TSA wastes $1.4 million

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Government marches on! The TSA spent $1.4 million to develop software that does the exact same thing as flipping a coin.

The “randomizer” app itself cost $336,000, the rest of the funds most likely went towards iPads themselves, Rare reports. There were four bids total for the project and IBM won the project. The app’s purpose is to eliminate potential bias when a TSA agent tells passengers which line to go to. Currently on the iTunes app store, there are multiple free coin flip apps which perform the same process as the TSA’s “randomizer.”

The corruption here reeks. Shut the whole thing down, and not only would we be safer, we would each have more wealth to make our lives better.

In a related story, the Department of Homeland Security has paid almost $20 million in salaries to corrupt employees who they can’t fire, so they pay them to do nothing.


  • Cotour

    I sight the value in Reagan trickle down economics all of the time, people gave him hell for it. The only problem with this example is that the money being frivolously paid out is essentially “free” money that has been appropriated from the people through taxation. Spending money in and of itself is really a good thing for all involved.

    The more money that is appropriated means that there is less money in the pockets of the people who actually make the money to spend. No biggie, we are just one big happy family, we just have an uncle who lives with us who will never get a job, we always have to feed and he does not have any intention of ever moving out. Why should he? He has create a very comfortable situation for himself.

    I have a friend who’s uncle lived with his family who had similar habits. Eventually they got tired him, one day his mother hit him over the head with a frying pan and my friend and his two brothers picked him up and threw him out. Problem solved.

  • Edward

    I am not sure that you understand the “trickle down,” or supply side economics. What you describe is demand side, or Keynesian Economics.

    Keynesian Economics is a hypothesis that if you give people money to spend, the additional demand on the economy will encourage job creation and economic growth. It has failed every time it is tried, because the money given away has to come from the rest of the economy, or as you said: “The more money that is appropriated means that there is less money in the pockets of the people who actually make the money to spend.” One analogy I heard is money being moved from the right pocket to the left pocket — there is no additional money available to spend. Plus, the cost of government increases in order to administer the wealth-redistribution program, leaving us with even less money to spend.

    In addition, when demand is increased, prices also increase, meaning that fewer goods and services are sold, thus reducing the demand for workers. This supply/demand/price relationship is third-grade economics. Even the basis for Keynesian economics is a failure. There is no way to successfully implement a flawed economic system.

    Supply side economics has worked at least twice: in the early 1920s, when a post-war recession or depression was avoided, and again in the early 1980s, when Carter’s economic malaise was stopped. Supply side economics works by reducing taxes and regulations, so more money stays inside the economy and costs of production come down, thus we are able to afford to buy more, causing more demand for workers.

    The TSA paid a lot of money when they could have purchased a few $2 toys to do the same thing. My high school electronics class had a project to make electronic dice, a random number generator and a cheap display on a breadboard. For a couple of dollars more, IBM could have put those into a nice case.

  • Wayne

    Edward– Good comments on supply-side economics.
    You would enjoy–
    “The Forgotten Depression—1921: The Crash That Cured Itself.”
    video presentation at https://youtu.be/_BMNcBfGNrU

  • Steve Earle

    Edward, your paragraph above should be required reading by every politician and every college student. It is a good explanation of how we got to where we are.

    For some reason the Keynesians have not gone away but are still in charge. You would think with the recent added evidence of the last 7 years or so that the theory would have been put down for good, but we are still hearing the same old mantra of “we just didn’t spend enough to make it work”.

    The next generation of students are still being taught that Keynesian Economics is not only a viable choice, but that it should be the ONLY choice for any government facing a recession!

    Those who forget history….. :-(

  • Wayne

    Steve & Edward:
    Right on!

    “The lesson I’ve learned, is how little we know,
    The world is complex, not some circular-flow.
    The Economy’s not a class you can master in college,
    to think otherwise is the Pretense of Knowledge.”

    Worth a repeat–

    Keynes Vs. Hayek Round 2.0

  • Cotour


    My comment on “trickle down” economics was more a general comment on the nature the flow of cash, someone is paid and they spend their money in my establishment it “trickles down” to me and not a technical analysis of the economic theory. Call that what you will.

    In addition it was a comment on the “free” nature of the money that government spends and governments attitude about what it is and where it comes from and its effects. The problem being that it is ultimately a death spiral thought process, government can not create the wealth that they are in the process of appropriating and removing from the public’s bank accounts. The more they spend the more legal obligation that they create for the public to disgourg their own money through more and more taxation in the name of “progress”.

  • Edward

    Your use if “trickle down” economics differs from its usual use. Usually it is used to claim that reducing taxes, allowing people to keep more of their own money, “gives” money to the rich, who then slowly, slowly spend it into the economy. In reality, the economy suffers for each tax that government imposes, as there is less productivity produced.

    Money that is not taxed is used to buy goods and services that are newly created by someone, who then uses his income to buy other newly created goods and services. Every dollar that is taxed is a dollar that does not buy a good or service before its next transfer.

    Money that is not taxed or not spent go to investments. These investments add to the productivity in the economy. Capitalism requires these investments in order for people who do not have enough alone to start or expand a business.

    You are correct, government cannot create wealth. They are not in the business of creating goods and services, which are what wealth and prosperity are.

    Your links are good; I did enjoy them. I like the Keynes v. Hayek raps, and you listed the words to one, a couple of weeks back. Reading them helped me make even better sense out of them.

    I have to say, the James Grant talk suggests that economists don’t have much of a sense of humor. Either that or they, too, fall asleep during the talks of fellow economists. I mildly disagree with Grant, in that he says both that Harding did nothing and also points out that he cut taxes. The cutting of taxes may not have been intended to be an action to end the depression of 1921, but it had a positive effect, as it left more money in the economy for the economy to spend and invest.

    When you hear the statement, “we just didn’t spend enough to make it work,” there are two questions to ask:
    1) Just how much is enough, and how does an economy pay for that much?
    2) So, how did Reagan end a recession that was far worse than Obama’s?

    Reagan had inherited double digit inflation, double digit interest rates, and double digit unemployment. Unemployment was still in the single digits when Obama took office, and inflation and interest rates were in the low single digits. Obama’s actions were so bad for the economy that even the Fed’s 0% rates could not counteract them.

    “Those who forget history …” Unfortunately, the Keynesians have misinterpreted history, thus we have repeated it. Even during the Great Depression, the US GDP increased faster than it is today.

    Some people forget that economies are more than just one pie and think that if one person has more then someone else must have less. When there are more people working in the economy (i.e. fewer people receiving money from the non-productive government) then there are more people baking pies; more for all. Economies grow specifically because people become more productive and bake more pies for all to buy.

    Welcome to Obama’s America, land of the formerly prosperous.

  • Steve Earle

    Edward, great points and excellent questions:

    When you hear the statement, “we just didn’t spend enough to make it work,” there are two questions to ask:
    1) Just how much is enough, and how does an economy pay for that much?
    2) So, how did Reagan end a recession that was far worse than Obama’s?

    You’ll note that I called it a mantra above and for good reason, it’s never meant as a statement of fact or opinion that can be rebutted or questioned, it is a talking point meant to stroke the fur of the useful idiots….

    It’s repeated by politicians (on both sides these days!) and by college professors who are raising the next generation of useful idiots. At no point is the mantra ever questioned by the press who not only don’t challenge it but actively repeat it as thought it were also “settled science”.

    We needed a Reagan after Jimmy Carter, and we need one again now.

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