Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shape of Things to Come

I missed the US Postal Service when they knocked on my door yesterday with an important package I've been waiting for impatiently. The postman left a note on my door that I could pick up the package at the post office on Saturday between 9-11am.

So today I went to the post office at 9am today to pick up the package before going to rehearsal at 10am. I waited until 9:30am, but the window that is supposed to be open from 9-11am never opened. I'll have to wait until Monday to get my package.

It says on the sign that the window is open from 9-11am on Saturday, but it takes a human being with initiative and a sense of responsibility to actually open the window and serve the public. This is probably too much to ask of government employees on many Saturdays. They're busy, life is rough, and customers suck, so if they just evade the window long enough, then they can do other things. It's not like they'll be fired for ignoring the public.

My local supermarket is open from 6am-11pm every day except for a few holidays. They always open at exactly 6am. The manager never says to his employees, "Let's open a hour late today. That way we can sit around out back and smoke cigarettes and gossip. Screw the customers!" They open at 6am because they don't want to lose any of their profits.

Government bureaucrats don't pursue profits. They follow regulations. The customer is just a nuisance, one of the many unpleasant obstacles to happiness they must deal with throughout the day. The supermarket manager delights to see more and more customers because it means more and more profits. The postal worker sees more customers as just more work, and he gets paid the same regardless of how many customers he makes happy.

When we socialize medicine in America, going to the doctor will be like a combination of going to the post office and the DMV. We're talking lines, bureaucratic procedures, and little incentive for government workers to give a damn. Imagine: doctors who resent every new patient as just so much more work they are forced by the system to do.

We're destroying our country, and when you ask Obama voters why they voted for him, they don't really know. He made them feel warm and fuzzy. That's good enough, isn't it?

UPDATE: Revision.

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