Thu, 09 Dec 2010 12:00:08 +0000
Yes, Virginia, there really are zombies!
H/t my friend Bob W.
By Jon Coupal – Howard-Jarvis Taxpayers Association – Dec 6, 2010
Last week I received the notice that every American fears most at this time of year. It was a slip of paper informing me that the United States Postal Service had attempted to deliver a package.
The item was needed ASAP so the next morning I entered the post office shortly after it opened. There were eight people in front of me. In twenty-five minutes finely it was my turn.
Smiling, I approached the window with my slip of paper. I was greeted with dead eyes. I had seen that look before at DMV or the city clerk’s office. Thoughts of zombies flashed through my mind. I explained my mission.
She stared at my scrap of paper a few seconds saying nothing, and then, with what seemed a great effort, got up from her stool and meandered to an unseen location in the back. I glanced around. There were now nearly 50 people in line behind me. No one spoke. Somewhere in an unseen area on the other side of the counter, two postal employees were discussing who would take a break and when.
After what seemed an eternity, the woman returned and informed me that her computer showed that my package had been delivered. Despite my protestations, she just shook her head. Leaving without success, I took the time to count the number victims of postal service now in line — sixty-three.
Is bad service from a monopolistic government controlled provider a unique experience? Just ask yourself the last time you had direct contact with a government agency and remarked how efficient and polite the employees were. Rarely.
Clearly private businesses, whose management knows their customers have the option to go elsewhere, make a greater effort to please. And in an effort to survive in a competitive marketplace, they are under constant pressure to provide good service at a reasonable price.
So here is the question: Why aren’t our elected representatives constantly looking for ways to provide better public services at a lower cost by using the initiative and resourcefulness of the private sector?
Are there savings to be had? Here is one example: A study of privatizing some prison related services conducted by the Reason Foundation and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation earlier this year revealed $1.2 billion in potential annual savings. Every other function of state government should be reviewed in an aggressive manner for similar economies.
There is serious potential to save taxpayer dollars as well as improve customer satisfaction for those who must deal with state government, by increasing the participation of private firms in providing government services.
We hope (newly-elected Gov.) Jerry Brown is listening to these words.