Mark Skousen

You Blew It! TSA Literally Becomes a Joke

“TSA is the gold standard of airline security.”

– John Pistole, director, TSA (Thousands Standing Around)

Last week, roughly 2,000 people joined me for the annual FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas, and it offered an opportunity to poke fun at the TSA, a federal agency that seems to probe and prod a bit too aggressively even when encountering innocent and harmless passengers. We performed a modern-day version of Camelot as our featured entertainment during Saturday evening’s gala and included a humorous scene of Sir Lancelot trying to arrive from France to aid King Arthur but encountering excessive delays in passing through TSA security on his journey.

The audience, consisting of freedom lovers who value liberty, laughed at the folly of a brave knight needing to suffer the indignities of TSA screening before he could help a king. It was easy to laugh Saturday night, but real TSA screening is a royal pain.

I swapped stories with other attendees about going through TSA security lines on our way there. It reminded me of a time last year when I saw a sign from the so-called Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that read “Eight Most Common Reasons for Security Delays.” It warned against putting liquids in carry-ons, failing to take off shoes, etc.

They forgot to list the #1 reason for delays: the TSA itself. The TSA causes long delays by (1) never having enough screening machines for the number of travelers, especially during peak travel hours; and (2) insisting on travelers going through time-consuming body scanners instead of metal detectors – requiring about five times longer to go through the process.

This inefficiency is typical of government compared to private enterprise. It usually takes me only a few minutes these days to check in with the airlines (with some exceptions). There seldom are any delays unless I have to change my flight. Even checking luggage doesn’t take too long anymore.


Mark Skousen

Mark Skousen, Ph. D., is the editor of the monthly investment newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies, as well as three weekly trading services, Skousen High-Income Alert, Hedge Fund Trader and Fast Money Alert.

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