Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fear Tax

The problem is simple: Americans pay a tax every day, in the form of unnecessary security.

People think that the Fed, all-powerful, can make magic, mint money, and solve economic problems at the drop of a hat.

In reality, we "control" a few interest rates, and we influence the system indirectly. A large-scale change, (like rolling back the fear tax) is something we simply can't accomplish.

Fortunately, Americans have traditionally not cared about security because the costs are a negative externality. Within ten years no one will remember *why* we take longer to board an aircraft...and someone might just make the argument we should stop. Americans are a risk-accepting group of people (perhaps a nation of immigrants encourages risk-takers) and the result has been positive so far. The next time you stop to worry about something, just remember that fear costs money.


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