A concise public choice analysis of the distortionary economic rents created by the ever-increasing “layers” of TSA security theater, as reported today on the Wired gadget blog:
Airport “security” theater may be sickeningly pointless, but this stealthy introduction to a police state brings certain commercial advantages to those willing to cash in. First, it was the baggie makers that got rich. Then, it was the turn of laptop bag and sleeve manufacturers. Now its the turn of sneaker makers.
Adidas’ SLVR S-M-L Concept shoes are neither a concept nor “slvr” (silver?). What they are is TSA-friendy, with a stretchy upper and expandable sole which makes it easy to slip them off when being forced to undress and submit to the “security” “officers” of our totalitarian state. Sure, they may look like lace-up shoes, but that’s just a trick so you don’t look like you bought them on the over-60s shopping channel.
This pathetic genuflection to our governmental overlords has one neat side-effect: The shoes only need be made in three sizes, and they will stretch to fit. This also means that your girlfriend can now steal your shoes, along with your sweaters, socks and anything else that will fit her.
The SLVR S-M-L Concept shoes are $140 per pair. I told you somebody was getting rich. And what next? Crotchless pants to make invasive TSA groping a little bit easier?
In addition to Charlie Sorrel’s recognition of the rents that the TSA policies have created for Adidas, I applaud and echo his rhetoric. However, in his list of those who have profited from the expansion of the police state, he forgot to list the whole-body imaging scanner manufacturers, who have paid through the nose to get those rents, through the politically-connected lobbyists they have employed to persuade Congress of their fear-driven, security-industrial complex “business” model. Any rents that Adidas gets to enjoy from shoe sales will pale in comparison.