November 18, 2010

TSA security measures will cause more deaths

Steven Horwitz

Senior Affiliated Scholar
Summary

The privacy concerns raised over the TSA’s new security measures are overlooking a much more serious effect – the use of these machines will result in more American deaths than they could possibly ever prevent by causing economic backlash: people will substitute driving for flying.

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The privacy concerns raised over the TSA’s new security measures are overlooking a much more serious effect – the use of these machines will result in more American deaths than they could possibly ever prevent by causing economic backlash: people will substitute driving for flying.

Driving is much more dangerous than flying, as you are far more likely to be killed in an automobile accident mile-for-mile than you are in an airplane. The result will be that the new TSA procedures will kill more Americans on the highway.

If you consider only the risk of what the TSA procedures are supposed to prevent, namely the extraordinarily small chance of being killed in a terrorist attack on an airplane, it is even more likely that you will die in your car than on the plane.

Rather than continuing to spending money and time defending machines that other countries, such as Israel, consider to be ineffective, TSA should turn to different solutions. It’s time to dump the scanners and stop the groping and get serious about airport security, protect our privacy, and actually save some lives in the process.