This morning's Washington Post contains a very provocative op-ed, entitled "Airport Security's Grand Illusion", written by Anne Applebaum. She offers a cost-benefit analysis of airport security and generally argues that the government's largely inefficient security measures would not save many lives but still (ironically) provides the American public with a sense of security and comfort:
By even the crudest cost-benefit risk analysis, bulletproof cockpit doors, which nobody notices, have the potential to save far more lives, at a far lower cost per life, than the screeners who open your child's backpack and your grandmother's purse while you stand around in your socks waiting for them to finish....[Thanks to the Volokh Conspiracy]
Which is why I conclude that we don't actually want value for money. No, we want every passenger to have the chance to recite that I-packed-these-bags-myself mantra to a uniformed official before boarding an airplane. Magic words, it seems, are what make Americans feel really safe.
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