STALE GAGS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN JOKE FILE
While we're waiting to learn whether the economy will be wrongfully executed or receive a commutation to life imprisonment, let's check out George Will's latest column. I see he's raving about a new book by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch titled The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America:
The authors say that the most ossified, sclerotic sectors of American life -- politics and government -- are about to be blown up by new capabilities, especially the Internet, and the public's wholesome impatience that is encouraged by them.
"Think of any customer experience that has made you wince or kick the cat. What jumps to mind? Waiting in multiple lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Observing the bureaucratic sloth and lowest-common-denominator performance of public schools, especially in big cities. Getting ritually humiliated going through airport security. Trying desperately to understand your doctor bills. Navigating the permitting process at your local city hall. Wasting a day at home while the gas man fails to show up. Whatever you come up with, chances are good that the culprit is either a direct government monopoly (as in the providers of K-12 education) or a heavily regulated industry or utility where the government is the largest player (as in health care)."
Really? We're still defining the Department of Motor Vehicles as the lowest ebb of American customer service? Reading this, I feel as if I'm watching a comic from the Ed Sullivan era still working the same material about lousy women drivers decades after everyone realized it didn't match reality. At this point I can do a lot of motor vehicle stuff online or by mail, with little bureaucratic interference. When I think of crappy customer service, I think of horrible private-sector phone trees with unspeakably bad hold music and automated pep-talkers urging patience in voices so chirpy they arouse strangulation fantasies. I think of private service-sector workers whose pay is so awful and whose training is so misguided that it's clear their bosses will think you'll overlook the massive understaffing of the checkout desk so long as the cashier, when you're finally acknowledged, refers to you as a "guest," as in "Can I help the next guest?" And on and on. There's so much horrible customer service in the private sector right now -- and in allegedly deregulated industries, like telecoms and cable -- that the DMV has long been displaced from the top slot.
A generation that has grown up with the Internet "“has essentially been raised libertarian," swimming in markets, which are choices among competing alternatives.
And the left weeps. Preaching what has been called nostalgianomics, liberals mourn the passing of the days when there was one phone company, three car companies, three television networks, and an airline cartel, and big labor and big business were cozy with big government.
Ignoring that last bit for a second -- yes, folks, George Will just told us in all seriousness that big business is no longer cozy with government -- what is he saying here? That we still want three channels and one phone company? Is this why liberals as well as conservatives spend endless hours on the gazillion-channel Internet, debating the relative merits of iPhones versus Android, or whether to drop iTunes for Spotify, or supplement Facebook with Google+? And three channels? What about those damn lesbians in The Kids Are Alright watching video porn and Locked Up Abroad? Does Will think they're in the tea party?
And there's this:
When the Census offered people the choice of checking the "multiracial" category, Maxine Waters, then chairing the Congressional Black Caucus, was indignant: "Letting individuals opt out of the current categories just blurs everything." This is the voice of reactionary liberalism: No blurring, no changes, no escape from old categories, spin the world back to the 1950s.
No, that's the voice of a well-meaning older person. The young live in a multiracial world and are more liberal than their elders. What does that tell you, George? It tells me that there's no connection between clinging to racial categories (at least if you don't actually fit properly in any of them) and leaning left.
I know, I know: haters gotta hate. Will has to accuse people he loathes of being guilty of everything he despises, bcause that's how right-wingers are. I should be used to it by now, shouldn't I?