Monday, July 02, 2012

Obamacare's bureaucratic cost

Click to enlarge and be enlightened
I saw the above sign at an interstate rest stop in Florida the other day. If you can't read it, it says: Preferred Parking for alternative Fuel "Vehicles". It was set back from the parking lot behind a row if garbage cans and no parking spots were otherwise marked. Why the word vehicles is in quotation marks is a mystery to me. 

The sign is ridiculous, and faintly obnoxious on top of that. We understand that handicapped parking spots near an entrance are for the mobility impaired, what isn't clear is just what is the possible rationale for preferred parking for Chevy Volts, Ford Nucleons or some other alternative fueled "vehicle"?

Obviously there is no good reason for the signs. It would be easy to suspect some sort of conspiratorial social engineering purpose, but I imagine that its genesis was much more haphazard.

These days, floating around every large corporation, institution and government is the notion that they need to Go Green, whatever that may be. My guess is that the committee that handles Florida's rest stops was tasked to implement such a policy, and that this was the best they could come up with. There's no Florida law or regulation mandating this, so all that comes of it is signs behind garbage cans and a checkbox checked that says their making progress toward their Green goals.

In the best case scenario having hung the signs, they'll just forget them. Then again, should Prius owners notice SUVs parking in their preferred spots no doubt complaints will fly. What then? Will laws and regulations spring from the momentum of an ill-conceived bit of ersatz rule making that the public never knew about, that was never voted on, and that was never approved by the public? Sadly, probably so.

With the unfortunate Roberts' decision on Obamacare agencies, departments, divisions, committees and working groups are being assembled. Policies, mission statements and memos of all stripes are being written and sent hither and yon through the new bureaucracies. Stupid ideas, like the sign above, will multiply and gain a life of their own.

When you ask why an absurd rule is being enforced you'll be told because it is on the books. When you asked who wrote it, you'll get no answer, unless you want to follow a maze of phonecalls from desk to desk that ultimately lead no where.

To me that's the real shame of Roberts' decision. Even if if the Republicans get control of the House, Senate and Presidency and cut-off funding to these damn groups some of them will dodge the bullet and continue to grind away in whatever corner that they've drifted off to. That's the problem with big government, these countless people fidgeting with their cell phones in meetings while they come up with half-baked ideas to answer problems posed by memos that came from who knows where.

And in the end of the day there's a sign behind some garbage cans solving a problem that doesn't exist and that's just begging to turn into a festering boil of nanny-statism. Big government is still the root problem.

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