Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Bigger the Government, the More Petty Its Tyrannies

(c) 2013 by Tom King

Paul Gleiser, owner of KTTB radio in Tyler, Texas wrote an interesting piece in his regular column "You Tell Me Texas" about the petty tyranny of big government.  Paul experienced the joy of getting past customs officials and talked about how everyone submitted to delays and officious behavior from officials whose sole job was to check your papers and stamp your passport so you could get on to your connecting flight. When someone started to complain everyone hushed him up lest the official punish the whole group for its insolence by making the line go even more slowly.

I've spent nearly 4 decades in the nonprofit sector working in education and mental health. It was my experience of government during that career that turned me into a small government conservative.  I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed petty bureaucrats playing the game of "officiousness" with citizens they were hired to serve. 

You go to a desk or window, behind which sits a sour-faced career bureaucrat whose entire job is to take a piece of paper that you fill out and process it, add a stamp or something and tuck it into a file drawer somewhere.  With the advent of the computer, it's only gotten worse because now this bureaucrat has to type your form into a computer before he can file it.  They often leave you standing there waiting impatiently while they slowly and carefully type the entire form.  They do not dismiss you until they are done with the retyping the form and it has been accepted by the system. If some tiny little thing is wrong with the way you filled in the little boxes, you will likely be treated to a lecture regarding your weakness of character in having written out the full name of your state in line 22, paragraph 3, subsection 255A, when Section III, subsection 2, Line 5 of the "Instructions for Filling Out Request for Department of Administrative Affairs Approval to Install Widgets on Websites with Links to Official State Archived Documents" clearly states, "State names shall be entered on line 22, paragraph 3, subsection 255A as two letter United States Postal Service standard state abbreviations in all capital letters"

AND You will not be released to return to your actual real life until you have made the required obeisance to this priest of the temple of government bureaucracy and satisfied his lust for relevance. They do not like it when you laugh or sneer at them or express your frustration or anger in any way and can and will find a thousand ways to punish you for any perceived disrespect.

In a sane world, bureaucrats would soon become an endangered species.

Tom King

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