Getting the government we deserve

The housing search appears to have come to an end.

I was reflecting on the current dialogue about government workers and their pensions, about how, supposedly, putting government workers out of work will cause the economy to grow, and how government needs to be more “like a business.”

American bureaucracy is lousy, as everybody knows. What everybody fails to know is how much better American bureaucracies are then just about everywhere else.

With a single phone call or trip to the Department of Water and Power web page, I will get electricity and water hooked up with, well, no fuss.

Try doing that in places where government is stacked with entrepreneurial men and women who will see that it gets done…perhaps…after you give them them a “tip” or two and have stopped by the office 15 times. Of course, you will then need to “tip” the workmen to come out, as well, and you will probably have to tip the reader to make sure the reading is right, or get it checked or rechecked when they don’t come out.

Some people are fond of saying that America needs universal conscription, to make us more disciplined and more invested in the military decisions our government makes. Perhaps. I argue that everybody should be required to spend a little time in the Peace Corps, just so that recalcitrant person at the DMV gets put into context…