Irene and why anti-government politics work so well

The subway worked perfectly for my morning commute and for most of my coworkers. And no one is praising the MTA for working hard to make this happen. I doubt people would be so guarded in their jeers if there were any problems. This was in spite of a huge amount of rain a significant amount of flooding in places where the MTA has facilities.

I think the MTA does a better job of providing reliable service with far less hassle than any of the cell-phone providers in the city. Despite cell phone service costing more, receiving plenty of public subsidies and having a much higher profit margin.

And this is why anti-government politics works so well. When government services work, they are transparent. Any praise for them is silly. Hooray for sewers, I can flush my toilet without a second thought. Hooray for trash pick up. Hooray for street cleaning, air quality tests and public parks.

But when government services fail they are noticeable. Streets not cleared? What are we paying taxes for? Sewer breaks? There must be so much waste they can’t even keep the pipes in good repair.

Related to this is the view that when government contractors fail it is proof that government can not do anything right. When government contractors are successful, it is proof that the private sector is superior.