such attach is never proposed. Why can’t we have a maximum security airline. Let’s say to get a ticket you need two letters of recommendation from someone the FBI can check on. Then to get on board everyone is X-rayed. There would be more hassle for such passengers and tickets would be more expensive. But for all those who want everyone who is Muslim (or not Republican anyway) to be stripped searched, could have the security they want. The rest of us could then fly as we do now (or perhaps with a little less inconvenience.)

And yet no one on the conservative side is even suggesting this. Strange.

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