“Government” and “Efficiency” . . . two words seldom found together

In recent weeks, two fellow bloggers have posted strong views on government (in)efficiency.

Aaron, a lawyer blogging at The Shekel, notes that “Your Call Back Time Will Be In Approximately 1,144 Minutes“.

So in short, USCIS has lost an application, refuses to do anything about it, refuses to connect me to anyone who can do something about it and this should in a normal world not take this farging long and this much time to even get to the point to find someone to fix their mistake, and we’re still not there. And all this for a simple I-129 application that should have been granted over two months ago now.

Meanwhile, Illegals can waltz across the border and work illegally with fake social security numbers have no such troubles.

I halfway want to tell the kid to change his name to Sanchez, have his employer pay him under the table, move to California so he gets free healthcare, and everyone will be happy, unfortunately that’s just not good legal advice.

Just wait until government controls your healthcare, expect your service times and levels of customer service to be similar.

There’s more at the link.

I can only sympathize with Aaron’s (and his client’s) predicament.  I ran headlong into administrative issues at the USCIS when first applying for U.S. citizenship, some years ago.  I won’t go into detail, but basically it involved different (and conflicting) requirements and regulations at the USCIS and the IRS.  The officials concerned, in both departments, absolutely refused to understand or accept that I was the meat in a bureaucratic sandwich, trying to satisfy requirements that were mutually contradictory.  I eventually gave up, and waited another five or six years until I’d been able to build up new records that finally satisfied the USCIS’s requirements.  Only then could I apply for citizenship (which was recently granted).

Next, Borepatch points out that bureaucrats have done nothing, for the past 40-odd years, to solve an ongoing problem whose solution is not hard to understand.

For those readers who blessedly have not had to drive I-95, it is a national disgrace.  It has been congested for as long as I can recall (over 30 years of personal experience with the stretch shown, and what we drove yesterday).  It has been congested in exactly the same locations for those 30 years.

The same exact locations.  30 years.  Offered for your consideration, the 20 miles on each side of Fredericksburg, VA.  It was a parking lot in the 1980s; it was a parking lot yesterday.  The reason then was that the highway lost a lane (more lanes in Richmond to the south and Washington to the north).  The reason now is the same.

So riddle me this, Big Government Man: how in 30 years is it not possible to widen 40 miles of Interstate to remove what everybody in the Northeast Corridor knows is a notorious choke point?

. . .

And yet we have an entire political party running for office on a platform that the government should be responsible for even more of the economy, and of our lives.  They promise even more “services”.  I’d be more impressed if they’d fix I-95.  Granted, that’s a very low bar, but they can’t even seem to do that.

Again, more at the link.

Bill Bonner wrote an essay a few years ago titled “The A to A of Government Inefficiency“.  Go read it.  Nothing’s changed.  Similarly, Monty Pelerin (a pseudonym) pointed out some years ago, during the Obama administration, that “Government Ain’t Fixable“.

Government is too far gone and too deeply entrenched. It is a gigantic blob immune to common sense, cost control or the will of the citizens it pretends to serve. People are expected to serve it, a complete contradiction of the stated goal of the Founders. It grows and enriches itself (and its members) simply because it can.  It is no different from an unaccountable criminal enterprise, exempting itself from laws it imposes on others. In point of fact, it is less efficient than organized crime which must generate a profit under less than ideal circumstances. Most Mafia-run businesses provide a service or value to their customers in excess of what it costs. Government has not need to do so and is especially ineffective and inefficient.

Government is Leviathan. It looks out for itself and no one person or small group can alter that condition.

. . .

Everyone has heard more than their share of stories about government inefficiency and stupidity. It is difficult to point to any government agency run effectively or achieving the ends for which it was created. The War on Poverty has increased poverty. The Department of Education was formed at the peak of educational effectiveness and everything has gone downhill since. What does the Department of Energy do besides make it more difficult to achieve more energy? The Internal Revenue Service has become a political tool to hammer opponents who do not hold the presidency. Hasn’t the Veteran’s Administration done a wonderful job for the medical care of our veterans? ObamaCare has driven health-care costs through the roof and put a damper on the creation of jobs like nothing else.

More at the link.

One of President Trump’s campaign promises was to cut two government regulations for every new one that was enacted.  So far, he appears to be doing rather better than that, by a ratio of 12-to-1.  That may end up being one of his signature accomplishments, and most important contributions to our future well-being . . . provided that a future President doesn’t put ’em all back again!



  1. You assume ineptness where malice may be present. Take roads for example. Air quality regs make it harder and harder to increase traffic throughput. The intent is to force us off the roads and into public transit, move closer to work, carpool, and so forth, eroding our actual freedoms, all in the name of reducing emissions.

  2. 95 has been a cluster from day 1!!! Within a month of it's completion, there were already backups in Jacksonville, FL, and in NC and VA… sigh

  3. Some time back here in Mpls., MN I attended a public forum on traffic 'congestion'. One of the county commissioners stated, 'You can't build your way out of congestion,' in an attempt to make so-called Light Rail more palatable to the public. When I replied in the public comment session that while that might be true you can certainly not-build your way into it, I got a round of applause.

  4. On the other hand, if you think about it you quickly realize that an efficient government would be a serious menace.

    The major problem, of course, is that the government is trying to do too goddamn much. Over the course of decades I have come to realize that I do not have a detailed political philosophy. I don't want to limit government because I have some list of powers and responsibility that I think government should have. I simply serve what it has done and not done in the past. And I say "That isn't working. How about we stop and do something else?"

    Based on historical observation; governments are good at brute force and bean counting. When not distracted by other issues governments do ok at building roads (brute force) and delivering the mail (bean counting). Governments should maintain the armed forces because attempts at privatizing that function have been worse than government armies (see; the 30 Years War). And governments are catastrophically bad at anything requiring taste, subtlety, and nuance. Hence, Governments should get the hell out of buying Art, advising people on their diets, and overseeing medical care.

    We need to tell our elected representatives that, no matter how entrancing the prospect of overhauling Health Care (or some other glittery distraction) may be, we want them to upgrade and maintain the roads and the borders first. When and if they get that under control, we can talk about other issues.

  5. This is because there are two governments.

    The shadow government created by Mr. Wilson, a.k.a. the "Deep State" and the one you get to vote for. The one you vote for controls ever less, including who counts the votes.

  6. Language barriers are still an issue when dealing with USCIS. Good luck finding a native-born English speaker to help you with any problems.

    Protip: There aren't any.

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