Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How government solves problems

The story is told that early in America's effort to get into space that officials in NASA realized that pens wouldn't work without gravity.  A program was created to develop a pen to work in zero gravity.  Millions and millions of dollars were "invested."

The Russians recognized the same problem and bought some pencils.  Problem solved.

I thought of this as I read TSA will fly in screeners to an Alaskan outpost to inspect one flight per day:

Because the tiny landlocked city of Gustavus, Alaska has a seasonal airport that is open only during the summer months and services only one Alaska Airlines flight per day, TSA has awarded a $40,000 contract to a small Juneau-based airline to fly four TSA security screeners from Juneau to Gustavus and back again, each day for 77 consecutive days.

It seems like there has got to be a dozen better ways to solve this problem than to spend $40,000 for a town of 377 people.  Maybe you could call the mayor and ask the people boarding the plane are people you need to worry about.  With a population of 377 I'm sure everyone knows who boards the planes. 

There are few secrets in a small town.

Hat tip: Boycott Flying

1 comment:

Luke Holzmann said...

I didn't know the government invested money in trying to beat the space pencil when I read the Space Pen story a while back. We do sure love our technology [smile].