Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Logic, David Henderson, and the TSA

I used to say on here that I never liked David Henderson's posting at Econlog much - I liked Arnold Kling best, was relatively indifferent to Bryan Caplan, and liked Henderson the least. In the last couple weeks that's basically flip-flopped. Henderson has been posting some great stuff recently and Kling has been getting on my nerves. Anyway, I wanted to preface with that because I wanted to share a recent post of Henderson's on the TSA that I think misses the mark. In a post titled "Abolish the TSA" he writes:

"Art Carden has an excellent article on Forbes.com in which he advocates abolishing the TSA. I give a segment on this in my econ class when I discuss, at length, Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society." How does Hayek's article apply? The clearest cut success stories we have are of other passengers using their local knowledge to thwart the shoe bomber, the underpants bomber, and the United flight #93 bombers. Of course, there's a huge difference between my first two examples and the third. In the third case, all the passengers died. But, as I said to a flight attendant when I traveled on a Boeing 777 from LAX to Boston on September 22, 2001, on a nearly empty flight that United had offered to let me out of with a full refund, "The reason we're safer now is that we passengers are never again going to think about a hijacking the same way. We're not going to sit passively as the FAA told us to."" (emphasis mine)

Now - without looking at my comment in the comment section of the post what logical probelms do you think bothered me about this paragraph and the general argument for abolishing the TSA that he provides?

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