In a glaring example of government inefficiency, a recent study found a horseshoer still working for The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
It’s reminiscent of Lt. Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who was found on a Philippine Island, still fighting World War II, in 1972. Despite DWSD facing a deficit, and requiring twice as many employees per gallon than other municipal water utilities, AFSMCE Local 207 refuses to eliminate the position of horseshoer.
We often laugh at places like Cuba, where time seems to have stopped at the very minute the Communists took control of the nation. When Castro’s Guerillas seized the means of production, Havana was frozen in the fifties.
This is what automatically happens when Government takes over from the private sector. Politicians put votes over profit, which makes keeping jobs a bigger priority than efficiency. Thus the horseshoer, a position which was completely necessary when Detroit took over the privately held Hydraulic Company back in 1835, is still necessary almost two hundred years after horse-powered water pumps were eliminated.
It is often joked that the automobile made life difficult for buggy whip manufacturers and horseshoers. It is reassuring that Detroit, a city whose name was once synonymous with the Auto Industry, can still churn out a couple ingots of high grade irony. Meanwhile those who question Detroit’s immunity from prosperity need to look no further than the office of the horseshoer, member Local 207, to find their answer.
Government always moves contrary to logic. Once something is implemented it will continue in perpetuity. FDR’s Rural Utilities Service still exists, even though there are few spots in America so rural that you can’t find a place to charge up your 4G phone. (Actually, I would doubt there are any employees of the RUS who don’t have them.)
Job security is always a good political strategy. Throughout the campaign, the President has criticized Mitt Romney as cold and heartless for being the CEO of Bain Capital, when they were laying off employees of a typewriter manufacturer.
Perhaps Mitt Romney knows just a little bit more than the President about “Progress”.