11/18/13 — Having recently visited the Oregon DMV, the headline link above caught my eye. For decades I have been wondering what might be done to improve government. Having come up with nothing that might work, I saw this story in Drudge and, well, you know the feeling. Why didn’t I come up with this?
There is Leonard’s Theory of Government. It came from watching the construction of a highway. I switched from wanting to simply eliminate all government, to developing a method to change the outcome of the current system while observing this. It’s about the “sign over the door.” They began to fix the new highway before they had even finished it. It took a completely different part of government to do it. Since the repair made the brand new road even worse, I wondered if it the problem could be signing. It’s the Sign over the Door, I thought. It says Oregon Highway Repair Division. What if we changed the name to Oregon Highway Pothole Division? Give them the job of creating potholes instead of repairing them?
Since they always do everything wrong, for too much money and in twice the time they said it would take, if they used the funds to buy giant augers to drill potholes in that brand new road, would the end result be perfectly smooth highways done for lower cost and finished ahead of schedule?
I was about to suggest it, then read the headline up at the top.
Clearly, it’s the answer.
If being hired to build or repair Oregon highways is a first class felony that comes with the death penalty, we cut out the middleman (the planning stage) and thus the expenditures for construction equipment, employees and paving material. One bulldozer to make a ditch where the road is supposed to be and that’s it. What now costs a million dollars a mile, and is called a freeway, is done for a couple of hundred grand and no harder to drive on than my local roads.
A friend, reading this, said it wouldn’t work because government employees at all levels are required to not use their heads, anyway. A head is not required for government work because it always results in intelligent outcomes, and makes it difficult to justify the billions of tax dollars that have to be spent on non-productive (efficient) work that was originally budgeted to cover graft, payoffs to local politicians and union meetings in Las Vegas.
I will keep an eye on the work these headless Afghan bureaucrats do, however. If it comes out as well as I expect, I’ll talk to the Tea Parties about the idea.