It seems utterly unfathomable that at one point we were able to just walk through the airport and go meet someone at the gate. Those were the days.
This past week we went on a quick trip to Berkeley for our niece’s wedding. Going through security was the worst. I had my son’s bag because he was meeting us at the airport and the TSA person made me downsize to only going thru with two bags. As she said, those are the rules. Really? No flexibility, no understanding, and inconsistency as I have only heard the two bag deal one other time.
The TSA is like the new post office. A hired workforce that seems insanely unhappy and just follows the rules. USPS employed over half a million people in 2017. The numbers are decreasing as the industry of mail has changed. Revenue was almost $70b in 2017 decreasing almost $2b from the year before. More than likely that decline will continue. The TSA has a budget of almost $8b with almost 50,000 security officers. Obviously, USPS has more employees but they are both Government agencies who employ a large workforce that could be dramatically changed with technology.
Technology will certainly change the workplace in the years to come but as I stood there in that miserable line at the airport I thought there has to be a better way. No doubt the technology is available to scan everyone through at the front door without us even knowing and without the lines and random checking. It could be so much more fluid but where would that money come from? Just noting that LA is putting full body scans into the public transportation system so the technology is available.
Our roads need fixing, our urban transportation systems are falling apart and antiquated, the education system has been bled dry, our healthcare system is laden with costs and our support of our Veterans is abysmal so I suspect fixing the torturous TSA systems in place at the airport are far from the top of the list. Yet, as one of the richest countries in the world, how do we fix these things? How do we move us forward using technology as the platform to get us there? Cutting taxes when we are in desperate need of an upgraded infrastructure makes zero sense.
All I see at the TSA is misery and stagnation. There just has to be a better way.