I just heard on DC radio here a classic example of just how unresponsive large bureaucracies can be, when there is no good reason for them to behave as they do. In a rare feat the Washington Nationals professional baseball team has won its division (miracle!) and is now in the baseball playoffs. Of course some of those games are here in DC and many (very many) residents here rely on the Metro (light rail system) for their transportation. It is very difficult here to get a personal parking space, difficult to drive in town and even more difficult to park for a visit somewhere in the city.. Moreover, the Metro authority–an independent agency running the Metro–has said it will not run the Metro line to and from the National’s stadium past its usual closing time, even though the game might run past the closing time, leaving many fans stranded.
I thought the purpose of the provision of goods and services by the government was to be responsive to public demands for the level of service. I am sorry. It seems I was naive. The real purpose is not to inconvenience any bureaucrats, even though the added cost of operation is pretty minimal. I can however guarantee that if the Metro was a private entity, it would be open as long as necessary–even if a higher fee had to be charged.
Classic as I said. Expected from government? Generally, yes these days, and increasingly so. Moral of the story: We need to have a serious discussion about either privatizing more services and/or moving to smaller and devolved government agencies that do provide such services. Can you say “Uber”?