Friday, January 27, 2012

Your Taxpayer Dollars At Work: Big Government in D. C.

Yesterday, I had an interesting commute to work. Yes, I still live in Keyser, but I work in Washington D. C., so I get to see big government in action a lot more often.

One such example is the Metro subway system. As I mentioned, yesterday was interesting. It took almost two hours to take a trip that normally lasts 35 minutes. Last week, I was delayed 15 minutes because we had to leave a train with smoke billowing out the back. When I get to my station, I don't mind the long walk up the broken escalator, because it is a nice workout. It may be a while before it gets fixed. Metro has been trying to fix another escalator in the same station for three months. It might help if more than one person at a time worked on it, though.

Metro is an aging system. It has old cars, old tracks, old equipment, and all runs under the benevolent eye of Big Government.

Metro ridership is down because, predictably, the system has grown unpredictable. My seat neighbor was anxious because she and her boss, both on the ill-fated train, probably missed an important economic meeting at the White House this morning. To address the problems, Big Government has decided to A) raise fares B) build a brand new line and C) hire a thousand new employees. Not having enough employees is one of the few problems that the service doesn't have.

It makes one want to ask who is John Galt?

Even worse is the inane taxi issue in Washington. They have a regulatory commission on taxis and city council must regularly discuss whether or not to let cabbies raise fares. Cabbies say that they are not making enough, that they are being undercut by non DC based services that ride people into the city for less money. The city wants to force them to take their cars through the wash more often, update their fleet, etc.

Why? Why go through this crap when a free market would do the same thing with less cost to the taxpayer?

Reliable services with clean cabs and good reputations could charge a little more. Those with older cars that are not so well-maintained could charge less. Hotels have stratification on quality and charges. Why should every cab be the equivalent of a Holiday Inn when some could get business being a Motel 6? And why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for this big government nonsense? You see, it is your capital, supported in part by your taxes.

Drives a person insane to even think of the stupidity

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