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And, strangely enough, it is that soulless machine bureaucracy which is the cornerstone of our modern government. If you look at less controlled bureaucracies, you find that they are full of graft and corruption. Rent seekers at every level extract their pound of flesh before you can get what you want. This causes governance to go into painful slow motion.


"I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to do that." Ask them *why* they aren't allowed and they often won't even be able to tell you. They just aren't. Wondering about why--asking questions about Directives From On High--is no way to advance your career in 21st century America. You want to advance? Enforce the mindless directives.

Another fine piece. Thank you sir.


As a retired life-long government employee (not federal), my guess is that under the old Postal System where they were actually government employees, she would have been able to help you. Since they adopted a private business model under pressure from Congress, that service ethic was eliminated. I, and most people I know in public service, have generally tried to do whatever was necessary to provide service to the public. This may not apply to overworked agencies like the DMV.


I wonder how much, if any, bureaucracies have changed in the last 40 years. Once about that long ago I bought a motorcycle from a man who had neglected to change the title to his name. When I took the title to the tag office, the man (or woman -- I don't remember after all these years), pointed it out. Instead of following the book, he (or she), just looked at it, marked out one name and put in another. And then I had my new title paperwork. That little action saved me a lot of trouble, and I hadn't even asked for it. I suspect that the postal worker could have done something similar if she had wanted to.

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