Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tilting At Windmills

The continuing saga.

A few years ago I observed that the real hardcore politicians were the people who never saw a constituent problem that couldn't be turned into a revenue enhancement, usually without fixing the problem. Last weeks shot was to the Littleton councilman who also reps Littleton to the DRCOG. James Taylor responded to my petition for assistance by suggesting that the HOV lane be turned into a HOT (High occupancy / Toll) lane.

Sure, if the taxpayers are inconvenienced by congestion and pollution while 1/3 of a roadway they paid for goes essentially unused, just charge them for the privilege of using it.

In Chicago it works like this:
A businessman is selling fruit from a pushcart when a stranger bumps the cart, spilling the merchandise. The businessman protests this, but the stranger has an easy solution. Simply pay him $20/day, and he guarantees that the inconvenience will never happen again. The merchant, of course, happily pays the tariff, secure in the knowledge that his problem is solved.


When most of us take a job, there is an underlying assumption of loyalty the whomever has his name on the bottom of our paychecks. We provide our services in the hope that the enterprise will succeed and our contribution will be recognized downstream. In the case of government workers, the loyalty too often goes to the agency whose name appears on the check rather than the people the agency is supposed to serve, and whose money is behind the check.

Perhaps government checks should be written from the people of (insert city, state, of country here) rather than just City of Springfield, to remind the recipients of who exactly they are working for.

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