August 18, 2005


WHILE most of the Bush administration has been fighting against increased unionization of security-related positions since 9/11, the federal Transportation Security Administration is headed the other way. In a small case with national implications, TSA doesn’t just break with the Bush administration position; it reverses its own stated policy. . . .

What’s going on? Well, some in Congress would like to see those private firms take over from TSA at more airports. The agency seems to be out to hamstring its competition. . . . Unionization could easily chew up the private security companies’ already thin profit margins — thus locking in TSA’s near-monopoly control.

It’s all about pork. My impression of TSA screening at airports is that it’s not any better than things were before, nor is it any faster or better organized. Certainly on this last trip, the security — and the immigration — folks at the Atlanta airport seemed poorly organized and inefficient. I nearly missed my flight because people who were supposed to be organizing the lines were standing around talking instead.

My predictions about the whole Homeland Security enterprise seem to have been borne out, alas.

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