Passports and Toilet Paper

So this morning I went to the Passport office to obtain my first Passport.  I had already printed off an application online and I had already checked to see when the office was open.  The sign says “Saturday:  9:00a.m.-noon.”  I arrived at 10:20 a.m. ready to get my first Passport.  Oddly the door was locked and then I saw a sign that said “Passport Office Full Today.”  I have to say that I was very confused.  After all, the office is open until noon and surely they will take applications until “noon.”  But alas, I discovered that the office puts a sign-in sheet out at 6:00 a.m. (this is not mentioned on a sign–a postal employee told me this) and people show up before that to stand in line so they can sign the sign-in sheet so that they can go home and come back at 9:00 a.m. and get in line again.

 What a fantastic system!  This is how our Government works…inefficiently.  It reminds me of the pictures of Russians standing in line to get toilet paper handed out by the government.  People would stand in line for hours in the bitter cold to recieve their ONE roll of toilet paper.  That is how Government works.  Imagine a private company–like a car repair shop that is open from 9-9 and at noon locks the door and says–“Repair Shop Full Today.” And imagine that that same company placed a sign-up sheet at 6:00a.m. for people to sign-in.  My guess is that eventually, people would use our “FREE ENTERPRISE” system and find a different repair shop and they would end up going out of business.

That is the way competition works.   That is why Brake Check promises to stay open until they finish your brake work as long as you bring the car in during business hours.  And they are thriving.  The problem is–there is no competition for the Government.  The Post Office is the only piece of Government with any real competition and it has made them better, however, if FedEx or UPS ever lower prices below the post office, the post office will be in real trouble.

 Now–for all of you looking ahead at the 2008 elections let me caution you.  Liberal minded people believe in bigger Government with more intrusion into your life.  In fact, liberal minded people believe that the Government can do a better job of running your life than you can–that is why they are talking about Government controlled Health Care and more regulation on private businesses.  Liberal-minded people do not really believe in the free enterprise system where competition forces those who are not providing good products and services to either improve or get out of the marketplace.

John Edwards recently said that the way to get control of big oil, big business, big pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies is that he will “take control” of them.  What the heck does that mean?  I’ll tell you what it means—if you want medicine, insurance, or gasoline, you better get up early, sign-in and come back when they open to get in line for your inefficiently produced and distributed gas, drugs and insurance.

 I can’t wait for that!

 -Murphy

 UPDATE: 08/21/07–This morning I went to the post office at 4:00 a.m. to wait for 2 hours for the 6:00 a.m. sign-in sheet and still I was 4th on the list.  But have no fear, I got my Passport application submitted and was out of the office just before 10:00 a.m.  God Bless the Government–(they need it!)

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