Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

03 December 2010

The Effective TSA - Al Qaeda Collaboration

I was wondering what the reduction in air travel passenger numbers would be as a result of the new very intimate and unconstitutional everybody searches.  I did not find statistics more recent than August 2010, so I could not answer that question yet.

But I did find this interesting note of the U.S. Travel Association at http://www.ustravel.org/news/press-kit/travel-facts-and-statistics:

Air travel hassles: A June 2008 study by the U.S. Travel Association revealed a deep frustration among air travelers that caused them to avoid an estimated 41 million trips over the past 12 months at a cost of more than $26 billion to the U.S. economy. Air travelers expressed little optimism for positive change, with nearly 50 percent saying that the air travel system is not likely to improve in the near future. The effect of avoided trips cost airlines more than $9 billion in revenue; hotels nearly $6 billion and restaurants more than $3 billion. Federal, state and local governments lost more than $4 billion in tax revenue because of reduced spending by travelers. (Source: Air Travel Survey, 2008)
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 1.13 fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled, seeing http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

We can estimate the number of added deaths due to the foregone air travel due to the hassles back in 2007 and 2008 before the very intimate full body searches of the TSA caused by the switch to less safe driving. If the average drive were 300 miles, then the added number of deaths per year would be about 139. The new intimate searches will cause still more people to switch to driving. It would not be at all surprising if the result will turn out to be an expected increase in driving deaths of 200 to 250 a year.

We also have to add a great many business losses to this. Some people do not make trips at all that they otherwise would, which hurts the airlines, hotels, and restaurants. The businesses that send their employees on trips also lose new business opportunities. According to one study, one dollar spent on business travel generates $12.50 in additional company revenue and $3.80 in new profits.  The added employment due to eliminating the TSA hassles of travelers would be very substantial.

I would say that Al Qaeda has been hugely successful in damaging American society, even though it has not caused any further aviation deaths since 9/11/2001. But, thanks to the effective collaboration of the TSA, it is causing many deaths each year, causing many business losses, making many unhappy travelers, keeping children, parents, and grandparents from visiting one another, and seriously infringing our individual rights while we once again ignore the Supreme Law of the Land, our Constitution.  Instead of intimately searching everyone, we should be doing targeted searches, which would greatly reduce the hassle on most air travelers, while re-affirming the right to travel.

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