We are living in a world in which security is becoming more and more expensive. If we add up the costs of our military, TSA, Homeland Security, police, prison guards, NSA, FBI, CIA, and private corporate security firms throughout America, I am sure we are spending trillions of dollars on keeping ourselves safe. And strangely, I do not think people feel safer today than they did fifty years ago when the amount of money being spent on security was much less. Consider, too, that this much more being spent is not just in actual dollars but in percentage of our gross national productivity as well.
One of the aspects about security that is most troubling is that nothing is actually produced in economic terms. I value my time and it has always bothered me that billions of work hours are lost going through security lines at airports and elsewhere. Those hours are never returned and can never be converted to productive use of time. More damaging yet is that the herding of people, all of whom are assumed potential threats until proven otherwise, is often demeaning and creates a culture of submission in what we hope is still the home of the brave and the land of the free. (more…)