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Dec 21, 2008

The Brains of TSA

12/21/08 - Econlog.Econlib.org by David Henderson   --> Article

[edited] I had volunteered to serve hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers at a barbecue held at my daughter's high school. At one point, about 12 people were in line waiting for food. I had about four each of hot dogs and veggie burgers. Another server made a panicked request to cook many more burgers.

But, what if some people in line wanted hot dogs or veggie burgers? I announced loudly "Anyone who's in line for hot dogs or veggie burgers please come up here." Six people came up, cutting the apparent hamburger line in half.

The server who had made the panicked request was a high-level manager at a logistics firm. He didn't see any easy way around the problem.

When Charley and I tell a story of poor thinking, we almost never name the person, but here I'll make an exception. This high-level manager was Kip Hawley, now head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [The people who run security at our airports.]

The noted security expert Bruce Schneier has collected some links to his interesting posts about TSA and airline security.

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