549: Delta's Profit Motive Beats Government Good Intentions
Do you ever wonder why government inefficiencies never seem to get fixed? The TSA has, from its inception, been plagued with problems. From long lines and employee, malfeasance to cost overruns. Everyone hates the TSA. Even if you're sympathetic to the workers, you can't help but curse under your breath every time you're forced to stand in a 30-minute line before being stripped and scanned.
Why don't these problems get solved? It has to do with incentives. What incentive does the TSA have to improve their processes and provide a better experience? The answer is zero. The TSA gets its funding from the government. They have no direct responsibility to you. If you're unhappy with your experience, you can't pick a different screening provider the next time. Nor can you withhold your money by choosing to travel by car or train. The TSA is going to get paid no matter what.
The only incentive the TSA has is to make sure they always follow the make sure the line keeps moving and the laptops come out of the bags.
Contrast this with the private sector who have a profit motive with everything they do. Yes, the GREEDY corporation only concerned with its own bottom line. Delta, one such company, just did what the TSA has been unable to do since its formation. It solved the wait times at the Atlanta airport.
By investing its own money it signal handily cut wait times by up to 90%. How could this be? Simple, they wanted to make more money, and they were tired of spending millions to rebook unhappy passengers due to missed flights and TSA inefficiencies.
The desire for profit pushes companies to be as efficient and consumer friendly as possible. A free market, consisting of competing companies, helps to drive down costs while creating a better quality product. This is something you will never see in a government run monopoly.
We can learn a lot from Delta and the TSA. These lessons apply to a host of problems America now faces from education to Obamacare.