Monday, December 10, 2007

US electoral politics

Suppose you are hiring a software developer, and you get this guy on the interview raving about how computers are bad for humanity, and should never ever have been invented.

Or you're hiring a dev manager and an interviewee tells you how really all cool software is only written by brilliant individuals, and that programming in teams is just plain stupid.

Would you hire these people for these positions? The answer is probably empathic "NO!". As in - "no, no way!"

Interestingly, when American electorate hires their chief executive, half of the country reliably falls for people who say that government is fundamentally bad, incompetent, and should never exist. And everything should be done by private sector.

Interestingly, private sector does not, by and large, hire people like that. In private sector we prefer people who believe in what they are doing, and strive to do their job well.

This becomes a self-perpetuating prophecy. If people do not expect the government to be competent, competent people do not end up in government. The government is then run by idiots, and becomes incompetent - as expected.

When I first came to the US, I was actually dumb struck how poorly the trivial things that usually take no time in Russia (or were, really, because I left Russia a long, long time ago) are handled here.

Two examples. I needed to get a form from INS for a college application. This was before the internet. I came to the office and asked for the form. I was told to wait in line. I waited in line - for 4 hours. Every 15 minutes to half an hour I would come to the counter to remind them that they just need to hand me a piece of paper, but was sent back. 4 hours later, when my turn finally came, the office reached behind the desk and handed me the form. The whole transaction lasted less than a minute.

Later that year I was waiting in line to a financial assistance office. There were not so many people, but it took almost a whole day to get there. In my college in Russia they had 10 times the amount of applicants, yet they were handled an order of magnitude faster.

Of course, it is hard to find a more incompetent bunch of morons than the current administration, where the only qualification for the job is your conservative credentials. There's been tons written on how these idiots have handled anything - ANYTHING! - they touched. I will not repeat this.

But just today I've read a piece in NYT about White House press secretary not knowing what the Cuban Missile Crisis was.

Don't worry scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.


Ilyak said...

Well, bureaucracy in Russia is known to be slow, irresponsible and not care about you. This is very true for government organizations like tax or passport offices, much less so for univercity facilities.

So you had to get pretty grim experience to offset that memories :) I didn't really think it can be worse than we have.

Sergey Solyanik said...

I left in 1992, it was almost Soviet government at that point. Not that they cared about you, but I think Soviet government had to be a lot more efficient than US government because so much more depended on it back then. Here most of the economy is thoroughly private.

If Soviet government were as good as US they wouldn't have lasted a decade with their full control of everything...