There is a book called the Black Swan where the author imagines the following situation. You are a Congressman who on September 10, 2001 spurs a bill to be passed making airport security tighter. You would in essence be the man or woman who prevented 9-11 from happening, but sadly instead of going down in history as the incredible hero you would be, everyone would instead curse you for their increased hassles every time they went to the airport.
I just told my friend that I would rather risk a 9-11 every few years in exchange for not having to take my shoes off when I fly. My friend wasn’t insulted, but he did act like there was no way I could be serious about it. Although I did say it facetiously, decisions like that have been made everywhere – people just don’t like to admit it.
It’s like the joke where the misogynist guy asks a girl whether she would have sex with him one time for ten million dollars and if she says yes, tells her that she has just shown herself to be a prostitute merely one with a high asking price. Now, I don’t do that or condone that kind of behavior, but I’m fairly certain every one has heard from that guy at least once in their lives.
But those decisions are made by our Government every day. Picking a speed limit is essentially deciding how many highway deaths you can live with for the right to be able to drive a couple miles faster per hour. If we topped out at 55 MPH, I’m sure a ton of deaths per year could be prevented, but it’s not worth the hassle.
So yeah, I’m saying it – whatever good the world is getting by making me take off my shoes 3 to 6 times a year when I fly isn’t worth it to me. I’d prefer that a couple people got taken out every few years by a shoe bomber.
This probably won’t be the view that makes me an American institution like Will Rogers, but there it is anyway.