A New Piece in Slate

And a Modest Explanation for the Quiet Here

Things have been a bit quiet here at SBR lately, and I am grateful for those of you who still tune in. I have been publishing the occasional article over at Slate.

Here is a link to a piece Dahlia Lithwick and I just wrote on the DISCLOSE Act and its antagonists.

Two weeks ago, Randy Cohen and I published this article on the unfairness of granting elite passengers preferred access to TSA security checkpoints at airports, and proposed a public policy solution that might speed lines while reducing inequality.

It is a pleasure to write with these old friends, whom I have known since we were teammates and partners (with Randy, at Harvard) and rivals (of Dahlia, from Yale) on the parliamentary debate circuit late in the 20th century.

Cleveland, July 23, 2012

1 thought on “A New Piece in Slate

  1. Ray,
    Thanks for your article in Slate about airline carriers dictating who receives preferential treatment at security checkpoints. Your proposed policy solution is very interesting, and I think most flyers would agree, an added $10-20 dollars, as you suggest, would be worth the fast access, especially if you were running late for a flight.
    I think one of the issues here could be manpower, logistics, and strategic layout. Implementing the proposed system would take all three, which could present a problem for the airport and/or government. I am wondering about your thoughts on privatizing some of the security process in order to alleviate most of the time consuming elements you described in your article (such as the snaking line up to TSA document screening). While this may not eliminate the $2.50 tariff, passengers would not be required to have elite status in order to participate, and more importantly, there would be an element of predictability and speed. No need to pay the fee ad hoc and hope that a few dozen passengers didn’t also have the same idea that day. Instead, you’d know that since you paid a monthly or yearly fee to participate, you could get to the airport with minimal time to spare, and get through the security checkpoint in a speedy and egalitarian manner. I see this as a way to eliminate those discontented Bolshevikian mutterings, because I’d know that I was completely in control of whether or not I was in that fast lane, and wouldn’t be leaving the selection up to a third party for a subjective decision.
    Would love to hear if you think this can only be achieved through the public sector.
    N (a fellow Clevelander residing in NYC, but hating the airports)

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