TSA a Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone
As a lifelong civil servant, anytime you create a large bureaucracy to deal with a specific problem, it is not in the interest of said bureaucracy for the root problem to go away. It always seeks to aggregate more power and funding so it in the end becomes a self licking ice cream cone. Prime examples are the DEA and TSA.
That’s exactly right.
The TSA doubtless employs some number of non-idiots and one presumes that most of its employees, regardless of IQ, genuinely wish to protect airline passengers from danger. But the incentive structures are such that the terrorist threat will always be at least High. First, because it makes it harder for Congress to deny funding. If Congress says No and there’s a subsequent fatal attack, it’s politically catastrophic. Second, there is virtually no downside to being wrong in overestimating the threat; there’s huge downside to being wrong the other way.