20 février 2010

Sécurité privée Économie États-Unis

« A market-based apparatus might lead to better service and? — most important — safer air travel. »

USA Today
Airline security: Let’s go private
By Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz

After the underwear bomber’s attempted mass murder, Americans are losing patience with the airline security system. It is bad enough that our screening process makes innocent people work far too hard to prove that they are not terrorists. It also manages to make it too easy for actual terrorists to be treated as innocent.

President Obama said the security system failed « in a potentially disastrous way. » He’s right. So how can we improve it?

The security process needs several things it is lacking. It needs continuous adaptation, with a strong focus on satisfying customers and improving results. It needs to find new and better methods of meeting the demands of customers who value safety as well as speed and efficiency. It needs to function in a dynamic environment, disciplined by rigorous competitive pressure.

In short, it needs the market.

Keeping the focus: safety

Let’s stipulate at the outset that many details would need to be worked out and could be determined only after a market-concept is embraced. That said, here’s how it could work and why it would be an improvement over the status quo.

Responsibility for the design and implementation of airline security should be handed back to the private sector. But make no mistake: This system would look nothing like the pre-9/11 private system that treated terrorism like the distant threat we believed it was. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created by Congress, after all, for one reason: The previous system failed catastrophically. But the attacks didn’t succeed because it was a private system. The attacks succeeded because — quite simply — we lived in a pre-9/11 world, one in which knives and box cutters could be carried aboard U.S. airplanes.

A post-9/11 market system would combine the benefits of a competitive system with the much-stricter federal oversight necessary to ensure a basic standard of travel security. Airlines would select firms to screen passengers who will fly on their planes. Let’s say that it would be up to each airline to contract with at least one security firm at each airport. The airline would pay the firm a set dollar amount per passenger, and this cost would be passed along through ticket prices.

Of course, security firms that offer low cost to airlines and low hassle to passengers would, all else equal, be able to win more business from airlines already looking to cut expenses. But if security companies are competing to keep costs and hassles to a minimum, what would keep security itself from becoming too lax?

Several incentive mechanisms, some of them market-based, would keep private sector firms focusing on safety. First of all, the flying public may show a preference for airlines that employ security firms with rigorous procedures just as today many drivers prefer safer cars that get lower gas mileage.

Second, if a private firm were to allow a single failure or even a near-miss, it would immediately lose the confidence of fliers. Airlines would switch to other suppliers, and the flawed firm would go out of business.

Security companies also could be required to be liable for damages up to, say, $25 million from terrorism, and to post bond to cover that liability. (It is harder to sue the government for damages than the private sector.)

The government’s role would include two functions. It would collect intelligence on high-risk suspects (as it does today) and share this intelligence with private airline security firms — which will require the firms to have robust data security. And government would audit private security companies, with the power to impose fines if lapses are found. The government could still ensure, for instance, that every firm at least meet the minimum standards that the TSA employs today.

The audits would cover data security (government intelligence information used by the firms and personal privacy must be protected); the design of processes for segmenting passengers according to risk; the design of screening procedures that are appropriate for each level of risk; and the implementation of those screening procedures.

The policies and procedures would no doubt vary for different security companies. But this is a feature, not a bug, because only through differentiation and innovation can new techniques emerge to meet evolving demands of safety and efficiency. For example, one firm might rely heavily on passenger interviews, as the Israeli airline El-Al is known for. Another firm might rely more on the latest scanning technology. Companies might vary their rules for boarding and carry-on luggage by passenger risk category — low-risk passengers could take their liquids and gels and keep their shoes on, while high-risk passengers would have to check such items or scan them.

Improvement via competition

We do not know what sorts of policies and procedures would emerge. The point is that good solutions are more likely to emerge regularly and consistently under a robust market dynamic than under government monopoly. Competition will force even the lowest-quality provider to raise standards year after year by adopting the good ideas that emerge from their competitors. This is why even a cheap automobile today has more amenities than a luxury car of 30 years ago.

What’s more, our national security establishment is increasingly seeing the benefits of competition. DARPA, the agency responsible for developing some of the military’s cutting-edge technologies, has instituted its Urban Challenge, which offers cash prizes to the private sector competitors who fight it out to solve technology problems. The notion of using market dynamics to meet pressing national security needs is not academic.

While most passengers don’t realize this, the TSA itself permits a handful of airports, such as Kansas City and Rochester, to use private security contractors under its Screening Partnership Program. But much more should be done to unleash a genuinely competitive market so that the benefits of competition — in terms of improved service and technological innovation — can be realized more swiftly.

No security system will be perfectly safe, of course, including a market-based system. And many changes would no doubt need to be considered, including to airport infrastructure. But the advantage of a market system over a « one-best-way » government monopoly is that the incentives to innovate and find new solutions for safety as well as convenience are sharpened and refined by steady competitive pressures.

Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz are the authors of From Poverty to Prosperity: Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities, and the Lasting Triumph Over Scarcity.

19 février 2010

Socialisme Canada Économie En Vidéos États-Unis

Les États-Unis sont maintenant plus socialistes que le Canada:

Le classement:

  1. Hong Kong: 89,7 (-0,3)
  2. Singapour: 86,1 (-1,0)
  3. Australie: 86,2 (0,0)
  4. Nouvelle-Zélande: 82,1 (+0,1)
  5. Irlande: 81,3 (-0,9)
  6. Suisse: 81,1 (+1,7)
  7. Canada: 80,4 (-0,1)
  8. États-Unis: 78,0 (-2,7)
  9. Danemark: 77,9 (-1,7)
  10. Chili: 77,2 (-1,1)

Heritage Foundation
Index of Economic Freedom: Link Between Economic Opportunity and Prosperity

19 février 2010

La folie En Citations États-Unis Hétu Watch

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck à propos du type qui a crashé son avion dans un édifice de l’IRS:

The pilot wrote a manifesto and when the authorities found it on the Web they took it down so they could look at it first.

He was quite appalled that government could bail out two entire industries — spending billions in days — while health care was unresolved. He wrote that the tax code is so complicated that it holds the people accountable to a tax code that only an industry of lawyers and accountants can understand.

It was several pages of lunacy. He ended it with this: « The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed. »

When you hear his anti-business and anti-capitalist ravings he sounds like parts of a Van Jones speech. When you listen to his anti-tax ravings he sounds like he is reading bumper stickers off the signs of a Tea Party.

At this hour, I have no idea if this guy is left or right, but here’s the point: It doesn’t matter. The guy is a killer.

19 février 2010

Les préjugés États-Unis Hétu Watch Revue de presse

The New York Times

What Keeps Glenn Beck Up at Night?
The New York Times

A few weeks back, I was a guest on Glenn Beck’s radio show. Something interesting happened before we went on the air. He noticed the book I was carrying — Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines, by the Berkeley physicist Richard A. Muller — and asked me about it. I endorsed it rather enthusiastically. He said it sounded like a book he’d like to read, so I went ahead and gave him my copy (and, yes, Dr. Muller, I ordered another one for myself).

A few days later, one of Beck’s producers e-mailed me to say that Beck too liked the book, and did I have any more recommendations? So I sent him a list. Then Beck read those books too.

This was the only time I’d ever done an interview and even had someone ask about the book I happened to have with me at the time, much less want to read it, and then read some others. I was pretty impressed. Beck has an awful lot of fans, but he has a lot of detractors too — and my sense is that those detractors have miscast him as a know-nothing villain.

18 février 2010

Place à l’amélioration Économie En Vidéos États-Unis

Le système de santé américain, un système qui serait contaminé par le démon du privé et la loi de la jungle capitaliste…

Well, think again…

La plus grande privatisation du système de santé aux États-Unis fait en sorte que leur système est supérieur au nôtre. Mais ce système est loin d’être parfait; en limitant encore plus l’ingérence du gouvernement, ce dernier pourrait être amélioré.

18 février 2010

Comment fabriquer un réchauffement Environnement International Revue de presse

The Times of London

World may not be warming, say scientists
The Times of London

The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.

In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”. However, new research, including work by British scientists, is casting doubt on such claims. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.

“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC.

The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years. These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

“We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said.

17 février 2010

Ça chauffe pour le GIEC En Vidéos Environnement International

Suite aux dernières admissions de Phil Jones sur l’absence de réchauffement climatique depuis 15 ans, ça brasse dans le bunker de l’ONU…

17 février 2010

Comment tuer la démocratie Économie En Citations Philosophie

Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises sur les dangers de l’État-providance:

« À la base de toutes les doctrines totalitaires se trouve la croyance que les gouvernants sont plus sages et d’un esprit plus élevé que leurs sujets, qu’ils savent donc mieux qu’eux ce qui leur est profitable. […]

Si les membres du gouvernement se considèrent comme les représentants non plus des contribuables, mais des bénéficiaires de traitements, appointements, subventions, allocations et autres avantages tirés des ressources publiques, c’en est fait de la démocratie. »

17 février 2010

Top 5 Qc/Ca Canada Québec Top Actualité

Le Top 5 de l’actualité québécoise et canadienne (9-15 février) selon Influence Communication:

Actualité Québec

* Le poids médias de Vancouver 2010 s’est accru de 216 % au Québec depuis une semaine.  C’est un volume de couverture similaire à celui accordé au spectacle hommage à Michael Jackson.  C’est 3,4 fois la couverture de l’ouverture des jeux de Turin en 2006.

Actualité Canada

* Le poids médias de Vancouver 2010 s’est accru de 88 % au Canada anglais depuis une semaine.

Ce qu’a représenté le départ de Bob Gainey dans nos médias dans les 24 premières heures:

  • 1,9 fois les nouvelles internationales
  • 2,0 fois le lancement du iPad
  • 2,5 fois le poids moyen d’une fermeture d’usine
  • 3,7 fois moins que le congédiement de Guy Carbonneau
  • 5,4 fois notre intérêt pour le Canada anglais
  • 17,9 fois la pauvreté

Influence Communication
Influence Communication